Profiles

Donna Lomangino Paintings- People Brought to Life in Oil and Acrylic

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Dona Lomangino artis downtown hyattsville art festival on east city art

Napoleon, Chopin and Marie Antoinette respectively. (War Games, iChopin and Oh Marie!) Images courtesy of the artist.

Napoleon playing war games on a video game console, Chopin listening to an iPod and Marie Antoinette sporting a Channel purse—welcome to the playful world of Donna Lomangino’s acrylic paintings!
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Originally from Chicago, Lomangino moved to the DC area when she was still in High School and later attended the University of Maryland.  Lomangino’s mother was also a painter and, following in her footsteps, she began painting at the age of 16. In college, she continued to paint and did so with greater frequency as her art-making allowed her to express herself outwardly, as she was, by her own admission, a shy child and young adult.
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For the past two decades, Lomangino has owned a graphic design firm, a fulfilling but demanding career. Feeling the need to to communicate on a deeper level, in the last few years Lomangino began to paint again, to “reconnect with her soul”. Every spare moment has been devoted to painting since then.
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Lomangino cites Modigliani and Marlene Dumas as her influences— she too loves to paint people. In particular, an exhibit of Modigliani at the Phillips sent her back to the canvas as she was moved by Modigliani’s beautiful and powerful compositions, his ability to capture a personality, and the intensity of his color palette.
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At the Hyattsville arts Festival, attendees will find Lomangino’s oils and acrylics, a few portraits, some still-lives and room-scapes but mostly smaller scale work. She will also show a few drawings and miniature paintings.
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What is unusual about Lomangino as a painter is that she uses acrylic and oil as mediums. Many artists, unless they are doing mixed media, generally prefer one medium over the other and, generally detest one medium while convincingly extolling the virtues of the other! Lomangino does prefer oilshe loves to blend the medium. She loves its smell, its luminous color and, after applying paint for a few hours, seeing a developed canvas totally glistening with paint.   However, she finds it necessary to use acrylics for some of her subject matter. For instance, Lomangino describes the “cartoon-like quality” of acrylics that lend themselves to create her humorous portraits.
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There is also a deeper, more spiritual side to Lomangino’s work. She draws inspiration from learning about people’s lives, mostly from historical novels and films. She has painted faces found in the newspaper’s obituary section, celebrating their lives and immortalizing them to facilitate their passing and honor their spirit. She prefers acrylic for these portraits as the rapid-drying qualities of the paint are reminiscent of how fleeting life is. Furthermore, acrylic’s intensity and crispness of color help to lighten and lift the subject.
Dona Lomangino artis downtown hyattsville art festival on east city art

Noelle (detail), They Dressed Her Up (detail) and The Marriage (detail). Images Courtesy of the Artist.

We spoke about some of her work including the following paintings:
  • Noelle–a woman born on Christmas day who had early onset Alzheimer’s.
  • They Dressed Her Up—childhood memories of being dressed in outfits as parents dictated, but which made her feel ostentatious, silly and uncomfortable, like a puppet paraded out for all to see.
  • The Marriage—an autobiographic look at the artist’s former marriage. The subjects were a reflection on a tea pot. A clock in the background indicates that time has stopped and both man and woman look in different directions.
  • Cinemascope series—these are painted in oil and inspired by film stills. Lomangino is fascinated by society’s obsession with fame and compulsion to be noticed.  See an example here
Lomangino currently resides and and paints in Rosslyn, VA. Her painting website is www.LomanginoArt.com
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For more information about the Hyattsville Arts Festival, click here.

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The Festival is located at 5500 Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) and Jefferson Street in Downtown Hyattsville, MD

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Phil Hutinet
Authored by: Phil Hutinet

Phil Hutinet, a third generation Capitol Hill resident, is the publisher of East City Art which he began in 2010 to document and promote the growing contemporary art movement in the eastern communities of Washington, DC. In 2012-2013, his consultancy work east of the river yielded the Anacostia Playhouse, Craig Kraft Studios, the Anacostia Arts Center and the 2012-2013 LUMEN8ANACOSTIA festivals. He currently produces EMULSION, East City Art's annual regional juried show. In 2015, he coordinated the Gateway Open Studio Tour and continues to consult on numerous regional art projects. Hutinet has been interviewed by or has made appearances on the BBC, Capital Community News, Washingtonian, Washington City Paper, The Washington Post, WOL Radio, WJLA ABC News Channel 7/Channel 8, WTOP and other local and national media.