Sebastiana D’Amico, AUR’s newest transfer student into the Fine Arts BA Program, is the Fall 2013 semester’s recipient of the Michael D’Angelo Viola Scholarship. Set up in 2010 at the will of AUR donor and honoree Vincent Viola, an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, the scholarship was established to honor Viola’s father-in-law, Mr. Michael D’Angelo, a distinguished and highly accomplished artist and his helping Fine Arts students to further their studies at AUR.
“The Michael D’Angelo Scholarship is an incredible gift to the fine arts” said Sebastiana. “It not only helps me financially through my educational career, but it inspires me to continuing my studies within the astonishing city of Rome”.
Having recently moved back to Rome after living in Barcelona for eight months, Sebastiana finds herself “inspired everyday” by the Roman streets. Attracted to the areas of architecture and sculpture, she is excited to have the chance to study in such a design-rich city.
Sebastiana first knew she was destined to be in the arts from a very early age. “My sister and I were really involved in the whole art scene in Concord. We would be in the theater everyday after school. So we wouldn’t really have other friends, just the people in that very intense artistic community… The real moment I knew I wanted to be an artist was probably around the age of 5 or 6, during an art summer program. The program provided every art medium you could think of. Then was when I realized I loved doing art with my hands – sculpture, 3D design. I discovered how peaceful I would become just by creating something out of clay, or whatever I had to make a work of art.”
Living her life in pursuit of developing her artwork, Sebastiana has traveled and resided in cities throughout the United States and Europe. She first began her undergraduate degree in Los Angeles, where she took part in an intimate, 200-person art program. “It was a crazy group of people. We had paint every where, everyday – on the walls, the floors…” A while after she began the program, she left to spend time emersed in the local art community, going to studios and working amongst other artists.
Later, she returned to Europe, to live and work in Barcelona, a place dripping in inspiration. Now, eight years later, she was “ready to start the next chapter”of her life, so she boarded a boat with her dog Mick, bound for Rome.
“Now, returning to university, I am entering with an entirely different perspective than how I did when I was first beginning my undergraduate… I mean, now I get to go and sketch the angels on the Ponte Sant’Angelo, it’s so beautiful I could just cry… I am just so grateful to the Viola family and the university to have the opportunity to study again with this scholarship. Especially coming from another artist, I feel as though he believes in the work that I’m doing and that he is with me in spirit as I keep pursuing my art and my studies.”
Sebastiana’s creations range from architectural sketches to sculpture to 3D works on canvas. She hopes to eventually work in the field of architectural detail and renovation.
AUR is thrilled to be a part of this new adventure for Sebastiana, and looks forward to seeing her thrive in our community.