Niagara Gazette — But the cousins all had artistic aspirations. Wilson went to college and studied art education — an opportunity her mother never got — Insana had a fleeting interest in medical illustrations, but ultimately got a biology degree and LaDuca chose a law degree over one in architecture.
Wilson had the closest connection to the art world throughout a 33-year career teaching art in Buffalo public schools and later teaching art history and mentoring student teachers at Buffalo State College. Still, she wasn’t exactly prolific as a creator at the time.
“When you’re teaching art it’s just a full-time job. You want to do art and you have all these ideas but you really don’t have time to do it for yourself,” Wilson said.
Taking the gig at Buffalo State gave her new outlook, though.
“I thought, ‘You know, it’s time for me to be an artist now.’ It was the right time for me to be an artist ... I got interested in people and history and documenting who we are, what we leave behind, the things we’re remembered by.”
So Wilson began what she calls her Femme Fatale series, which is on display in the Three Cousins show. The small mixed-media pieces are portraits of famous women from history — like Jackie Kennedy, Tokyo Rose and Cleopatra — and included on the artwork is a removable pin the buyer of the piece can wear. The back of the decorative pin is also painted.
“The back of the pin is the real story and that I keep hidden. It’s the heirloom piece (the women) would leave behind but the story is in the imagery,” she said.
While Wilson’s artwork might be more imaginative or surreal, Insana and LaDuca have a greater interest in the old masters and realism.