Friday, October 21, 2011

Interview with Rochester painter Nancy Jo Gambacurta

Nancy Jo and husband Ken Kassel
Nancy Jo’s work can be seen in the House Artists Gallery at The Shoe Factory Art Co-op.  44 of her paintings are featured in her solo exhibit “October Sunset: The Paintings of Nancy Jo Gambacurta” in our Main Gallery thru October 29th.

Shoe Factory:  Where did you grow up?  Where do you live now?
Nancy Jo Gambacurta:  I grew up in Brighton and Penfield.  I attended Penfield schools, MCC, SUNY Binghamton and Empire State College.  I currently live in Irondequoit in Summerville by Lake Ontario.
What is your art medium?  What materials do you use? 
NJG:  I started as a sculptor but now I’m an acrylic painter painting mostly on canvas, sometimes on canvas paper.
How do you make your art? What is your process? 
NJG:  I photograph the subject, draw a thumbnail sketch and then do a small acrylic wash painting. From that I produce a large acrylic painting on canvas, sometimes several on the same subject.  I always work in a series, 3 to 10 paintings at a time.
What are you currently working on? 
NJG:  I’m currently working on a series of Adirondack paintings focusing mostly on streams and rivers.
What or who are your influences? 
NJG:  I love the work of many 20th century artists but have been most influenced of late by Georgia O'Keefe and Rockwell Kent.  I also love Janet Fish and Wayne Thiebaud.
Have you always been an artist? How has being an artist changed or affected your life? 
NJG:  I always loved to paint, draw and sculpt but became determined to be an artist after seeing Michelangelo's Pieta at the World's Fair in NYC in 1964.  I started taking private lessons at age 14.  Being an artist has always satisfied an inner calling and made me feel happy and complete.  It also always kept me broke!  I have worked a variety of different jobs over the years to keep afloat.
What is your favorite art-related experience in life so far? 
NJG:  Traveling out west and to the Adirondacks and studying sculptural forms in landscapes.  I also love painting the human form and flowers and gardens.  I look for the inner structure in all forms.  That's the sculptor in me.
What is your ultimate goal as an artist? 
NJG:  To produce a large body of work and continue to grow in my work.
SF:  Why did you become involved with Shoe Factory Art Co-op? 

NJG:  I joined the Shoe Factory to be part of a group of artists I respected and to have contact with other artists.  I also was hoping for some exposure in the cultural district.
SF:  What are your needs as an artist in Rochester?  What would you like to see changed?
NJG:  I would like to see more recognition of non-traditional work and avoid an art scene run by suburban flower painters.   

Teton Range

Roots on Sawyer Mountain

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