Loading the Canon #20 by Helena-Anne Hittel
Interview With an Artist: Juliet DiIenno
It’s not every day that your work, as a student artist, gets picked up by an institution, let alone a museum overseas. The planets aligned for Juliet DiIenno of UCF, though, and one of her pieces is now in the permanent collection of the Gaudnek Museum in Munich, Germany. DiIenno, a Clearwater, Florida native, studies Visual Art at the University of Central Florida with her identical triplet sister, who is a photographer. “We work off each other to reach new levels in our artwork,” she says. I recently asked her a few questions about her study of art.
Helena-Anne Hittel: How did your piece get picked up by the Gaudnek?
Juliet DiIenno: Walter Gaudnek asked me to make a piece. He was doing a series about the beauty of chapels, called The Chapel of Art. Along with the simple brush outline, it was made with a technique I (not so cleverly) call body painting, where I put the paint on my body and then press my torso against the canvas.
HA: What medium do you most like to work in?
JD: Paint. In my recent years, I have begun to work in acrylic paint. I originally began to work with oils, but UCF does not have the proper ventilation. I have also began to experiment with using palette knives and even painting with my body, and so far I have enjoyed the result. That being said, I still love to try new forms of art, and this week I shall finish my first sculpture made with wood. Once I have learned how to manipulate a new kind of material, I really love combining different kinds of techniques and materials to make new kinds of artwork.
HA: When did you decide that you wanted to study art?
JD: At first, I thought that I wanted to study music. After years of practice, I realized that music was not the proper form of expression for me, because I was playing music that others had written, and therefore was expressing what THEY felt. I had tried to write my own music, but that took so long. I wanted something that I would immediately see and express myself in. That’s when I began to start making physical works of art.
HA: What inspires you to work?
JD: I am inspired by things that I see around me every day, which can explain why I have never stayed in a particular kind of stile for a long period of time. I am inspired by other artists, the water, the sky, my sister, conversation, history, my studies, etc. I have drawn a bit from everything.
HA: Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve created?
JD: As funny as it may sound, my favorite work is usually my most recent piece. So, right now, it happens to be the sculpture that I have been working on.
HA: What kind of message do you want to communicate through your artwork?
JD: I want the viewer to see my work and understand what I feel as I create my work, whether it is to question social structure and culture, or to reach peace within themselves. Each work that I have made so far is relatable to practically any viewer, and I want each of them to get something from my work.
More of Juliet DiIenno’s work can be found on her Instagram page, as well as the newest issue of UCF’s literary magazine, The Cypress Dome.
Helena-Anne Hittel (Episode 35, essay) earned a B.A. in Art History at the University of Central Florida.