This painting is an entry for the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators' 20th anniversary exhibit Pittsburgh Art of Facts. We were asked to find obscure stories or facts about Pittsburgh and create an illustration about them. Below is the story that I chose.
Did you know that on July 29th, 1932 there was a "mob hit" right here in Pittsburgh?
John, Arthur and James Volpe were murdered at Rome Coffee and Bakery shop on Wylie Avenue at 12:45 p.m. by Guiseppi Spinelli and two unknown assailants. The Volpe brothers supplied alcohol to people during Prohibition.
My late father once told the story of his uncle wanting him to go to Italy to become part of the Mafia. That story always stuck with me. When researching the topic for this exhibit, I remembered that story and wondered if the Mafia was here in Pittsburgh. The title of this piece is a line from The Godfather.
Last year (2016), my dad would have celebrated his 100th birthday. He grew up in Monessen in an Italian neighborhood, born of Sicilian parents. We’d ask him to teach us to speak Italian. He’d say he didn't remember...but then he’d speak to his sisters in Italian when they visited.
A traditional Italian cook my dad made spaghetti and meatballs every Sunday and on special occasions, he made cannoli.
One could say this piece is a unique way of connecting to my dad and my Italian heritage.
Homeless But Still Human
This project was included in the Road Trip exhibit at York College in York, Pennsylvania.
This project is a series of painting that speaks to my own realization of my feelings about and reaction to homeless people. One day as I was sitting in traffic I saw a young man, not any older than my students, holding a sign that said "HOMELESS BUT STILL HUMAN".
It made me stop and think about the plight of the homeless and how I've handled encounters with them in the past.
This young man at first blended into the scenery. When I got closer, I read his sign and it made me stop and think. Hopefully, it will make others stop, too.
I passed this young man whose name I later found out was Huey for several months each time I worked in the city.
Huey was 23 years old and had been out on the streets for 3 years.
Huey sat on the side of the on ramp to the Fort Pitt Bridge in Pittsburgh from March 2016 through September 2016. Each time I saw him I spoke to him and tried to do some small thing to help him.
After September 2016, I never saw Huey again. I think of him sometimes and hope that he is okay and that he has found a way to a better life.
This experience has changed me and I created this series of paintings in the hope that it might change the way that others interact with the homeless.
ReNew Festival Pittsburgh
Artist Ann Rosenthal commissioned me to design and illustrate a map of downtown Pittsburgh showing the areas where native trees can be found. I also designed a companion panel that gives a short history of Botanical Art.
Fukushima Exhibit Panels
This exhibit marks the 5th anniversary of the nuclear reactor disaster at Fukushima, Japan due to a 9.0 earthquake in March of 2011. These "radiograph" photos and documentary photos were taken by photojournalist, MORIZUMI Takashi.
exhibit photos taken by Thomas MacConnell
Moving Targets Exhibit Catalog
Artists Ann Rosenthal and Steffi Domike collaborated with Ruth Fauman Fichman and produced Moving Targets an exhibit which parallels the centenary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon with the coerced migrations of their maternal sides of their families. One hundred years ago, in the wake of the pogroms, Ann’s mother and Steffi’s grandfather fled the Ukraine to begin new lives in North America. Within a decade of their arrival, the uniquely American passenger pigeon was hunted to extinction. The question becomes: why are certain ethnic group and species targeted?