Romula Art, an Original in the North End

One of the pieces by Romula that is on display at Jar Home interior design studio in Weston Center.

Romula is an emerging artist. She uses no brushes, or models, and paints only with her fingers and hands. Her medium is oil and acrylic on canvas. Her first love is sculpting-so she uses her hands to sculpt the paint, and tell the stories. She is evolving her story telling to larger-scale murals.

Romula is an owner of the Friendly Framer “Che Bella Vita” at 347 Hanover Street in the North End of Boston. Her father, John Savino, established and ran it for many years, and Romula, continues his tradition, along with her mother Mary, who is a master framer.

Her father grew up in the North End. He had a hardware store on Hanover Street where the White Hen Pantry now stands. In her childhood Romula would come into the North End to help her father at the store. While she grew, her father always encouraged her – telling her to go ahead and “do it”, and letting her know that he believed in her.

Romula’s earliest, and most powerful artistic inspiration came when she was just four years old – when she saw the 1974 Pompeii exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The frescoes and sophisticated artwork made their mark on her young mind, but the strongest impact was the carbonized people, frozen into their last moments. The experience triggered the artist within her. She wanted to recreate the figures and began sculpting them from clay- her impulse was that she may bring them back to life. Soon, she also started expressing herself by sketching and painting.

For a period of years, Romula stopped creating her art, but recently, her inner artist has reawakened-and is taking shape. She started out creating paintings in the back of her store, behind a curtain. People close to her kept encouraging her to bring them out into the open. Finally, she moved her work area to the front window. Now, half of her store is her gallery and studio – and her body of work is called: Romula Art. Passersby on the busy North End street can watch her creating, view her collection, and ask her questions. She sells her originals, and prints. She now also has a studio in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Romula’s artistic philosophy is “create what you see’. This concept certainly applies to the artist as the creator – but perhaps more importantly; it applies to the observer – who is invited to create the meaning of what he or she sees in the piece. Many of  Romula’s paintings are what she describes as “situational”- depicting a scene which is in progress, and evolving – allowing the observer to imagine what happened, or what may happen next.

Romula is passionate about her art being of benefit to disease research – her “Shades of Amber” original displayed and auctioned at the Spoonful of Ginger benefit for the Joslin Diabetes Center at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in March 2012.  Proceeds from current and upcoming exhibitions will benefit The Psoriasis Foundation .

Romula had her premiere art showing in March of this year, at the Piccolo Nido restaurant in the North End of Boston. Her second showing debuted at Jar Home interior design studio in Weston Center on September 13, and her art work will be on view there until the end of September 2012. For questions – call Romula: ( 617) 227-1715.

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