Meet the Artist in Residence: Marisa Bruno

Marisa Bruno is our first artist in residence at Main Street Arts! She’ll be working in one of our two studio spaces from May through June 2016 (you can stop by the gallery to see Marisa’s studio and work in progress). We asked Marisa a few questions about her artwork, life, and more:

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Q: To start this off, would you tell us about your background? 

A: I live in Rochester, NY and began making artwork seriously towards the end of high school. I attended SUNY Fredonia, studied art intensely there for four years and graduated with my BFA in Drawing and Painting in 2015. Now that I am back home, I work at part time at Donna Marie’s Gluten Free Bakery. Surprisingly, working at a bakery provides many creative outlets like cake decorating and allows me to meet new and interesting people every day. I paint personal and commissioned work for galleries and individual patrons.

Q: How would you describe your work? 

A: Currently I work in oil paint on surfaces like Masonite or wood paneling. I focus primarily on the human form; expressions, body language, the way light interacts with the face, the way gestures can relate moods and ideas all catch my attention. I use expressive brushwork and intense colors in my work.

Q: What is your process for creating a work of art?

A: It always begins with sketching. So much sketching in combination with journalling and  taking more photos than I could ever use. Then I sort through the images and words to form the painting. My mental image of what the painting will look like often changes drastically during this step. Once I’ve selected a photo reference to work from (or two or three), I prepare a wood panel with gesso or liquin, sketch the image (with much revision) and then begin painting. I like to walk away from my works in progress and come back later for another painting session. It helps me to see areas needing improvement.

Q: What are your goals for this residency? Tell us about your current projects.

A: I’d say I have three main goals: Paint as much as possible, meet as many people as possible and learn new skills from my environment and the people around me!

I am currently working on a series called Wrapping Paper, focusing on the acceptance and beauty of physical imperfections despite the pressures of society. The first painting in this series can be viewed on my website here .

In addition, I am planning an exhibition for the second floor of Main Street Arts. This show is in its early stages but updates will be coming soon! I’m also putting together a Figure Drawing workshop to take place in June. Look for more updates in the next week!

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I am planning on continuing to show work in galleries, work at the bakery and hopefully enroll in grad school in the coming year. I am also working for the Arts at the Gardens fine art show. You can find out more about it here.

Q: Where can we find you?

A: My work can be viewed on my website, Facebook and Instagram! I also had the great honor of being included in the first edition of Art House Press Magazine.


Are you an artist looking for new opportunities? Apply for a residency at Main Street Arts! Artists in residence will have 24-hour access to a large studio on our second floor (with great natural light), the option to show work in the gallery, and the opportunity to teach paid workshops. Submissions are reviewed and awarded on an ongoing basis.

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