Sanford Artist, Nick Criscitelli
I have waited patiently for my schedule to free up so that I may sit and chat with one of the many talented artists that resides and does wonderful work in Sanford. The first time I saw Nick’s artwork was on the walls of the Rabbitfoot Cafe last year, I fell in love with a painting from his series “Green Children” (you can see all of Nick’s artwork from his series GREEN CHILDREN at Canvs in Orlando, more about that below). The painting that I stared at was full of color and told a story and I just knew I needed to meet this artist and hear his story.
Nick and I decided to meet up at the very place I fell in love with his art, Rabbitfoot. Nick was super friendly and we quickly dove into conversation about life, art, adventures and “adulting”.
Criscitelli was honest to say that he’s just now feeling that he is finding his style and it’s not quite what he had in mind for his artwork, but that he’s happy with the art he is producing and that it’s fun to see where his style take form. In school, his teachers told him that he had a different style, illustration, if you will but at that time he wasn’t willing to accept it. He has obviously since learned to embrace his unique style.
When I asked Nick where he thought the style might come from he referenced back to his childhood and his love of comic books and although he’s not purposefully looking to create that style they seem to have taken effect in his paintings. He also referenced some of his favorite artists and inspiration to be people such as film director Hayao Miyazaki, Painter Andrew Hem (whom I am now a fan of!!), Painter Dana Shutz, the famous Vincent Van Gogh , and many many more Nick says inspiration is everywhere and I couldn’t agree more.
Nick also spoke about his parents who never really pursued art as a career, but definitely had an eye for it, his father owned a carpentry shop and made antique furniture and Nick’s childhood home was always filled with eclectic decor thanks to his Mom’s natural sense of style.
So how did Nick end up here in our town of Sanford? I’m glad you asked, because I too was curious. Nick was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and as a teenager his parents decided to move to Cape Coral where Nick attended High School. After High School he went on a little adventure and decided to travel across the country and either lived or visited such places as Alaska, Seattle, and a few more before heading back to Florida to join the military. Nick served in the U.S. Army for 4 years and served in Korea and the Middle East (one of the first groups to serve there after 9-11 in fact) and then leaving the Army in 2003 where he found himself back in Florida, but not in Sanford just yet. He went back to school and attended UCF where he obtained his BFA.
After school Nick wanted very much to leave and head out on another adventure and teach in Korea, but life had other plans for him as he became chronically ill and could not leave the country. While he was in Geneva he met his now fiance Priscilla Billingsley (another one of Sanford’s artists), Nick says they became close quickly as being chronically ill doesn’t leave you physically able to go out and do the things you might normally do on a date. Priscilla’s family owns a cottage in Geneva and that is where the two resided, before Sanford roped them in that is.
Nick’s fiance fell in love with historic Sanford and after visiting a few times Nick too was entranced by our little town and before they knew it they were looking for a place to live and found the perfect home right here in our town, studio included of course. And we couldn’t be happier to have such a kind, talented and knowledgeable couple living among us and joining the list of the many Sanfordites!
If you’d like to meet Nick and see what a wonderful person he is for yourself you can attend one of the classes he teaches in Sanford. Nick teaches a drawing classes at Hollerbach’s Art Haus (formally known as String Theory Creations). Every 1st Tuesday of the month Drawing 101 is held and every 3rd Tuesday of the month is Drink and Draw. He also hosts two paint nights one at Rabbitfoot and the other at Buster’s Bistro. the next one at Buster’s will be held on June 29th. Be sure to reserve your spot as Nick is becoming pretty popular these days.
To see Nick’s work all you have to do is take a stroll down Sanford. You can see his artwork in the windows and on the chalkboards of businesses such as Roots Raw Juice Bar, Rabbitfoot Records and Buster’s Bistro. You can also view his artwork in Orlando. As mentioned above, his series “Green Children” will be on the walls of Canvs and more will soon be coming to Rabbitfoot. On a side note, Nick will soon have prints of his work available for purchase, I’m patiently waiting for this day as well! If your home could use a little TLC from Nick be sure to reach out to him and brainstorm some awesome ideas, you can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as following his art journey on Facebook.
Before parting our ways Nick requested a shout out to say THANK YOU to all of you in Sanford who continue to support him, especially Kendra & Rob at Rabbitfoot who have always shown great support and allow his art to be showcased at their Cafe, Sumalee Eaton, Christina Hollerbach, Christine Buster and Jenn Cappeli at Roots Raw Juice Bar. A HUGE THANK YOU from Nick, he is so, so very grateful to each of you for your ongoing support.
Nick, it was an absolute pleasure to sit and chat with you, I can’t wait to see where your art takes you (hopefully across the world again)! Keep making the people of Sanford smile!