Kristy Tonti (Peter's Niece) grew up in a large Italian family, with a lot of love and a lot of drama. Her grandfather gave her his time, paint brushes, and oil paint; together they would escape on long walks to the estuary to paint. From the age of seven, she learned to love painting, walking, nature, and solitude.
Tonti attended San Francisco State University where she studied classical Greek archaeology and performance art, while also working in graphic design and photography. Later, she taught herself watercolor painting, using her own children as subjects, exhibiting and selling her work in the Puget Sound area. Tonti received her BFA in painting and printmaking from Cornish College of the Arts in 2000. Supported by the Cornish Trust Scholarship in 1995 and the Presidents Scholarship from 1996 to 1999, she completed her BFA while raising her two daughters on Bainbridge Island.
Tonti has traveled extensively and draws from these experiences in her work. She has trekked the Buddhist Himalayas, studied yoga in Southern India, and sought inspiration at the source of the Ganges. Her travels and spiritual studies have dramatically informed her work.
She draws and paint figures, exploring the human body as a container, a vehicle, or house of the spirit. In her oil and wax work she depicts philosophical ideas using non-objective forms and color fields. Contrasting delicate brushwork and bold knife strokes, light and dark, warm and cool, transparent and opaque, Tonti creates layers of complexity and interpretation. The results are both eloquent and engaging.
Her work is in private collections and has been exhibited in select Solo, Group and Juried shows in Washington, California, and Hawaii.
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Michelle Melragon (Peter's 2nd Cousin) has been a part of central Ohio's art community for over 25 years. With a focus on light and shape, her work playfully captures life's small, nuanced moments in oils, acrylic, and pastel.
Michelle's small business, Michelle's Custom Framing, has been providing matting and framing services to local artists since 2000. With her knowledge and creativity, she can enhance and preserve your art, photographs, and other memorabilia.
Whether through her paintings or her framing services, Michelle will bring the magic of local art to your home or business. Please visit her gallery to see some of her custom work.
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