Middletown Press by CLAIRE MICHALEWICZ – 05/04/2011
After over a decade working as an artist, Patrick Ganino is looking forward to his first-ever gallery show, in his hometown of Middletown. Ganino’s show opens at Gallore Gallery on Washington Street on Saturday.
Ganino explained that he got his start as a painter in the late 1990s, when faux wood or stone finishes were popular for decorating interiors. Ganino said he had always wanted to be an artist, so he dropped out of college in Florida and started working.
“It didn’t make sense not to do it,” Ganino said.
At the time, he said, there were many TV shows dedicated to interior decorating, and he has been featured on several of those shows. Ganino still does interior work today, at businesses and private residences around the country, and also recently finished a multi-story mural in New York. Locally, his work can be seen at Esca Wine Bar, where he designed the faux stone walls and wine barrels.
Many of the interior designs, he said, can take weeks to finish, though he usually has help from other artists. Ganino said he and some of the other artists in the area often collaborate on larger projects.
“It’s cool, the fact that we’re all friendly,” he said. Working on large projects, he said, is “an unbelievable networking experience.”
When he’s not doing those projects, he said, he’s creating paintings in his Durham studio.
The faux finishes work their way into Ganino’s art — one piece shows a cabinet door with a note taped on it, with the note and the masking tape all meticulously crafted from paint. Another large piece shows an easel with a painting on it, along with an artist’s tools: a photo, a sketch, and a palette loaded with paint.
Another major influence, Ganino said, is Norman Rockwell. His Rockwell-inspired pieces include realistic scenes of everyday life, including a large painting of several of his family members gathered around a barbecue. To put together the painting, Ganino explained, he took hundreds of photos, selecting the best shot of each person and arranging them as a composite. Then, he started painting.
“You can see people interacting with each other,” he said. “It looks natural.”
Ganino grew up in the Farm Hill area of Middletown, attending local public schools and then Xavier High School. He now lives in Madison with his wife and three children.
For his first-show to be in Middletown, he said, is like a homecoming. Ganino said he’d had people he went to school with finding out about the gallery opening and contacting him about it, after having been out of touch for years. At the show, he said, he hopes he’ll see more Middletown people he knows.
“It felt like the right thing,” he said. “It seems kind of like the perfect fit.”
“I think you always want to, as an artist,” he said of having a show in a gallery, though he hadn’t been making specific plans to do one. “The fact that it’s a solo exhibition is even cooler.”
But Ganino said that when he saw that Gallore Gallery had recently opened, he went in, introduced himself to the owner, Roy Moorer, and asked if there were any upcoming times for a show. May was open, Ganino said, “so I grabbed it.”
“Pat’s a good guy,” Moorer said. “He’s also passionate about what he does.”
Gallore Gallery opened in February, Moorer said, and they’ve had several shows since opening. Gallore has featured art from local artists, as well as hosting a show featuring art from all over the world.
“He’s very talented,” Moorer said. “With his experiences, we thought he was more than capable. We thought his work is in line with what we want to do with the gallery.”
Ganino’s show opens at Gallore Gallery, 68 Washington St., on Saturday, May 7, and runs through May 31.
To view more pictures from this event click here: