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Alumni Spotlight: PATRIZIA VIGNOLA

Charis Carmichael Braun (2008) interviewed Patrizia Vignola (1993) to talk about personal and professional growth.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on two final paintings to complete a series that has been in process for about three years. I have also begun to create work in a bit of a different way that allows me to make quicker, looser and “finished” work while I am in the process of making the paintings that take me weeks/months to finish. This new way stays within the context of my work but lets me break away to loosen up and gives me the satisfaction of completing something. I return to my more involved work with better energy and a fresh eye.

(from left:) "Tangled Web", "Bushel and Peck", "Eye Luv U2"

What was your most recent "Big Thing"?

Getting my website up and taking steps to create a more professional online presence.

What do you find challenging about your work?

Two things came to mind right away: One is finding a balance between my full time teaching job, my family, my health - and creating my work. The other is finding the right place / audience / gallery for my work.

I think settling into my classes and the curriculums has been helping; they have been "built" well and are solid. I also did some cognitive therapy last year that helped me a lot in terms of my ADD and organizing my time and priorities better. With my classes just flowing now, it is finally starting to happen and I am confident it will get better with determination. For example: if I've got all my prep work done, during an “off” period in the school day, I can use that time to do something pertaining to my own work.

Patrizia teaches drawing, painting, and sculpture at Shattuck St. Mary's in Minnesota.

Patrizia's artwork, in progress

What do you find rewarding about what you do?

Seeing my work “reach” someone, witnessing the reaction of someone who gets something meaningful from my work. Watching the communication happen between my work and a viewer. It’s even better if the communication is something unexpected, when a viewer gets something from my work that surprises me.

What’s on the horizon for you?

With nearing the completion of this series and developing my website, I am preparing to do some promotional/gallery outreach *fingers crossed* by early 2022. Also now with Covid somewhat under control I am hoping to pick up where I started in 2020, getting out there to gallery openings and art events in the Twin Cities. It is my hope to make connections and become part of the thriving art community in Minneapolis/St.Paul (even though I live 40 minutes south).

I would also like to “revive” my connection to the NYAA community. Moving to MN and starting a new life here took some time and put some distance between myself and my NYC roots, including the NYAA community.

2014 "Alumni Reunion"

Gathering with fellow Academy Alums at the 2014 "Alumni Reunion"

It may have been a needed distance upon leaving my 20 year position leading the framing team for the infamous THaN events, and moving halfway across the country. But now, with all the tools and tech we can use to bridge distances I can take part and connect with people/fellow artists from an undeniably important part of my life!

Patrizia Vignola (MFA 1993)

1 Comment

Patrizia was one of my most important teachers at the NYAA. She instilled in us a real love for master drawings and a solid working knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the human figure, both static and in motion. She also got us the best damn models every time. Although I'm delighted that things are going to well for her in Minnesota, I miss having her here in the New York area. By the way, Charis Carmichael Braun was one of my most important classmates at the Academy, and she and her husband Andrew are dear friends.

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