North Canton native Diane Belfiglio was destined to become a staple of the art scene. Though it may sound a bit clichéd, in Belfiglio’s case it rings true.
"Art is a way of life,” she said. “Being an artist is what I am and how I think. I really have no choice."
As a child, she was always drawing and her first piece was published at the age of 7. Her love of the art form continued to blossom, and by the seventh grade she knew exactly what she wanted.
"When my art teacher at Middlebranch Junior High, Mr. Morman, put an ebony pencil in my hand and I saw how black it could get, I was hooked," Belfiglio explained. "I signed up as an art major at (Ohio State University), and the rest, as they say, is history."
Belfiglio said ever since visiting some of the landmark museums in Europe, she couldn't get Monet's use of color and light out of her mind. No matter what her subject, Diane tends to bring her focus back to strong sunlight and color.
Though her work has made it all the way to the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan, Belfiglio currently is basking in the addition of her oil pastel exhibition at the Massillon Museum.
"Diane is extremely passionate about her artwork and she invests a great deal of energy into articulating her vision through meticulously executed formalist renderings," said Alexandra Nicholis, curator at the Massillon Museum.
As Nicholis puts it, Belfiglio's current exhibition “offers a unique glimpse into her transition away from hard-edged architectural studies into a softer world of floral subjects."
“She focuses on the unique patterns cast upon otherwise ordinary objects like chairs, concrete driveways, fences, building facades and forces the viewer to reconsider their design and function," Nicholis said.
Belfiglio, who received a mini-grant from ArtsinStark to help fund this exhibition, will be selling catalogs for the show at the Massillon Museum gift shop for $6 each.
As if being an artist wasn't enough, Belfiglio also spends her time as an adjunct professor at while also teaching privately through her own studio.
Though art means the world to her, every Halloween her focus is drawn elsewhere, where she truly gets a chance to show off her charm and charisma.
“Every Halloween for the past 13 years, I literally dress up my daily exercise. My husband attaches broomsticks to my bike, I don my witch costume and fly through three neighborhoods cackling and screaming out lines from the Wizard of Oz,” Belfiglio said. “It is a neighborhood tradition.”