Melchers Hall room 214, (540) 654.2040
Joseph Di Bella, Distinguished Professor of Art, has taught at the University since 1977 and received the Grellet C. Simpson Award fro Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1983. He holds a B.A. in Art History from Rutgers and M.A. and M.F.A. degrees in painting from Northern Illinois University. He served as Department Chair from 1990-93 and 1996-99. In addition he was the first Director of the University of Mary Washington Galleries (1983-88) and was instrumental in the establishment of the Ridderhof Martin Gallery. In addition he was co-director of the University of Mary Washington summer program in Urbino, Italy (1994-2003). A signature member of the National Watercolor Society, he has shown in work in local, regional, national and international exhibitions. Professor Di Bella teaches courses in design, drawing, painting, color theory, watercolor and materials and techniques.
The confrontation of contrasts or, perhaps better put, the interfacing of conflicting forces serves as the basis for my art. Equally powerful energies vie for pre-eminence only to arrive at a tentative and tenuous balance or a partial reconciliation. Among these forces are the material against the spiritual, light against dark, fullness against void, flatness against spatial, pattern against subject, and process against image.
These works often reference my ethnic Mediterranean roots where classical Greek and Roman, Byzantine and Arabic traits among others offer both visual richness and conceptual complexity. These characteristics often show themselves in the use of split-fields, overlays and mixed media, dry pigments and wet binders.