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The Ghost of Dreams
Pen on Paper by Dan DiPaola
2013 D. Bradley Smith Art Purchase Award Winner

The Artwork

Photo of the Artist "I felt as if I was right where I belonged, doing exactly the work I should be doing." That was Dan DiPaola's feeling when he attended the Pre-College Perspective program at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota last summer. How rare that feeling is, in a world where most of us muddle through school and work feeling like misfits way too much of the time. Better yet, Dan gets to return to Ringling as a freshman this fall to study animation.

Dan has always loved to draw and to make things, but really began to focus his energies on artwork in middle school. At BHS, he took every class that focused on 2D techniques, and he pursued independent work as well, including figure drawing classes at the Memorial Art Gallery. Jed Kunz says of Dan that he's "...not afraid to invest himself in projects. And he's remarkably collaborative. He'll gather input from students, from teachers, even from Ms. Jezsu at TCMS." Ann Crerand enjoyed having Dan -- a strong student -- in her AP Art History class.

Dan was featured by WROC-TV as a Student Leader in their Art Spotlight segment, and he has already seen his artwork honored in numerous ways. The Ghost of Dreams, the piece featured here, appeared in The Galaxy and was included in three different art shows: The New York State Art Teachers Association show at Artisan Works, the Empire State School Press Association show, and the American School Press Association show, for which Brighton's art teachers must select a single work to represent the school.

In The Ghost of Dreams, Dan employed a gesture drawing technique that he first learned from Jed Kunz in Studio Art I. The piece itself emerged from an assignment in AP Studio Art, and it captures a nightmare about a monster that sneaks in and manipulates your sleeping mind with his fingers. (That's the giant headboard of a tiny bed he's holding in his hand, while stirring up some poor chap's dreams. Spare me please!)

Dan's studies at Ringling could lead him in a variety of directions, but his vision of himself as an animator is clear: right where he belongs, doing exactly the work he should be doing.

Image provided by Debra Burger
Story developed by Jim Kane

June 20, 2013

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