Wednesday, July 11, 2012

John Costanza: Accomplished Artist of the Delaware County

John Costanza, with an "H", that means the father of SunPower Builders' Jon Costanza, is an incredibly personable man and a skilled artist of the Delaware County. Please see the following press release regarding John Costanza's series, "Manhattan Streets", and join us in the lobby of Congregation Kol Ami on September 9th for the opening reception (details below).
John Costanza’s heart and soul were formed in New York City, New York. The eclectic environment of the streets that make up the Big Apple helped Costanza develop his artistic sense of humor. Art is everywhere you look, and there exists no greater place for system stimulation than Manhattan.
Trained in painting and ceramics at the Student League in New York, then acquired his BFA from Temple University/Tyler School for Art, Costanza stands out as one of the most accomplished artists living in Delaware County, where he resides. Self described painter, ceramicist, and sculptor; the works of Costanza are as divergent as their mediums. His sculptural side plays with abstract simple forms, yet the painter side is realistic, ethereal, and humorous. Over the many years, he has touched the lives of many artists, influencing their styles and their minds to find their balance of art and life. After receiving his MA in Education from Cheyney University, he became a professor at Moore College of Art, where he also chaired the Ceramic Department. During his tenure, he continued to focus on creating his own art, an act we all prosper from today.
Costanza made his mark on the Art World in the 1930’s. He’s showed in over 40 one person exhibitions, and 45 two person shows. Many of his works are displayed through public and corporate commissions. His artwork has been published and featured in many art magazines and books over his lifetime. His pieces have been in some of the most prestigious museums and exhibitions, and are in collections throughout the world. Even today, his daily routine still involves creating work in his studio, a converted pony barn on the premises of his home.
Easy to laugh, and make visitors comfortable, Costanza’s unique views on life comes through. His time in New York City’s hustle bustle town of business and excess, brought his attention to those who were not caught up in the everyday life of getting somewhere, but rather the ones who were in the background, participating in the world without being noticed. They are the colorful characters that make up the fabric of life in a city because they peaked Costanza's interest the most.
Costanza’s signature piece, “Craps”, for his Manhattan Streets, is a strong, colorful image of a group of men actively engaged in a dice game. One imagines an alley off the busy street, filled with a heated game of craps, with bodies pressed in because there is a lot on the line. The work resonates with color, power, noise and action.
Manhattan Streets depicts not only the street level unnoticeables that individual travelers pass right by, but also the daydreamers who sit vigil at their windows, killing time, taking in all the actions of those down below from their little seat above the world. Through their small portal, everything in life is possible. What may at first seem a lonely existence to a viewer of Costanza's Window works, usually gives way to envy. Who hasn't wanted to be a fly on the wall, listening in on conversations and actions of others? The characters portrayed get to observe life unnoticed from their perch, and yet still are able to participate and experience life vicariously through viewing.
The works in Costanza's Manhattan Streets speaks volumes about the masses of unnoticables we pass by every day. How much of life happens around us without us ever seeing it, or noticing it? It takes someone like Costanza to pull our attention away from the bright lights and hustle bustle to be in the moment and open our eyes.
John Costanza's Manhattan Streets series will be on display September 4 through October 12th, in the lobby of Congregation Kol Ami, located at 8201 School House Road, Elkins Park. The opening reception is September 9, from 2-4 pm. There will be an opportunity for the public to meet the artist, John Costanza, in person. Prints of some of his works will be available only at the opening. Costanza will personally autograph each piece purchased on the back, and personalize it.
To viewing the works during the week and obtain pricing after the opening, contact the Director of Kol Ami, Elaine Stevens: 215-635-3110.
For more information on the artist, John Costanza, please visit his website.

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