The BankRI Galleries present:
“Watercolors and Sculpture by John Fazzino,”
July 7 through August 3, 2016
at the BankRI Turks Head branch in downtown Providence at One Turks Head Place.
There will be a Gallery Night reception on July 21 from 5 to 8:30 pm with live music and light refreshments. 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 401 574-1330.
MEET THE ARTIST – JOHN FAZZINO
For the first ten years of his professional life, Providence artist John Fazzino was a self-described “glorified paper-pusher floundering around in an insurance company.” He had grown up in Portland, Connecticut, isolated from creative endeavors.
Fazzino was in his mid 20s when he met an all around Renaissance artist named Mickey Sequenzia. Sequenzia introduced him to a whole new creative world. In the cooperative studio Wesleyan Potters in Middletown. CT, Fazzino learned how to hand build ceramic pieces and throw on the potter’s wheel.
“It was a life changing moment,” Fazzino says. “I was so unhappy in the earlier part of my life and so unsure of what I was going to do.” The only thing Fazzino was sure of was that he didn’t want to spend another ten years working for an insurance company.
He moved to Rhode Island in 1983 with the hope of attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Fazzino was thirty years old when he took his first class at RISD, twelve years older than most of the students in his classes.
“I learned so much from RISD,” Fazzino says. “I was taught how to see differently and how to think more deeply.” Because he was so much older than his fellow students, Fazzino was able to fully concentrate on his ceramic studies and he worked constantly, taking as many classes as he could in several different fields. After graduation, he attended Swain School of Design (now the University if Massachusetts Dartmouth) in New Bedford and earned his MFA.
Like his mentor Sequenzia, Fazzino is an all around Renaissance man. He is a ceramist, watercolorist, teacher and gardener. He teaches ceramics at the Steelyard in Providence and the Art Exchange in Cranston. In his home, he teaches yoga. In the summer, he designs and cares for client gardens. If finances are tight, he rents one of his bedrooms out on airbnb.
At the BankRI Turks Head Gallery in July, Fazzino will exhibit ceramics and watercolors.
Fazzino takes an abstracted approach to the watercolor medium, loosely directing the paint to form spiral-like shapes that almost look like watery fireworks mid-explosion. He credits RISD professor Victor Lara for encouraging experimentation and exploration in the then unfamiliar medium of watercolor.
Fazzino’s ceramic pieces, like his watercolors, are experimental and very personal in nature. When he was a student at Swain School of Design, Fazzino decided to combine his love of ceramics with his love of the garden. He hand builds unusually shaped structures that function in a garden setting even as they satisfy as sculptures. Strong colors, unusual shapes and a very earthy feel characterize the ceramic sculptures. They have a ruin-like quality, ancient and modern at the same time. Birdbaths, fountains, fluted bowls, vases and benches are just some of the sculptural pieces Fazzino makes.
Visit johnfazzino.com to view more of his work.
The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.