Your Hosts

About your Cortona Host, Stacey Mattraw

Hi Everyone! I am so excited to host the 3rd Cortona workshop series in the past 10 years for Michael de Meng and now Andrea Matus De Meng.

I live in both Portland, Oregon and Cortona, Italy (Tuscany).
My former husband Rob and I lived in Cortona in 2001 for a year with our 2 small children, who attended Italian elementary school for a year. During our Italian year, we purchased a beautiful 500 year old home, Casa San Marco, in the center of Cortona, which changed the direction of our lives. In the subsequent years, we restored this magnificent home and have spent a considerable part of these last 14 years becoming connected to the local community in Cortona. 10 years ago, Rob and I began hosting art workshops in Cortona, and Michael de Meng was one of our instructors. Hosting the art workshops has been an incredible experience and hosting Michael and Andrea will be fantastic!

As mentioned, I have developed wonderful connections and friendships in the Cortona community and you will be able to reap the benefits of my experience, you will be an
“ Insider” during your week here. The Cortonese people can be your friends too. You will have local experiences that most tourists are not able to partake in.

I speak fluent Italian and will be your guide and point person during your week here. Traveling to Italy with someone who knows the ropes makes a huge difference in your experience.

We will cook with one of my dearest friends, Ivan Italiani , you will have one of the best meals of your life! I can guarantee the our cooking class together will be one of the memorable highlights of your trip.

We will visit my favorite antique market in the world (I am a die hard junker and flea market enthusiast) in Arezzo, Italy about 1/2 minutes from Cortona. I have been coming to this market, which occurs the first weekend of each month, and it is spectacular! Imagine antiques and vintage finds coming from Italy, (they are nothing like we see at home) spilling out in booths all over town, with the backdrop of this medieval town, Arezzo. It is heaven!

And Florence! I first came to Florence in 1976 with a study abroad group. I fell in love with the city and with Italy. I have been back countless times since. We will walk all over Florence and visit one of my lesser known, but in my opinion,one the most stellar museums ever, the Bargello.

Last but not least, you will get to experience the week making art under the expert tutelage Michael and Andrea, some of my favorite people ever. They are both some of the finest teachers Ive ever studied with and so much FUN!!!!

Join us for this incredible week in Cortona, Italy in March 2016!!!
Please email me with all of your questions regarding your week in Cortona, and your stay in Italy.
I am here for you!

Ci vediamo presto!
(We will see each other soon!)



Michael deMeng 

Michael deMeng is an assemblage artist from Vancouver, Canada who exhibits throughout the United States. As an educator, he has been actively involved with VSA Montana, providing art education and encouraging participation in the arts to people with disabilities. Through these activities, as well as his artwork, deMeng fosters community awareness, and offers creative methods to explore the human experience.

In his art, he addresses issues of transformation. Discarded materials find new and unexpected uses in his work; they are reassembled and conjoined with unlikely components, a form of rebirth from the ashes into new life and new meaning.

These assemblages are metaphors for the evolutions and revolutions of existence: from life to death to rebirth, from new to old to renewed, from construction to destruction to reconstruction. These forms are examinations of the world in perpetual flux, where meaning and function are ever-changing.


Andrea Matus deMeng

Andrea Matus deMeng is a combined media artist living in Vancouver BC who exhibits as well as teaches her unique combination of painting, collage, assemblage and sculpture throughout the world.

In her art, Andrea creates powerful portraits skillfully combining colour, symbolism and ornamentation. Each motif is a transport to a different time and place, and through the process unrelated and discordant shapes and designs are manipulated to find balance and harmony where at first there seems none. Her passions and strong feminine aesthetic can be seen in all of her endeavours. The improvisational nature of collage coupled with the very deliberate method of painting creates a balance of spontaneity and premeditation in her work. 

Inspired by her extensive travels, a unique personal history (you'll have to wait for the autobiography), a crazy (but in a good way?) family and too many artistic influences to list, Andrea hopes to inspire others to live their creative lives and pursue their dreams of transformation.