Veteran Artist Spreads Wings in Big Apple

Naydene Gonnella's exhibition i NYAntigua St. John's - You may remember Naydene Gonnella for her extraordinary work as the local artist who was made even more famous when her piece captioned “Awareness" snatched the winning title during an exhibition at Art at the Ridge.

Having left her mark on the local stage, time and time again, Gonnella has now taken her work to the international stage, showcasing her work at the Broadway Gallery in New York during May.

“The Broadway Gallery in New York invites artists on a regular basis to exhibit their work.  Once accepted, it’s up to the individual artist to take the next step. The gallery has a wonderful client base and does a fantastic job promoting their ongoing exhibitions. I invited all of my clients and went to be part of the opening reception,” the artist said.

She added, “I have three pieces in this show which have been extremely well received. They are from a series I called Fragmented, and are studies on my own identity in a collection of self-portraits. I’ve had numerous inquiries and a lot of interest in this new collection.”

Gonnella was asked whether she had noticed a difference in the appreciation for art in Antigua compared to New York.

She said, “I can only comment on my experience of the art world in New York, which is just beginning. I have found no real difference in the appreciation of my work whether in Antigua or New York. There is just a lot more opportunity as well as competition in a larger city.”

As for timely advice for local artists, Gonnella said, “I believe it is healthy for a career in any area to challenge one’s self and continue to learn and develop. I also find it critical to be aware of one’s contemporaries and what new forms of expression are being developed.  It’s all there in the Big Apple.”

As for her personal plans, Gonnella said she plans to keep working on her self-portrait series and fine-tune her technique, which is continually evolving.

Born in Canada, Gonnella studied at the OCAD University in Toronto and Florence, Italy, where she graduated with honours in the figurative discipline.

Her work reflects a search for reconciliation between apparent contradictions such as creation and destruction, sexuality and spirituality, light and dark, and accidental and intentional.

Naydene Gonnella's work

Gonella said her technical process reflects the dichotomies that she explores, such as creation and destruction.

“I create my pieces in a process that involves layering, collaging, glazing and painting elements together. I then ‘destroy’ certain parts of the image by stripping away some of the layers to reveal the contradicting techniques,” she said. “I work with a blend of beeswax and oil paint, known as encaustic, which gives a beautiful texture and depth of colour to my work.”

Gonnella has had many solo and group exhibitions and her work has won numerous awards.

She enjoys painting outdoors in the tropical breeze here in Antigua, where she resides.

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3 Comments In This Article   


Antiguan artist - Naydene Gonnella

#3 Art At The Ridge » 2013-05-21 14:17

Congratulations to Naydene Gonnella! She was indeed the winner of our 1st Juried Art Competition and went on to judge our 2nd one last year. Naydene's work is extremely accomplished and she continually 'pushes the boundaries' in her work, which can also be seen all year around at Art At The Ridge's shop gallery and at Sugar Club (both based at Sugar Ridge).

Joy James
Art At The Ridge
- featured in The Culture Trip's Top Ten Art Galleries in the Caribbean

Art At The Ridge

Love this

#2 Skyewill » 2013-05-20 16:50

I love art and I am very happy to hear an Antiguan is doing this and is getting recognized. Congratulations and keep it coming.



#1 Proud Citizen » 2013-05-20 12:59

Congratulations; keep it going - proud to be an Antiguan to see u have hit the big stage - Fabulous effort.

Proud Citizen

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