Thomas Joseph Ciarniello was born in 1955 in Youngstown, Ohio, to a large Spanish/Italian extended family. From an early period, he remembers being fascinated by people’s faces, their expressions, their coloring, and the way a face can make you feel rooted or uprooted. His earliest paintings were landscapes, however, upon graduation from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, his goal was to master the face on canvas. Early attempts were of the people who centered his life -- his grandmothers.
Paralleling his journey in art was his career in cosmetology and esthiology. Ciarniello’s “day job” became very successful but he would say he is an accidental businessman. He owns three salons and two schools in Ohio and Nevada, yet his passion remains in art, especially portraiture. As his businesses grew, he began to allow himself time for furthering his art education.
He studied at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia under the tutelage of Nelson Shank’s team of artists. He regularly studies at the Art League and Torpedo Factory in Alexandria with such artists as Priscilla Treacy and Robert Liberace. These fine artists and hours of practice in his Ohio studio honed Ciarniello’s skills.
“Faces I Remember” represents a 37-year journey. “The faces in the show captured my imagination and some of the faces have my heart as well,” Ciarniello said. “I am grateful to Randy Michener for making this show possible. Randy’s gesture of support humbles me and offers a memory always cherished: an opportunity to have an audience for my art.”
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