MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2019, 2014
Artist StatementI'm curious about my place in this complex world of humans. I am exploring my identity in regards to racism, sexism, economic advantage and disadvantage while trying to understand my role in making changes for equality a reality. Within this exploration I see individuals who aren't easily accepted by the general public and mass media. I see people of this world that are born into struggle and lack of opportunity. My works are derived from this exploration along with intuitional directives.
Lania D’Agostino was born in southwest Michigan in 1957 where she was raised on Lake Michigan in a small town that received many families from Chicago for summer vacations. This influenced her drive to visit Chicago and the museums knowing that she would live in a large city one day. During one visit to the Chicago Museum of Art, D’Agostino saw an exhibit of George Segal and was forever changed. At the age of 16 she began experimenting with casting her friends and family in plaster, some of which she never heard from again. D’Agostino began to hone her skill at the Lake Michigan Community College and then found her way to The Maryland Institute College of Art. It was then that she began sculpting the figure after being discouraged from casting. After graduation with a BFA in 1985, D’Agostino created a business building life cast figures for the museum and film industry. She later began incorporating these skills to create her own works of art. D’Agostino has done direct body casts of some of Baltimore’s homeless youth. The sculpture #homeless is one of the pieces from these castings and is now on view in the lobby of Baltimore’s Health Care for the Homeless. Another project is the ongoing castings of the transgender community. These pieces have been shown in solo and group shows and she hopes to bring awareness and acceptance of this community with this work. Some of these works were shown in the Sondheim Semi-Finalist exhibit at the Myerhoff Gallery (2016) and in solo exhibits, Out of the Rabbit Hole at the Gallery 788 (2014) and Transfigurations, School 33 Art Center (2013).
Lania D’Agostino, never having taken a painting class, utilizes a direct intuitive flow in her drawings and paintings. She is most known for her figurative works of childlike images with jackrabbits, toys and large eyed children. These all seem to have an underlying feeling of an emotionally charged world of the knowing of the unknown. D’Agostino paints most everyday and has been exploring this medium to process her thoughts and feelings regarding current affairs of politics and racial discourse. These new works are a skilled blend of the intent and direction of D’Agostino’s sculptures with the naivety of a childlike statement of the obvious.