Arts Outreach in Orange County

Orange County Arts Council visits studio of Andrea Pacione, Middletown, NY


Orange County, NY -The Orange County Arts Council’s Arts Outreach Committee gathered to visit the second of several studio visits in Middletown, NY to Andrea Pacione’s Studio this past March. These studio visits are an initiative of the Orange County Arts Council with a goal to raise awareness of the arts created in our county with an intimate look and discussion.

 Andrea Pacione’s studio is located inside Fort Knox Warehouse, Middletown. The space is large with high ceilings, 2 walls with windows, and one wall dedicated to displaying artwork. Pacione had the wall covered with homasote to easily display her large colorful artwork on. There were at least 6, 4 x 8 foot panels on the shorter wall. There were new canvases awaiting new work as well as lots of paintings that she shared with our group.  Six Representatives from the Arts Outreach committee attended with about one dozen others from the  interested public.

Upon entering the studio, the visitors were all immediately consumed by the “stone paper” experimental colorful artwork. Arts appreciators and artists were mesmerized as hands leafed through the paper which was made from stone. These pieces were exercises in oil and ink, which Pacione elaborated on for the viewers explaining that in her mind,  “printmaking and painting are closely related”.

Many questions were asked about the paintings displayed which seemed to be a hybrid of surrealist play with abstract symbolism. Middletown artist, Pacione said the paintings were “inspired by nerve endings, neurons, and Freudian theories” and incorporated “symbolism, dreams, meditation, and surrealism”. She went on to describe her earliest piece in the series presented as a love story, where the painting reflects, “falling in love with paint and falling in love with yourself”.

Viewed collections of other works including photo montage, images of sculpture that the artist created out of cutlery, experiments on different types of paper along with figure drawings. Pacione’s work is inspired by many artists including Kandinsky, Klimt, O’Keefe, Richter, Aurbach and the list goes on.

In 2017 Pacione earned a Master of Fine Art degree in Painting from SUNY New Paltz and is presently creating her first body of oil paintings outside of an academic setting. Andrea Pacione was as passionate speaking about teaching art as she was explaining her philosophy; “When you learn how to see, then you can draw.”

Pacione took her first Figure Drawing class and second Painting class with Randi Eisman at SUNY Orange. We learned that Randy studied with Phillip Gustan. With the passing of the most beloved mentor not only in painting and drawing but also in the art of Zen, Pacione now teaches Eisman’s studio art classes as an Adjunct Professor at SUNY. With utmost respect and inspiration, Pacione commented that her mentor and teacher “had a way of bringing out whatever is inside you.”

Hudson Valley artist, Andrea Pacione is best known for Surrealist-Abstract oil paintings, poetry, and performance art. Pacione has developed an innovative style of sculpting, bending, and twisting paint to create doorways to the inner dimensions. Resonating with the Expressionists and the Romantics, as well as the language of classical drawing and early non-objective painting, Pacione’s works consist of a hybrid of abstract and recognizable shapes set within romantic dystopian landscapes—often bold of color, poetic, and at times gracefully unsettling—that present uncannily familiar visions. Her complex diptych Heart Math (2015-2017), which was created while under the influence of Zen meditation techniques combined with scientific research on heart rate variance (HRV), was later presented as the performance piece Toral Exchange: An Exercise in Coherence wherein members of the audience were individually given a tarot reading while viewing Pacione’s HRV in real time on a screen.

In summer of 2019 Pacione begins a new journey to IDSVA, Institute for doctorate studies for Visual Artists, Portland, ME where she recently received a scholarship to the doctorate program in Aesthetics, philosophy and art theory.

As artists often work alone in their studios, these Studio Visits  provide valuable dialogue for the hosting artist and visiting Arts Outreach Committee members. During the Studio Visits, the committee asks a series of questions about inspiration, influences, the creative  process, artist audiences, and  meaning in their art. The Orange County Arts Council believes these visits will be educational, enhance cultural awareness and provide productive experiences.

The Arts Outreach committee is comprised of 20 artists from different areas within the county, as well as with diverse backgrounds in all the arts. The Studio Visits will be announced on the Orange County Arts Council’s website and social media pages as they will be open to the public. There will be a minimum of six scheduled Studio Visits per year led by the committee that also meets quarterly to discuss the arts and cultural needs in their communities. The Orange County Arts Council currently has a call out for artists interested in opening their studios to the committee for a visit.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the next Studio visit to sculptor, Eric Stein, which will be hosted in Stein’s studio in Deer Park scheduled for Thursday, May 23rd at 6pm. To learn more about the studio visits and how you can be involved, visit