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SCC artist speaks volumes with her brush

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image Artist Virginia Laudano in the SCC Fine Art Gallery

One-woman exhibit runs through April 29 in SCC.

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN

SUN CITY CENTER — Artist Virginia Laudano has a lot to say. Her words, what she sees and feels, come through as brush strokes on canvas and wood — sometimes with quiet subtlety, sometimes more loudly, but always with underlying beauty consistent in an inconsistent world. She is a renowned artist, a teacher, and is completely open when talking about her work, from the basics to advanced topics. In Laudano, the teacher is equal to the artist.

Laudano’s art is now on display in a one-woman exhibit at the Sun City Center Art Gallery on Cherry Hills Drive. The exhibit will run through April 29 and features her work with oil, acrylic and watercolor. For anyone in South Hillsborough, it is well worth a visit — and well worth taking time to examine each piece and to revel in the detail and intricacy that speaks volumes through Laudano’s brush.

Laudano is most famous for the oil painting, HOPE, which she completed in the weeks after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. She envisioned the painting during a prayer meeting for the victims and began work on it immediately afterwards. The original painting is now on display on the 11th floor of the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York City, but prints of the painting were given to Presidents Obama and Bush, former Governor Jeb Bush, and thousands of others.

Her current exhibit expands upon HOPE with an impression that life does indeed go on. Laudano captures moments of time and the beauty of the commonplace. The texture of her work brings life to her subjects in ways that no photograph can possibly manage. Her unique view on things many people may miss, along with her willingness to experiment, combines to create stunningly beautiful, contemporary, unique works that illustrate the beauty of the world around us.

“I love texture, I love space, and I love value,” Laudano said of her work, referring to some of the elements of art. With a moment or two spent before any of her paintings, her love of those elements is clearly revealed, as is her long experience with color and how it interacts and separates.

Within each piece in her exhibit, there is a message that the artist conveys with her brush. It is a message of beauty and of hope.

Laudano is the recipient of numerous awards from art shows across the Tampa Bay area, and her art is in collections across the nation. She taught art at the Hillsborough Correctional Facility, has given workshops in acrylic painting and printmaking at the South Shore and Ruskin libraries, and currently teaches at the Sun City Center Art Club.

Virginia Laudano’s exhibit runs through April 29 in the Fine Arts Gallery at the Sun City Center Art Club on Cherry Hills Drive. For more information, email club president Kristine Littrell at klittrell@rochester.rr.com.

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