NEW CASTLE, Pa.
What does a paving-company employee, a parole officer for juvenile felons, a civil engineer and an employee for the National Academy of Sciences have in common?
The art of portraiture.
With its roots in early Egyptian funerary relics, portraiture continues today as a testament to the fascination artists have in creating a likeness of people. Four regional artists with dissimilar career backgrounds will come together at the Hoyt Center for the Arts, 124 E. Leasure St., to present their unique perspectives on a subject matter they have in common: portraits.
The exhibition, “Portraits of People,” opens Friday and runs through Dec. 22. It features works by Rabecca Signoriello, Robert Studzinski, Gary Taneri and Ceres Rango. An opening reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.
Rabecca Signoriello: Wearing two hats, New Castle resident Rabecca Signoriello works by day as a laborer for a local paving company and by night as a figurative painter. The group of works she has selected for her exhibition, titled “Life Silence,” is featured in the East Gallery. Sigoriello received a master’s degree from the New York Academy of Art and studied in Florence, Italy and Leipzig, Germany. Finding her inspiration in 16th-century portraiture, particularly the work of Italian Mannerist Jacopo Pontormo, Signoriello uses light in her paintings of people to express hope and redemption, especially in times of desperateness.
Robert Studzinski: After working 30 years on the streets of Columbus as a parole officer for juvenile felons, Studzinski is on a mission with a different cause. “Mayan Rites and the Struggle for Mayan Rights” is a collection of his photographs on display in the Sunroom Gallery. Studzinski describes these works as environmental portraits to put a face on the humble yet heroic people of Guatemala who have endured decades of repression, atrocity and genocide. As an award-winning international photographer, Studzinski has spent 30 years documenting human-rights concerns in such remote places as Ethiopia, El Salvador and Haiti. His work has appeared in major publications. The Ohio University graduate resides in Bexley.
Gary Taneri: Currently working in the oil and gas well-drilling industry, Taneri, a civil engineer, balances his schedule by doing something he enjoys — painting the people who have touched his life. Taneri feels that the connection he has with his subject is vital to the success of the finished product. He attempts to capture an accurate resemblance that portrays their personalities, interests or occupation. Twelve of his portraits will be on display in the West Gallery. With a degree in civil engineering from Youngstown State University and a master’s degree in painting from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Taneri, of Warren, exhibits regularly and has won numerous awards.
Ceres Rangos: Discovering the luminous light and color of the Southwest by way of her occupation at the National Academy of Sciences, Pittsburgh artist Rangos presents “The Face of Fiber: The Coiled Form as Portraiture” in the Blair Walkway Gallery. As one of the oldest art forms, dating nearly 12,000 years, basket coiling is a technique Rangos has pushed to a new direction by creating portrait sculptures. Spending nearly 200 hours on each sculpture, Rangos describes these stylized “heads,” such as ceremonial masks, as being mysterious and sometimes humorous.
The Hoyt Institute is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
For information, call 724-652-2882, or go to hoytartcenter.org.