MANITOWOC, Wis. — Holy Family College presents an exhibit of oil paintings by Mark Rittorno now through Nov. 26 at Lake’s Edge Gallery in the Franciscan Center for Music Education and Performance on campus, 2406 S. Alverno Road.
Rittorno was born in Chicago, Ill. He spent his childhood exploring the woods, lakes and farmlands of McHenry, Illinois, just south of the Wisconsin border. Rittorno has practiced and studied painting and drawing while living in locations from New York, New York to Irvine, California. In 2002, he began painting en plein air while living in Incline Village, Nevada.
“The work of Mark Rittorno reflects the classical landscape tradition,” says Dionne Landgraf, associate professor of art at Holy Family College. “Sensitive brushwork and tones of color are layered upon a strong foundation of drawing. Explorations of the pastoral environment invite the viewer to respect and celebrate our connection to the earth.”
In July 2005, after 23 years in the hospitality business, following a company merger, Rittorno took a break to study painting and relocated from Lake Tahoe to Fort Collins, Colorado with his wife, Donna. During the next six years, Mark worked full time as an artist. He often attended figure drawing classes. Rittorno believes that drawing the figure is instrumental to strengthen drawing skills. He also spent weeks on location painting in the Rocky and Sierra Mountains and on the West Coast.
In 2011, Rittorno returned to his career in resort management, which took him and Donna to Virginia for two years and Florida for four years while he managed 14 resorts for a major hospitality company. Rittorno resigned his position in 2017 to once again pursue painting and has relocated to Wisconsin.
Since 2003, Rittorno has taken workshops with Skip Whitcomb, John Budicin, George Strickland, Kevin Macpherson, Joe Paquet, Kenn Backhaus, Ray Roberts and Kim English.
Holy Family College Lake’s Edge Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
“Childhood Paradise” by Mark Rittorno. Image courtesy of Mark Rittorno