Dawn AtanasioArtist Statement

I grew up in a tight-knit, Hispanic, Catholic family in South Florida and inherited attributes from both my parents: hard work and discipline tempered by procrastination and humor. As a young person I enjoyed many outdoor adventures and experienced its wonders under the nurturing guidance of my brother. Animals and nature have always fascinated me and in both I find great beauty and amusement. Metaphors in life can often be found in the observation and contemplation of nature. Integral to my life is the Christian faith which provides a strong sense of meaning and stability.

The central themes in my work are light, symbolism, and "mastery of craft", which coincides with my interests in Renaissance and Baroque art. I appreciate the bounce of natural daylight and the highlights and shadows it creates in the world around me, but night time can be emotional – sometimes soothing, mysterious, and even frightening. Meticulous by nature, naturalistic realism clearly communicates my need to convey meaning, which is satisfied when natural or artificial light sources are combined with the subtle symbolism of objects. My desire is to engage viewers through empathy by synthesizing these various elements in a contemporary manner, close to life-size scale.