BankRI Turks Head Gallery: “Tales of an Earthbound Traveler: Paintings by Sandy DeLuca,” February 6 through March 5, 2014 at the downtown Providence BankRI branch in the Turks Head building, One Turks Head Place. Exhibit hours are Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact http://www.bankri.com or call 401 456-5015, ext 1330.
MEET THE ARTIST: SANDY DELUCA
It all started with her father. “My dad was a huge Hitchcock fan,” Warwick author and artist Sandy DeLuca says. “Every Sunday afternoon he would take me to the movies.”
In the darkened movie theater, DeLuca experienced a wide range of suspense, horror, science fiction and fantasy. It wasn’t long before the shy young girl wanted to create some of these stories for herself.
“I wanted to be a writer and I liked to draw,” DeLuca says. She thought she might go to college and combine her interests by learning how to write and illustrate children’s books. DeLuca attended CCRI earning her degree in art. She took a job in the student loans department for a local bank, then became a small business lending processor, a career in banking she cultivated for over thirty years.
The corporate environment camouflaged the real DeLuca. Underneath the navy blue suit jacket, there was a heart that loved to observe and explore the underbelly of life.
She had a young son who was fascinated with pro wrestling. DeLuca took her son to see wrestling matches in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. She was intrigued with the forms and the sculpted bodies of the wrestlers and started to take photographs. A publisher of a wrestling magazine asked DeLuca to send him her photos and to write articles for his magazine. The bank loan officer shed her disguise and started to write.
DeLuca made other contacts in the pro wrestling world. One was the promoter Greg Gifune. They became good friends and he encouraged her to pursue her fiction. When Gifune went on to become an editor for DarkFuse, a publishing house for dark fiction, they developed the professional relationship of editor and author.
Over the years, DeLuca has written several novels and novellas, illustrated books, and painted hundreds of paintings. She has two novellas coming out this year and has just finished a novel that is under consideration. She balances the intense work she does on her writing with painting time.
“Lately, I’ve been just painting.” DeLuca says. “I spent four months in front of the computer writing the novel and it burnt me out.”
Where the fiction is dark, the paintings are lighter, more spiritual in nature. Vivid colors, loose brushwork and a strong narrative thread characterize the work. The paintings exhibited here are fantasy landscapes, both urban and countryside. Others are populated with strong female characters in an acrylic-on-canvas play.
DeLuca successfully balanced a life as a mother, banker, author and painter for many years. Now she is free to explore the dark stories of her imagination in paint and in fiction.
The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.