The BankRI Galleries present:
“Perfect Moment: Paintings by Debralee Iacobucci,” October 1 through November 4, 2015. There will be a Gallery Night reception on October 15 from 5 to 8:30 pm with live music by guitarist Mark Armstrong and light refresh
MEET THE ARTIST – DEBRALEE IACOBUCCI
A natural storyteller, Providence artist and illustrator Debralee Iacobucci – DEMI to her friends and colleagues (the first initials of her name Debralee Elizabeth Marianna Iacobucci)– found her calling at an early age.
“When I was really little,” Iacobucci says. “My father would sit down with me and scribble a Jackson Pollock type drawing on a piece of paper and ask me what I saw in it.” The little girl understood the question to be serious. She took the paper and looked deeply into the scribble searching for the story within.
In high school in Providence, Iacobucci excelled in sports, academics and art, but her true love was writing and illustrating children’s books. She applied to and was accepted at Parsons School of Design in New York City. While at Parsons, she interned with Paulette Bogan, a noted children’s book author and illustrator. Since graduating in 2002, she has written and illustrated six children’s books. “I’m really bad at marketing myself,” Iacobucci says “and I have not had one book published yet.”
She enjoyed living in New York, but moved back to Rhode Island to concentrate on a budding relationship. When the relationship fizzled, she stayed and opened a gallery, Gallery Demi at 123 North Main Street in Providence in 2009. Her inability to market herself successfully did not prevent her from marketing other artists. She exhibited and sold works by Vincent Castaldi, Elena Calderon Patino and Dave Anderson, to name just a few. But it was difficult. Iacobucci was working fulltime, running a gallery and trying to paint. She closed the gallery after just one year.
Now Iacobucci works part time for Motif Magazine and concentrates on painting, and working on and marketing her children’s books. She works in series. Currently she is working on a progression of flower paintings, her books and a grouping of remembered landscapes.
“I approach my art differently depending on the purpose,” Iacobucci says. “I love stories, stories that move me, and I love using symbolism to tell a story metaphorically. My different styles deliver the tone or emotion of each piece.”
Her flower paintings are large, bold statements reflecting her love of symbolism. The flowers are both flowing and highly detailed, with a nod to the great illustrators and artists of the 19th century. To Iacobucci, her flowers have distinct personalities and she paints each flower differently to convey their individuality.
Her landscapes, exhibited here at the BankRI Gallery, are freely painted and intimate, more an impression of place and emotion than a realistic portrayal of a point in time. The muted colors and watercolor-like feel contribute to a quiet sense of peace. The landscapes have a moody quality that draws the viewer in.
Iacobucci often works on her paintings deep into the night. “I love being in my studio,” says Iacobucci. “But I have an anxiety that I’m missing out on everything else that’s happening in the world. I like to work at night. The world is yours when everyone else is asleep.”
The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.