Janarie Ricchio

Janarie Ricchio’s Artist Statement
A house can express the individuality of those who inhabit them or can be used as a tool to create false personas. It is a retreat and a refuge where thoughts can be locked up inside accessible only to the self and anyone they allow in. A house is filled with so much experience that it becomes made of memories and can transform in our imagination. Through my work I investigate themes of identity in relation to the house. I display this connection between the home and human psyche through shape, color, texture, pattern and space. Using the image of the house I explore the most intimate of places.

How and when did you first become interested in art? 
I once drew this picture of an elephant and I remember my teacher, Ms. Brockmiere, making such a big deal about, showing it to the entire class and telling my parents that I had a natural artistic ability… It wasn’t until my first art history course that I realized what artists actually did with their art and the impact they could make with it that I really began to understand what it meant to be an artist.

What medium and materials do you use? How has your style changed over time?
For the past two years I have been painting only in acrylic due to the nature of the medium and how it lends itself to my technique. I also studied sculpture while at school and found that it allows me the balance I need as a maker. At times I have ideas that wouldn’t make a good painting although they lend themselves to sculpture. It also gives me the ability to use a wider variety of materials which can connect the work to my concept in new and exciting ways.

Structures, architecture and the concept of home seem to be a consistent subject in your sculptures and paintings. What do those elements mean to you personally?
The relation between the home and the human psyche intrigues me. For a short time during childhood I wanted to be an architect. I have always admired how within a landscape, structures serve as symbols of time. There is also a sense of identity involved with homes. You might have experienced returning to a past home and seeing it completely differently than you remembered. But then, if  you close your eyes, you can still feel the texture of the doorknob to your bedroom and hear the creak of the floors and smell the summer air blowing in threw the windows.

Is there a specific memory from your childhood that has influenced the theme of your work?
Perhaps because both of my parents are now deceased I find myself going back to my childhood memories more often. Most of those memories took place at home and I had always lived in the same house from birth until I married, so I suppose that is the heart of it. There have been specific memories that I have made pieces about. Fire on Lorimer Street was about a wildfire that came into my neighborhood.  There was something about the site of the burned houses and the feeling it gave me that remains very much alive in my memory.

Since graduation, Janarie has immersed herself in the art community of Eureka and Arcata. She continues to exhibit her work regularly while teaching art at local schools and workshops

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