I have no memories of not drawing. It was my older brother, Mario, who taught me. My heroes were Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo. I would try to copy their works. At the age of 9, I went to Italy with my parents. Seeing the original masters’ works touched something deep within my soul. Perhaps it was then that I’d realized my destiny, a life in art. That destiny became an exploration, a curiosity fueled by fate and passion.
As a young man, I’d often taken paths that were ill-advised. The worst year of my life came in the jungles of Vietnam, followed by many dark tunnels ‘ back in the world.’ Through it all, art remained my source of communication, expression and sanity. I profess an eternal gratitude to my mentor, Walter Prochownik. He taught me the meaning of substance.”The older I get, the more personal my art becomes. I live and breathe art. Through helping others, I redeem something lost, something that was precious to me.
Creating art is like driving a car. You’re always aware as you cruise along, enjoying music, the weather or what have you. However, when conditions call for it, a certain level of concentration is required. Whether it’s a downpour, fog or a blizzard, you must become more methodical in your quest to reach a destination.
Side Note: Themes such as war, oppression, and elderly patients in long-term care, are often disturbing to the viewer. However, the thought-provoking process is essential to raising awareness. My personal connection with these topics lends a genuine quality to the work. Although I also find certain pieces unsettling, it’s rewarding to develop something powerful and watch it emerge.
Résumé of Ralph B. Sirianni
Member of Vietnam Veterans Art Group
(National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, Chicago, IL)
BORN: Buffalo, NY – January 2nd, 1949
EDUCATION: State University College At Buffalo, NY: M.S. Degree in multidisciplinary studies, Concentration in art therapy and human services, 1992; State University of New York at Buffalo, NY: B.A. in Fine Arts, 1978
MILITARY: US Marine Corps – 1968-1972
TEACHING: Adult education studio art classes, 1989 – present
- Marines and Corpsmen of Hotel Company 2nd Bn 7th Marine Regiment, USMC Museum, Va 2012-2014
- Marine Corps Officers of Basic Class 6-67 Monument, Quantico, Va 2011-2014
- Iraq / Afghanistan Monument , Buffalo, New York 2010-2014
- Cover Art for Students Speak: Reactions To Class Experiences At Buffalo State College, Dr. Abel King Fink, 2010
- Town of Tonawanda Veterans Memorial, Tonawanda, NY 2009
- Matt Urban Memorial, Rath Building, Buffalo, NY 2008
- The Remembrance Fountain, VA Hospital, Buffalo, NY 2006
- Buffalo Police Memorial Plaque For Fallen Officers 2005
- Design for Vietnam Memorial (Federal Bldg.) Buffalo, NY 2004
- Artwork for Wendell Rivera’s 3rd CD, ” Among Friends.” 2002
- Mural for AMVETS Post 14, Depew, NY 2001
- Design & Sculpture for Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, Sprague Brook, NY 2000
- Cover art for Soldier’s Heart: Survivor’s Views of Combat Trauma, Sidran Foundation 1993.
- Design for Cheektowaga Veterans Memorial, Cheektowaga, NY 1989.
- Design for Western New York Korean Memorial, Buffalo, NY 1989.
- Design for West Seneca Vietnam Memorial, West Seneca, NY 1985
- Design of Center Stone for WNY Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Buffalo, NY 1984
- Three Murals, Veteran’s Administration Health Care Center, Buffalo, NY 1977-78.
- Mural, Laborers Hall Local 210, Buffalo, NY 1977.
2014 University Heights Collaborative Gallery, Buffalo, NY One Man Show
2013 Market Street Gallery, Lockport, NY Group Show;
National Veterans Art Museum, Chicago, Il Group Show
2012 Ashker’s, Buffalo NY One Man Show;
Casa de Arte, Buffalo NY Group Show
2010 Roycroft Copper Gallery, East Aurora NY
2009 “Things Carried” exhibit, River Grove H.S., Roselle, IL;
Freeport Art Museum, Freeport, IL
2008 Kaskaskia College, Centralia, IL
2006-2007 One Man Show, The Adams Gallery, Dunkirk, NY
2006 The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
2005-2006 The Adams Gallery, Dunkirk, NY
2005 One Man Show, Virginia Weiss Gallery, Empire State College, Buffalo, New York;
Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana. Group show;
Peace and Reconciliation Art Exhibit, Homer, Alaska
2004 One-man show Virginia Weiss Gallery / Empire State College, Buffalo, NY
2003 Pensándote Gallery, 181 Allen St, Buffalo, NY
One Man Show, Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, Buffalo, NY
2002 “(def*i*ni*tion) Art Gallery”, Buffalo, NY
One Man Show, Upton Gallery 234, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
2001 Artwork in Response to September 11th Terrorist Attacks, Upton Gallery 234, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
2000 Red, White and Blue Show, Aurora Fine Arts Center, Aurora, IL
1999 Center For The Humanities, Boston, MA;
Boston Courthouse Show, Boston, MA;
Indiana University, IN;
Prairie Edge Gallery, SD;
Aurora Fine Arts Center, Aurora, IL
1996 Peoria Art Center, Peoria IL
1992 Upton Gallery 234, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY, one-man show;
R.H. Lover Gallery, Chicago, IL.; Vietnam Veterans Arts Group (VVAG) show;
Nancy Driscoll Gallery, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY; group show;
The Galleries, Buffalo, NY; group show.
1991 Kennesaw State College, Marion, Georgia; VVAG show
1990 Cheekwood Center of Fine Arts, Nashville, Tennessee; VVAG show;
Louisville Center for the Arts, Louisville, Kentucky; VVAG show;
Horace C. Smith Building, University of South Carolina, Spartanburg, SC, VVAG show;
New York State Vietnam Memorial Gallery, Albany, NY, one-man show;
Canton University, NY
1989 Upton Gallery 234, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY; group show
1988 Columbia Art Museum, Columbia, South Carolina; VVAG show
1987 West Bend Art Gallery, West Bend, Wisconsin; VVAG show;
St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY; VVAG show
1986 Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago, IL.; VVAG show
1985 Wake Forest College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; VVAG show;
Lakeview Art Museum, Peoria, IL; VVAG show;
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Art Gallery, Rockefeller Plaza, Albany, NY, VVAG show;
Mazur Gallery, Buffalo, NY; one-man show
1984 Lincoln Center for the Arts, New York, NY VVAG show;
The Armory, Burlington, North Carolina; VVAG show;
Lyndon B. Johnson Library Museum, Austin, Texas; VVAG show.
1983 New York State Vietnam Memorial Dedication and Art Show, Albany, NY; VVAG show;
Rotunda of the United States House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.; VVAG show
1982 Vietnam Art and Photography Show, Buffalo, NY; group show
1981 The Vietnam Experience Art Exhibit, New York, NY, group show;
The Arsenal Gallery, New York, NY; group show.
- November 2015 issue of Forever Young
- November 18, 2015 issue of Riverside Review
- 2014 Buffalo News, November 11 , 2014
- 2014 Artvoice, November 20-26, 2014
- 2013 The Bee story by Annise Celano, May 2013
- 2012 Buffalo News story by Colin Dabkowski, May 27 2012
- 2010 Block Club, Sept/Oct 2010
- 2006 After 50 News, January
- 2005 Veteran, Vietnam Veterans of America, November/December
- 2005 Gusto, Buffalo News, November 11th
- 2005 Cover artwork featured on May-June issue of The Old Breed News
- 2004 UB Alumni Association Website (Fall)
- 2004 Buffalo Spree Magazine, July/August
- 2004 Buffalo Law Journal, May 27th
- 2000 ArtVoice, Buffalo, NY, June 13
- 2000 Herd About Buffalo, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation
- 1999 The Bloomsbury Review (March/April 1999)
- 1998 Vietnam Reflexes and Reflections, Abrams Books
- 1997 Art And Antiques Magazine and Art in America Magazine
- 1995-2000 Artwork For Incoming, Island Poets INC.
- 1993-95 Artwork For American Veteran
- 1993 Service Employees Union Magazine, Feature art story.
- 2014 American Institute of Commemorative Art, 1st Place for Public Memorials (Iraq-Afghanistan Memorial)
- 2014 Buffalo Ambassador Distinguished Service Award
- 2010 Senate of the State of New York Proclamation for work with Veterans
- 2004 Mayor’s Award for art that serves the city of Buffalo
- 2003 Buffalo Police Detectives Association Award for police sketches
- 2002 ARTVOICE (Summer Guide issue)
- 1998 Leatherneck Magazine of Marines
- 1991 Cited in Carolina Journal (videotape, SCETV (South Carolina Educational Television),
- “Richard Olsen, Recent ‘Wall’ Paintings, USC-Spartanburg, S.C., April, 1991.
- 1990 Cited in M. Thien, “Vietnam Exhibit Tours Cheekwood”, The Tennessean , September 30, 1990. pg. 2-B
- 1989 Cited in K. Cox, “Vietnam artists bring their work memories to USCS”, The Carolinian,
- November 10, 1989. pg. 7.
- 1989 Cited in Carolina Journal (videotape, SECTV ( South Carolina Educational Television),
- “Vietnam: Reflexes and Reflections”. USC-Spartanburg, S.C. November 1998.
- 1989 Article illustration for Vietnam Combat, Volume 1, number 4, 1989.
- 1986 Featured in cover story of The National AMVET, volume 36, number 1, 1986.
- 1985 Article illustration for Vietnam Combat, volume 1, number 3, 1985.
- 2015 Black Rock Historical Society
- 2012 New York State Psychological Association 75th Annual Convention
- 2011 Korean War Veterans Association
- 2009 University At Buffalo graduate Social Work students
- 2009 University At Buffalo School of Psychology
- 2007 Forensic Anthropology Dept., University at Buffalo
- 2007 Art of Justice, Adams Art Gallery, Dunkirk, NY
- 2006 Integrative Seminar (Social Work), State University of New York at Buffalo, NY
- 2006 Weinberg Campus, Getzville, NY
- 2006 Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
- 2005 State University At Fredonia, NY
- 2003 Freemasons, Buffalo, NY
- 1999-2000 Veterans Administration Medical Center, Buffalo, NY
- 1999 Medaille College, Buffalo, NY
- 1993 Trocaire College, Buffalo, NY
- 1992 Guest lecturer, State University College at Buffalo, graduate students in clinical art therapy; slide/lecture on older adult patients in long-term care.
- 1992 Guest lecturer, State University College at Buffalo, graduate students in art education and clinical art therapy; slide/lecture on The Art of Vietnam Veterans.
- 1992 Guest speaker, School for Visual and Performing Arts, Buffalo, NY, lecture on The Vietnam Experience.
- 1991 Guest lecturer, State University College at Buffalo, graduate students in art education and clinical art therapy; slide/lecture on The Art of Vietnam Veterans.
- 2004 String Fever, fundraiser for Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
- 2004 Art Unleashed, a fundraiser for The SPCA and WNY Arts Council
- 2000-present Police Sketches for the Buffalo, NY Detective Bureau
- 2000 Design for “Buffalo Soldier”, “Herd About Buffalo” campaign, for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
- 1991 Coordinator/installation for exhibition, Artwork of the Creative Arts Group, Nursing Home Care Ward (9A), Veterans Administration Medical Center, Buffalo, NY