stamelos gallery center logo


1st Floor Mardigian Library

 Today's Hours: 12 noon to 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Hours

Watercolor, Expression, Application: Rocco Pisto Paintings

April 26 - July 13

About the Artist

Rocco Pisto earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Eastern Michigan University in 1974. He is the current President of the Michigan Watercolor Society. Rocco has been a painter for over four decades.

The remarkable collection of work presented in this show will range from abstract, mixed media watercolor paintings to somewhat impressionistic landscapes. The exhibited paintings will vary in size from 15"x13" to eight feet long. The artist experiments with the flow of his brush strokes, following the direction of the drying process as the piece evolves into multiple layers of imagination and design.

Watercolor seems to me to be a bit of a dying art form in current mainstream painting circles, and in academic notions of respectable art. I have always felt, however, it is a medium that can compete with any other painting technique in creating exciting, powerful and dramatic artistic statements. This solo exhibition, including over forty watercolor and mixed media paintings, will illustrate many unique properties of transparent watercolor and design concepts that can only work with this medium.

As a painter for over forty years, I never tire of the experimental process of starting a piece and solving the design problems along the way to make it a finished work. Spontaneity, discovery, individuality, analysis, visual balance, contrast and contradiction all summarize my thought process. I find that no two paintings are the same, and I cannot paint the same thing twice. My technique of painting abstractly by dripping, pouring, splashing and brushing paint allows the work to evolve until it meets my criteria of what constitutes a successful piece of art. The adrenaline of marking pristine, white Arches Watercolor paper with paint is a euphoric process that never loses its newness or interest. ---Rocco Pisto

Purple Rain Dance #125 by Rocco Pisto

Rocco's painting/drawing demonstrates ambition in scale and an experimental spirit for what various media can offer in each of their idiosyncratic characteristics. Those individual qualities collude and contrast to symphonically entice both the artist and viewer. In scale, it commands attention. I urge all artists to work in a monumental scale at least once a year regardless of your medium. It pulls your image full circle. It is an exercise in control, an amplification of your expressive vocabulary, a vehicle for challenging the power potential of your given language. Mr. Pisto here has created a song of the nuances of varied surface qualities. Those surfaces are lush, velvety and both aggressive and subtle. ---Bruce Winslow, Former Director of the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art

Exhibition Events

Opening Reception
Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Rocco Pisto will speak at 6:00 p.m. Event is free to the public. Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres provided.

Night fire by Rocco Pisto

#157 Back Splash #1 by Rocco Pisto

Blue Cloud Cover by Rocco Pisto

Cobalt Green #58 by Rocco Pisto


The Alfred Berkowitz Gallery is located on the third floor of the Mardigian Library at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. For further information, see below for contact information. Anyone requiring accommodations under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact (313)-593-5087.

Featured University Art Collection Piece

Featured collection glass artwork

Taketori Tale, Kyohei Fujita (b. 1921), n.d., Mold blown glass with gold and silver foil inclusions
Gift of Richard and Louise Abrahams, Collection of UM-Dearborn (Adp39), Photograph by Kip Kriigel

World renowned artist Kyohei Fujita was born in Japan in 1921. He is known as the father of Japanese studio glass. Many of his works, including this one, were inspired by early Japanese boxes that were richly decorated with lacquerwork and mother-of-pearl inlays, and traditionally used to store Buddhist writings, jewelry, inkstones and brushes. Fujita's celebrated ornamental glass boxes revive conventional Japanese aesthetics in a contemporary form. This breathtaking piece was mold blown with gold and silver foil inclusions. Whenever asked by collectors what to keep in the boxes, the artist usually stated "You should put your dreams in them."

---Laura Cotton, Art Curator and Gallery Manager

Contact Us

  • Stamelos Gallery Center
  • 1st Floor, Mardigian Library, UM-Dearborn
  • 4901 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128
  •  Directions