Artist Statements

Washington, D.C.


Ritual Fire Dance


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My first visit to the National Gallery was at age five. My Godmother held my hand and walked me through. She was from a small village in the mountains of Sicily. It was important for children to be introduced to the mystery of art. (She favored the Italians.)

I remember the long, limestone halls, the daylight from above, the thick, green plants with huge leaves, the tall columns, the sound of fountains. We came upon a young woman, standing before an easel, making a copy in oil paint from an old master. We stopped to watch her work. After some time passed, she paused and looked down at me with a smile.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" she asked.

I looked up and replied, "I want to be an artist!"

She carefully wrapped three of her long brushes in a paper towel and put them into my hands. "These will help you on your way," she said.

I used her brushes all through art school.

– February 2003

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