What is art?
For some, it’s the curved line of a woman’s hip in a Renaissance master’s painting or the geometric shapes in Picasso’s faces. For others, it’s in dance and song. For Phil Bongiorno, owner of Santa Clara’s newest art gallery, Studio-Bongiorno, it’s all of the above.
“Art is either everything or it’s nothing,’ said Bongiorno. “I kind of want [Studio-Bongiorno] to be a hub for the arts – all of the arts. I’ll have poetry readings and book signings here, too.’
Walking through the gallery is a bit of an adventure. The main space is home to the works of artists in the current show. A second building houses additional pieces, as well as what’s being referred to as the “dysfunctional family room.’ Two small courtyards connect the galleries and Bongiorno hopes to use them as a place for artists to create or to host open mic nights. And, to keep the laid back, comfortable, homey vibe, Bongiorno offered up a latte from his espresso machine as the studio was toured.
“I love the flavor of the city and I love Big Sur so I kind of want to have a place like that,’ said Bongiorno. “The sun is out. We’ve got tunes. We’ve got WiFi. I have friends who will show up with acoustic guitars and I’m encouraging people to just come and set up and paint outside in the courtyard…I’d love to have classes and we’re exploring all the ways to go about that – maybe having day events and working with different charities. I just want people to buy in on the attitude. What’s amazing is all of the people who have come in and donated their time…They’ve just bought into what I’m trying to do so they’ll just come by and put their positive energy in here. That’s really what I’m looking for.’
“I want this to be very open,’ he continued. “I consider myself the anti-gallery. There are no rules. It’s not about who you know or where your art has been…It’s fluid… And it’s such a great flavor to be here and having the cemetery across the street is just peaceful – it’s so peaceful. This is as good as it gets and it’s a really great atmosphere so I just want it to be a hub for spirituality and the art. So, just come, create, enjoy, and support. Come and leave your positive energy in here and take some positive energy from it. So far it’s been really good.’
The art currently in Studio Bongiorno is an eclectic mix of Bongiorno’s own work – photography, abstract paintings, and unique mixed media pieces – and the work of Chris Moon, Kimy Martinez, Robert Knight and others. Everything in the gallery is for sale and in addition to one-of-a-kind pieces, Bongiorno sells soaps, candles and incense.
“My feeling is that people who get it, get it,’ said Bongiorno. “People that I want to get it, just walk in and get it. I don’t have to open my mouth. And, that’s what I want. I want people to come in and I want it to be a journey. I just want it to be everything and I want it to be nothing. “
Studio-Bongiorno is at 500 N. Lincoln Street. For more information visit www.studiobongiorno.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Studio-Bongiorno/152343428168641.