SYRACUSE — Utica-native artist Brian Cirmo is hosting a solo show of a series of paintings he’s been working on over the last three years, “Patterns, Cycles and Change,” at Wilson Art Gallery, Noreen Reale Falcone Library, Le Moyne College, 1419 Salt Springs Road.
An opening reception and artist talk is scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the gallery. The exhibit runs from now through Friday, Oct. 5 and is free during regular library hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Cirmo uses historical references, literature, popular culture and more to address themes such as love and loss, evolution and creationism, comedy and tragedy, mark and expression, and fame and anonymity in his oil paintings.
The artist has spent the past two decades traveling throughout the country visiting museums, large cities, small towns, national parks, Civil War battlefields, assassination sites, graveyards and national monuments, considering himself a “lifelong student of the vast profundity of American music as well as a glutton for American history, literature, Western painting, film, comic strips, and cartoons — all of which have consumed my nights and days.”
These interests and practices are harvested and used within his process to create an intertextuality in the paintings.
Using historical references, literature, popular culture, personal memories and personal aesthetic as sources, Cirmo said he’s focused on building a group of protagonists that encapsulate such themes as high and low culture, life and death, shape and content, etc
Cirmo has had multiple solo exhibitions including shows at the Burrell Roberts Triangle Gallery, Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio, the Rice Gallery, McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., and the Massry Center for the Arts, The College of Saint Rose in Albany.
He has appeared in numerous group exhibitions in museums and galleries across the country including: Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts in Boston, Mass., The Hyde Collection Museum in Glens Falls, Kellogg Gallery, Cal Poly University in Pomona, Calif. and Antenna Gallery, New Orleans, La.
Cirmo’s work has also been featured in numerous publications including: Lunch Ticket Magazine, the Matador Review, Gambling the Aisle Magazine and Studio Visit Magazine. In 2013 and 2017, he was invited by the executive director of Albany Center Gallery to curate two exhibitions, “Our Heads” (2013) and “Masters of War” (2017).
Residencies and awards include: the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency, the 2017 Mona Ruth Brickman Artist of the Year Award from Albany Center Gallery, and a 2009 and 2013 Juror’s Award at the Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region Exhibition. In 2009 and 2015, he received the University at Albany Purchase Award at the Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region Exhibition. Collections include the University Art Museum, Siena College, and the College of Saint Rose.
Cirmo was born in Utica and completed his first two years of college at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute. He received a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in painting and drawing from the College of Saint Rose in Albany and a master’s of fine arts degree in painting and drawing from SUNY-Albany. Cirmo lives and works in Albany and Syracuse, and is an assistant professor of painting and drawing at Onondaga Community College.