Patrick Fiore was inspired to create his series of paintings “Significant Souls” by Howard Zinn’s book, A People's History of the United States. In this book, Zinn tells the history of the United States through the eyes of Americans who, historically, haven’t been given the opportunity to express their experiences.
On his website, Fiore says about his work, “I am moved by those who found the strength to stand against injustices and worked to demand human rights for themselves, their children, and a hopeful country.” This series is a visual representation of the voices that Zinn uplifted through his book.
Fiore is a Central New York native, he was born in Utica and received his BFA from Syracuse University. He also received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Fiore has been a faculty member of Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida with the Department of Illustration since 1988.
The collection “Significant Souls” contains approximately one hundred paintings organized into twenty-five collections on various themes that Zinn explores in his work. Fiore’s aim was to allow young viewers to consider different Americans through history and to expand their view of who an American is. In his own words, “My paintings attempt to illuminate, nudge, inspire, agitate and move people to action while encouraging the viewer to question, think and express their own truth, in their own way.”
Fiore has also found ways to uplift the voices of the refugee community, outside of his own work. In 2019, he designed a banner to be displayed at The Center, which highlighted the work of Chambang Mut, a South Sudan photographer born in the village of Maiwut. Fiore was “excited to celebrate and encourage opportunities to make visual the history, tradition, and stories of all our citizens. We are made richer by their presence and should honor those who have struggled to be here among us.”
Through Fiore’s work, he has aimed to show a more expansive and accurate image of those who make up America, especially those who have not been seen as the center of the American experience in the past. His work aims to paint a broader picture of those who make up America.
The Center would like to thank Patrick for his ongoing support of the refugee community, for beautifying our building at 201 Bleecker Street in Utica, NY and for contributing his artwork to this year's World Refugee Day event, A Walk In Their Words.
Fiore, Patrick. “Patrickfiore.” Patrickfiore.tumblr.com, patrickfiore.tumblr.com/page/2.
“Artist Patrick Fiore Explores Cultural Fiber of US.” Uticaod, Uticaod, 6 Apr. 2011, www.uticaod.com/article/20110406/News/304069839.
“Ringling College of Art and Design Faculty Member Patrick Fiore Presen.” PRWeb, 15 May 2010, www.prweb.com/releases/ringling_college/patrick_fiore/prweb4004154.htm.
The Center. “Art Installation at MVRCR ‘Weaving a Mural of Refugee Artists.’” The Center, The Center, 11 Sept. 2019, www.thecenterutica.org/whats-happening/the-center-news/art-installation-at-mvrcr-weaving-a-mural-of-refugee-artists.
“SIGNIFICANT SOULS: Paintings by Patrick Fiore.” ArtRage Gallery, artragegallery.org/significant-souls/.