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May Artist - Laura Balboni Craciun

This month's featured artist is Laura Balboni Craciun, Fine Art, Pastels and Oils.

Laura Balboni Craciun is known for her rich, layered colors and transition of shades in her portraits and landscapes. They reflect a reverence for the mood and story of her subject: "I see the colors meeting on the paper, and they shift and settle into what I envisioned. I need to share the beauty of what I see."

Ms. Balboni summered each year in her family's home near the Brewster flats. Even as a young child, she would spend hours taking in the expansive horizons of the low tides and watching the display of colors as the sun set over the ocean or the flats, filling the sky with new "paintings" by the minute. She called it "makeup for the soul". She came to peace with the yearning to entirely appreciate the beauty surrounding her by expressing it through her art and music.  Playing viola was another outlet and brought her to many foreign places; Finland, Spain, Canada, Italy, etc, and secured her education at the Peabody Institute of Music at Johns Hopkins University. She was the principal violist of the Chautauqua Symphony, and Sessione Senese Chamber Orchestra, Sienna, Italy. Though she had received awards and recognition for her music, her art called her attention and she attended classes at Maryland Institute College of Art.  Her degree was in viola performance, but she was unable to fully realize that profession because of injury.

Ms. Balboni's music training was useful to her, as she embarked on developing her artistic vision. She studied portraiture with John Kilroy, student of Richard Schmidt, for 2 years. She then met and studied with Hilda Niely of the Cape School of Art, and other cape artists such as Rosalie Nadeau, MaryAlice Eisenberg, and Steve Kennedy in oil. Her biggest influences are Cape artists Henry Hensche and Anne McAdam. In pastel, her inspiration comes from studying with Jeanne Rosier Smith and Richard McKinley. Her work has the finely-tuned sensitivity of a musician's soul. Brahms is her favorite composer and her art pairs well with his music. The result is a body of work that touches the souls of her viewers; from the forlorn to the sublime.

Laura teaches viola and pastel painting at the Cape Cod Conservatory, beginning art for children and teenagers at the Creative Arts Center, in Chatham, MA, and beginning watercolor at the Chatham Bars Inn, in Chatham, MA. She has been a member of the 820 Main Gallery (rt. 28), Harwich Port, MA for the past five years, and will be participating in the 45th Annual Creative Arts Center Juried Art Show August 20-22, 2016. Laura was selected for the Cape Cod Art Association online juried art show, in February 2016.