“I have been an artist my whole life,” says Joan Giordano,72, who has also been a wife, mother, grandmother and teacher. “I did a lot of multitasking, and when I look back at my work I can see where I was at different times in my life.”
Giordano, who was trained as a painter, has also been a sculptor and a weaver and says she had made paper as part of her art “for a long, long time.” Her work has been called “exquisite," “handsome” and “evocative.” One wrote “In Giordano's hands, paper - the marble of modern sculpture - ranges beyond history, past prehistory, back to places of legend where paintings had magical function.” She has exhibited her work in museums throughout the country and abroad. Her work is also part of the Art in Embassies collections and hangs in U.S. embassies in Zambia, Vienna, and Cyprus.
Her newest work will be shown In New York in June at the June Kelly Gallery. “I have become very interested in the news,” Giordano says. “My interest started with the last election. I did a piece called ‘Who Owns the News?’ I am interested in how the news influences us all and how long newspapers will last. The work that is being shown looks like wonderful weavings, but there are holes and if you look through the holes you can see parts of newspapers from all over the world. I use all sorts of newspapers as part of the work, including the 'New York Times' and the 'Financial Times.'”
Giordano has also taught art and started an art school onNew York’s Staten Island. “One of my students was my dentist, and he became a wonderful artist. It was just thrilling. After he retired, he had done such wonderful work.” She knows that many people, both men and women, are often tempted to take art classes but feel they don’t have enough talent or experience. Her advice: “You just have to be open and not judge yourself. Sign up for an adult education class or go to a private teacher. Just keep an open mind. Taking an art class can do so much for you. It can really change the rest of your life. If you are still working, it can be an enormous change from your work life. There are no office politics. You don’t have the stress of the job. It is not about achieving anything except being more creative.”
She also thinks art classes have great value if you are retired. “It makes you understand more about art and makes you want to visit museums and galleries. It also introduces you to like-minded people who also want to be more creative.” It will, she says, open your eyes in so many ways.
Giordano also said that recently one of her sons asked her what her “exit strategy” was? He is in his early fifties and is thinking about his retirement. “I told him I don’t have an exit strategy. When you are an artist you just want to keep doing what you have always been doing. You just want to keep creating. You don’t stop. You can’t stop and you really don’t want to stop.”