Kenneth Schiano

Current Exhibits

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Past Exhibits

Self-expression is inevitable, possibly unwanted

“That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter. That mankind has in this sense been cowardly has done life endless harm; the experiences that are called “visions,” the whole so-called “spirit world,” death, all those things that are so closely akin to us, have by daily parrying been so crowded out of life that the senses with which we could have grasped them are atrophied. To say nothing of God.” Ranier Maria Rilke

There are quiet moments in my studio, often after a day’s efforts, which I am given to wondering: Why do I paint? I can’t claim it is by volition; if I were to choose a studio practice, it would be sculpture. Secondly, to be a painter is, incontrovertibly, one of the loneliest enterprises one can undertake and I would not recommend it to the faint of heart. Everyone at one time or another will “paint”. It is messy, and fun. But to attempt to produce an experience that transcends the seductive physicality of paint and surface, an experience that is transformative and possibly redemptive, is immensely perplexing. Each day, you isolate yourself in your studio, submerged in an activity for which there is no common purpose. Paintings are inedible, they do not bear fruit, build cities, or end wars; they certainly were never meant to convenience. Furthermore, ‘to paint’ carries its own measure of human absurdity: you absent yourself, barricaded and adamant, in your studio, in an attempt to communicate, to connect with the very society you are neglecting! And those connections you strive to make are timeless; the dead, the living, the unborn, are all watching patiently.

I have had the opportunity to be confronted with such a transformative experience. Twice. The first (Bathers By A River—Matisse 1909-1917) was enough of an assault on the senses that I knew in a flash my pursuit of architecture was suddenly inadequate and stultifying.

Of course there is joy to be had at moments in the studio; the sublimity of grinding pigment and mixing colors which give back light, the careful, precise construction of the support. These are all moments savored. However, the evolution of a perplexing visual experience from a blank surface is nonlinear, and counterintuitive, and becomes a method of exploiting the unexpected without being crushed by the weight of those inevitable failures along the way.

And yet, painting has substantial value precisely in its uselessness. It is this absence of purpose at the core of painting that reveals truths about the artist and the audience, place and time. I still have no answer to the question: Why do I paint? And I’m beginning to suspect that the question having no answer is the answer to the question.

Excerpt from “Picture this” Ken Schiano 2021

SOLO EXHIBITS

2018 Schiano: New Work Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
2017 Space/Time Mary Tomas Gallery, Dallas, TX
2015 Intuited Geometries Academy Art Museum, Easton, MD
Marking Time Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
2014 The Secret Splendor of Sincerity Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
2007 The Palpable Present Arte Fino Gallery, Bangor, ME
2001 New Work VII Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
1999 New Work VI Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
The Abstract Present Between the Muse Gallery, Rockland, ME
1998 New Work V Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
Erratics II Leighton Gallery, Blue Hill, ME
1997 New Work IV Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
Work on Paper Leighton Gallery, Blue Hill, ME
1996 Erratics I Maine Coast Artists, Rockport, ME
New Work III Massoni/Sommer Gallery, Chestertown, MD
Narrative Abstractions Leighton Gallery, Blue Hill, ME
1995 New Work II Massoni/Sommer Gallery, Chestertown, MD
1993 Work Zone Massoni/Sommer Gallery, Chestertown, MD
1992 On the Edge of Abstraction Ellsworth Library Gallery, Ellsworth, ME

GROUP EXHIBITS

2020 Elemental Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
New Year, New Artists Long View Gallery, Washington, DC
2019 Impulse Mary Tomas Gallery, Dallas, TX
Trees Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
Summer Group Show, Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
2018 Scale Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
Summer of 2018 Mary Tomas Gallery, Dallas, TX
@60 The Diamond Exhibition I Academy Art Museum, Easton, MD
2017 Summer Group Show, Mary Tomas Gallery, Dallas, TX
Bethesda Painting Prize-Finalist’s Exhibit, Gallery B, Bethesda, MD
Little Demons Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
2016 Small Works 2016 Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Westport, MA
Spark Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
2015 Semi-finalist Group Show Sondheim Art Prize, Baltimore, MD
2014 Lightning Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
Academy Art Museum Members’ Exhibit, Easton, MD
RSVP-4 L. G. Tripp Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2013 Summer Exhibit Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
Academy Art Museum Members’ Exhibit, Easton, MD
WorkZone Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
2012 Academy Art Museum Members’ Exhibit, Easton, MD
Layers Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
2008 Carver Hill Gallery, Rockport, ME
CMCA Annual, CMCA, Rockport, ME
2003 Clark House Gallery, Bangor, ME
Massoni Art Gallery, Chestertown, MD
2000 Abstracts Clark House Gallery, Bangor, ME
1999 Solitudes Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, MD
Summer Salon Frick Gallery, Belfast, ME
Eliza Sweet Gallery, Waldoboro, ME
Robert Clements Gallery, Portland, ME
1995 Members Inaugural Massoni/Sommer Gallery, Chestertown, MD
Invitational Series Frick Gallery, Belfast, ME
17th Annual Maine Coast Artists, Rockport, ME
1994 Abstractions II Frick Gallery, Belfast, ME
1993 18th Annual Show Higher Elevations Gallery, Lake City, CO
Reflections Downeast Danforth gallery, Portland, ME
1992 Poldi Hirsch Invitational Gallery East, Havre de Grace, MD
Oil Pastel Association 10th Annual Watchung Art Center, Watchung, NJ
Water and Its Wonders Art Gallery at Fells Point, Baltimore, MD
1991 North American Marine Society Invitational Gloucester, MA
Oil Pastel Association Member’s Exhibit OPA Gallery, Nyack, NY
Invitational 1991 Rhodes Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC
1971 The Education of An Architect: A Point of View MOMA, New York, NY
AWARDS

I am a 2021 recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award and have recently been selected as a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Art Prize, a finalist for the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Individual Support Grant, placed 3rd in the Bethesda Painting Prize and was the recipient of the 2014 19th Annual Peggy and T. Denton Miller Award for excellence in Contemporary Art (in any medium) at the Academy Art Museum, Easton, MD.