Mirella Cimato — A Bit of Italian Spice
Mirella Cimato is a petite woman filled with spunk. She speaks quickly, her words heavily soaked in a charming Italian accent. As with most artists, she is busy hosting multiple jobs – she sits on art boards, maintains an art gallery and creates works of vibrant colors.
Her career in the arts was part of her transition to life in the United States. She grew up in Rome, Italy, and went into Classical Studies in college. There she learned about the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and she fell in love with the arts that those cultures produced. This passion was fanned by her when she lived in both England and Belgium, where she continued her academic pursuits. Upon her arrival in the United States, she obtained a degree in Arts and Sciences with a French major and a Latin minor. As part of her liberal arts education, she chose to take a painting class as an elective. This changed her life.
Initially, she explains that she painted “not because I felt the urge to create but because I was told I was good at it by a professor of art. He told me to continue to hone my techniques, but to know that classes in painting required hard work”. She admits that he was right, but that the “satisfaction to see something created by me is the great reward. I love the challenge to create what I see in my mind.”
Though she does not attempt to send a particular message through her works, she does strive to convey a positive energy. To achieve this, she purposefully works with bright colors and bold forms — things that make her happy. (See the Halloween-themed black cat painting currently showing at the Suntan Art Center, St. Pete Beach, above).
“A person recently purchased one of my paintings and he was very enthusiastic about it,” she says with a smile. “He said that my painting made him happy. He sent me a picture of the wall where he put my painting in his home: it was between a Chagall and a Dali… and that made me very happy!”
Mirella also works as the curator of the Mirella Cimato Gallery, housed in the St. Petersburg Opera Company. As a supporter of many forms of creative expression, she has served as an officer of the board since the company’s inception. When the idea of an art gallery emerged, she volunteered to be its curator. The two venues work together: the opera performances bring in an artistic audience, and some of the proceeds from the art sales help support the Opera Company, which is a not for profit organization.
Running an art gallery has given her an opportunity to experience another element of an artist’s life: the challenge of the art display. She has worked to ensure a strong lighting system to “bring the works to life.” She believes that the artist is important to selling the works and ensures that they are present for an artist reception. She encourages them to speak to attendees about the show, the artistic perspective, and the messages presented in the pieces.