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Rodino likes to photograph images that make him smile

By Staff | May 29, 2009

Some children ask Santa for the latest, greatest toy for Christmas. Others get a little more greedy, perhaps putting a pony on their wish list.

Paul Rodino said that, from the time he was 10, he just wanted a camera.

“As a kid, I was always into photography,” recalled Rodino, a resident of Cape Coral. “One year I got an instamatic, but you couldn’t do anything really creative with it. Then I got a Polaroid, which I thought was the greatest.”

The 45-year-old fine art photographer, who is currently one of the featured artists taking part in the “Summer Salon Series” now showing at Watson MacRae Gallery on Sanibel, eventually progressed to a single lens reflex camera. While in high school, the Southwest Florida native and a good friend, Susan Howard, discovered a common interest in art. A visit at their school by a representative from The Art Institutes got the pair to thinking they should pursue their careers in art.

“We knew that we didn’t want to go to college here in Florida. We wanted to get as far away from our parents as possible,” Rodino laughed. “Then we found out that The Art Institutes had a school in Denver, so we convinced our folks to let us go visit the campus.”

Both Rodino and Howard attended school at The Art Institutes, he enrolled in photography and she in advertising design. Eventually, Rodino’s interest in her academic studies led to his switching majors.

Once graduated, Rodino began a career in advertising at an agency in Fort Lauderdale. But wanting to move closer to home, he secured a new job in Cape Coral.

Then, about a decade ago, he admits to “itching to get back into photography.”

Rodino started taking pictures again, dabbling in fine arts photography in smaller formats. Soon, he expanded his focus – quite literally – and began working on larger mixed media pieces.

About four years ago, when talking with fellow artist Hollis Jeffcoat of Naples (a frequent contributor at Watson MacRae Gallery), Rodino expressed an interest in showing some of his work. He suggested that he “do the weekend art show circuit” in Southwest Florida.

“She told me ‘No. If you want to be a fine artist, you have to show your work in galleries,'” he recalled.

Over the years, Rodino has shown his photography – which range in size from 10×10-inch prints to 32×32-inch mixed media pieces, priced between $15 and $750 each – at the Arts For ACT Gallery (including two solo exhibits and several group shows), the daas Gallery and the Naples Art League.

At Watson MacRae Gallery, Rodino has brought nine original works from a series he dubbed “20-450.”

“The series revolves around stages of life, little moments in time in which you can find something out of the ordinary,” he said. “A lot of contemporary photographers bear their souls in their work. I tend to show what I like. I want people to enjoy it the way I enjoy it. I don’t usually shoot things that are depressing.”

To view Rodino’s work at Watson MacRae Gallery, located at 2340 Periwinkle Way #B3 (inside The Village Shops), stop by between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or schedule an appointment by calling 472-3386. You may also visit www.paulrodino.com for additional artwork and information.