For as long as she can remember, Atlanta-based artist, Diana Marino has created one type of art or another.
Born in Buffalo, New York, and then moving just outside of Syracuse, her parents, shared their love of the arts with her and her siblings, making sure they attended art, music, or dance lessons. From Elementary through Jr. High School, Marino was enrolled in youth art programs at local centers, city museums, and Syracuse University.
Inspired by childhood memories of a trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Marino recalls her feeling when she first saw Renoir's painting of "Two Young Girls at the Piano." "I just felt pure hope and joy. I thought it was the most beautiful picture I had ever seen. It was even more special to me as my sister played the organ, and we would often sing together at family occasions. That particular painting launched a deep appreciation for Impressionist art that continues to influence me today."
20 x 20 Acrylic
Asked when she knew she would become an artist, Marino said, "I just always was; it was how I learned to express my emotions and develop myself; it was how I dealt with the challenges and opportunities in my life. The choice that more difficult was what medium I would use to express myself."
Marino considers herself lucky to have attended the public high school in the village of Baldwinsville, New York, during the '70s, where the arts programming was exceptional. Marino's love of art and theatre became her driving force, as she was honored for her work with yearly achievement awards, and unique opportunities.
When the time came to choose a college, Marino received a scholarship to New York University School of the Arts for both art and theatre. This
particular program exposed her to many professionals who worked in both the visual and performing arts; she studied drawing with
Richard Rockwell, the nephew of Norman Rockwell, and sculpture with Peter, his son, along with being selected for an internship in costume and set design for Broadway's Tony Award-winning show "Moon for the Misbegotten.
In the 1980's Marino moved to Atlanta, Georgia, continuing to draw
and paint while studying photography, selling her art at shows, and
procuring local painting commissions.
When speaking about Marino's vision, she shares a pivotal moment that impacted her perspective on future creations.
"I was viewing Michelangelo's David for the first time and experienced a simultaneous connection with the past, present, and future. It was a different way of seeing, I understood how great works of art could connect people beyond their current time, place, or circumstance. I continue striving to create works that make others feel that connection through depictions of richness and color only available through diverse places and people."
In keeping with Marino's view of creativity, she believes that there is no art without others, there must be the shared experience of appreciation for one another's humanity. This is why Marino started a non-profit arm of her business with "The Art for Life Project" that provides a person struggling with a life-threatening illness - hope and joy, by gifting an original painting based on a subject that means something special to them.
Marino shares a theatrical performance convention called the fourth wall, in which an invisible, imagined wall separates the actors from the audience. This can also be true of someone viewing a painting or sculpture. Her
commitment is to break down that fourth wall with her imagery and engage the viewer as a participant, not just an observer. She gives us the means to connect as fellow human beings to a particular moment in time, and view each painting as a reminder that we are all one, all connected, and all of great value.
“Could This Be Heaven”
24 x 36 Oil