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Artist Richard Angelo Runfola finds his Inner Peace

Inner Peace

Author: Mark Lazzara

Richard Angelo Runfola, “Ricky,” one of Buffalo’s newly minted emerging artists, made a big splash at Big Print studios as part of Allentown’s monthly First Friday’s Gallery Walk. At only 22 years old, Ricky’s work has a vivid, but deeply moving quality. For Ricky, creating art started out as a serious outlet to lessen the stress and loss he was experiencing in his life, by getting lost in the process of making art. “When I create I enter into a zone of intuition. A happy auto pilot so to speak. My happy conscience is best interpreted in my new painting titled Inner Peace. Two blue fish-like figures swirling around each other over a calm blue traverse,” mused Runfola.

Ricky’s inaugural solo exhibit was a monumental success, and the hundreds of viewers were so taken by his artistic expression that his artwork was flying off the wall, as he achieved unprecedented sales, nearly one half of the pieces on display during opening night, a remarkable feat for a first time exhibitor. “What a testament to the appeal and talent of this young artist,” commented Celeste Lawson, poet, arts supporter and former director of the region’s Arts Council, “It is truly an astonishing and admirable accomplishment for Ricky to have compelled so many people to want to have his work in their homes or offices. This exhibit is a wonderful indicator that he may be a rising star, and his creations on the road to becoming highly desired and sought after pieces of new, contemporary art.”

I met Ricky when he was working in my place of employment as a summer youth worker. I found him to be a shy but deep soul. His exhibit is titled “Inner Peace” named for his signature piece, but it should be noted that while the title honors peace, Ricky’s work has a strong effervescent presence. I personally find that Ricky’s work is fresh and youthful, and ideally I hope, will find a place of respect among Buffalo’s artists and art’s scene.”

Ricky and his girlfriend, who happened to be wearing a dress that matches one of his works

“Richard has an ability to link external emotions to his distinctive internal technique,” stated Gabriel Bialkowski, President of Sensu Music, and long time friend of Runfola. “It is not shocking that his artwork would have such broad and diverse appeal.”

“Making art is an escape that leaves me lost for a while, helps me to step back far enough to re-discover myself, “ Ricky mused. “The vibrant nature of the alcohol ink brings life, energy, and emotion to my foundation.”

When Ricky is not focused on his architectural studies, he pursues incorporating the wonders of spirit into everyday existence. He feels getting this balance with nature allows him to get back to his space and place of creating art.

Richard is a native of Buffalo and graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a BA in Architectural Studies and Art History.  Currently, he is also a graduate student at the UB’s School of Architecture.

Richard Angelo Runfola’s Inner Peace is on view until September 30, 2017 at Buffalo Big Print, 78 Allen St, Buffalo.

Written by Mark Lazzara

Mark Lazzara

I have a passion for helping my fellow Western New Yorkers and advance the great things that are going on in this region. Buffalo Rising is a great booster and it’s a blast writing and contributing to BR about positive happenings in our neck of the woods. I appreciate the help I’ve received over the years from organizations and people who share my passion and supported me in efforts that put thousands of people to work and resulted in a community give back of more than $115M to Buffalo’s neediest during my days at the helm of AmeriCorps.

I’m especially grateful for the opportunities that enabled me to help cities devastated by Hurricane Katrina and rebuild more than 700 family homes that were destroyed. Back at home, I was able to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience as a coordinator for ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition where we were able to repair, beautify and upgrade homes for an entire neighborhood on Buffalo’s Westside. Other projects close to my heart include a collaboration with Sail Buffalo to build the Cazenovia Boating Center at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, and my annual Christmas season time is spent at Buffalo’s treasure, the Broadway Market, playing Santa Clause.

In my other life, I am a workforce development, business, marketing, public relations and fundraising professional. Earned a M.S. Human Service Management from Buffalo State, and enjoy my family life that includes four amazing grandchildren!

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