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John Donato is passionate about art, specifically, the power of art to suggest, share, and communicate positive ideals and personal empowerment.
He has always been inspired by Peter Max’s use of the storyboarding framework to insight tension and curiosity through bold blasts of primary and secondary colors clasped in heavy outlines that create sharp contrast. Max’s skill in pairing words and images always appealed to Donato’s storytelling tendencies and has led him to experiment with techniques to leverage that kind of vibrancy and energy into whimsical concepts.
John Donato practices site specific art, in the form of murals and collaborative art. He believes collaboration enhances shared spaces and enriches the human experience as it makes meaningful connections. The ability to present new social concepts and deconstruct complex personal outcomes with ongoing public exposure inspires Donato to push creativity in many diverse directions. It challenges him to discover new techniques and systems for engaging in art that extends beyond his skills and personal expression to that of a growing community of potential artists.
EVOLUTION OF STYLE
Donato has a degree in advertising design, worked in agriculture, construction, leadership development and has decades of experience in creating concepts, images, and materials for educational and corporate training. These cumulative experiences have had a significant role in defining who he is as an artist.
Donato is a self-taught acrylic painter who developed techniques and understanding of the processes through heavy experimentation and observation without instruction. He has an inventive nature that compels him to constantly elevate his skills and seek new methods and influences.
He is always pushing conventional materials, applications, and even new technology into new territory; analyzing and studying conventional drawing and painting wisdom and incorporating uninfluenced experimentations of his own. This has expanded his range from whimsical canvas portraits to large scale collaborative story telling murals, drawings and animations. It has also led him to expand his influence to teaching others how to expand their own artistic discovery as well as to create a pathway for self-proclaimed “non-artists” to gain access to art as an approachable and potential passion of their own.
Donato’s ability to transform spaces into inspirational and uplifting learning environments is having a measurable positive effect on the communities and schools that host him.
The style and process has resulted in a common response from students, teachers, community members, and the public; describing a persistent gravity pulling them into the artwork each time they see it and continuing to influence and challenge them to advance their own perspectives and awareness.
Broad participation in the development of the artwork is bridging curriculum and social commitment to art and creative empowerment in a fresh new way. This triangulation of elements is helping instill ownership and accountability throughout these populations while giving access to thousands of people who would never challenge themselves to approach art as a personal capability. Several school systems are incorporating Donato’s programs and artwork into recurring projects and have been presenting evidence of that value to their state educational boards for continued support.
Donato’s art programs break through passive appreciation and engage deep ownership and self-discovery for the patrons and viewers. Art that advocates for a more active role for creative thinking as core community endeavor establishes the value of art as an educational element as critical as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
John Donato leading one of his Growth Mindset & Empowerment Mural Programs to 950 Middle Schoolers.