collaborative Murals, Fine Art, Painting classes


Mission:  To reinforce the concept that art and creativity are meaningful communication tools, and necessary components for sustaining healthy educational systems, communities, families, and productive life styles.  

Inspiration: I believe art matters because without creativity, science and technology cannot be optimized to serve mankind.  Half of the human brain (right) manages creative thinking processes for the purpose of generating new and innovative uses for what the left brain creates.  This whole-brain thinking process is how the brain optimizes human achievement and socialization.  Creativity, especially in the form of artistic resourcing and communication have a meaningful and significant role in the development of sustainable communities and educational systems.

I am dedicated to developing artwork and creative projects that bring joy, introspection, inspiration, self-expression, heightened communication, and innovative thinking to communities.  I focus on collaboration with members of a community, their school systems, and their businesses to create mutually beneficial communications projects using art as the creative social catalyst.

Background:  I grew up on a family farm learning that hard work, self awareness, creative resourcefulness, and collaboration are key components in developing any successful and sustainable venture.  As farmers, we relied on ourselves, our families, our neighbors and our community to create a healthy and value-filled life style full of support and unity.  During that time I became a multifaceted craftsman who could understand and utilize tools, techniques, and seemingly unrelated resources to enhance productivity across any trade.  At the time, I did not realize how important these qualities would be in my eventual mission of developing sustainable community communication systems through artistic collaboration.

I left the farm to pursue a degree in Advertising Design at the University of Maryland, College Park.   Upon graduation, I became a freelance graphic designer, taking on projects in photography, advertising, display design, product design, label design, trade show display, and project management. 

I was recruited to work for a large Real Estate Development company in the Washington DC area to create a new connection between the developers of the community and the communities they served through collaborative activities like school partnerships that produced business supported educational activities and fundraising.  I also developed and managed programs to connect community members, schools, and businesses for support and fundraising for local non-profit programs.  In addition, I was directly active in connecting Principals, Teachers, and Parents in the schools with local businesses for the sole purpose of helping them communicate and create mutually beneficial and sustainable educational activities. 

For 2 years, I was part of a private corporate university Team who was tasked with developing, managing, and facilitating approximately 40 hours of professional development to a staff of 500 employees.  Programs focused on core competencies and job skills, personal/professional development, and communication.

In 2000 I picked up some paint brushes and became to paint.  After much encouragement I became a full time fine artist with a new found talent for painting whimsical acrylic paintings that seemed to make everyone smile.  I was also able to collaborate with anyone at any skill level to create a unique and stunning storyboard type of art together.  I found that allowing them to experiment and succeed in a safe environment was an incredible gateway  for developing their character and confidence through artistic self-expression.  My background in business, work ethic, and unique ability to create fun, engaging, and meaningful fine art provided me with the opportunity to succeed as an artist.

I quickly began painting large scale murals in schools where I developed a method of 100% student and staff participation, focused on specific required outcomes to meet the school’s educational goals.  I also extended these programs to develop community projects in parks and public places, collaborating and painting with members from throughout the community, including at risk children and families.  The map-like panoramas and visual dialogue illustrations I developed proved very useful in sharing and articulating complex ideas and issues across large segmented audiences.

During that time, I also held positions in companies to help them market, manage, and sell their products and services.   I was also directly involved with the development and facilitation of training curriculum, and public relations; all the while I continued to paint, illustrate, and mural.

Since I began painting,  I have added work with at risk youth, government agencies, schools systems, businesses, and communities to create visually engaging, hands-on art that serve as counseling and peer learning tools - legacy instruments that serve as guidance systems for helping others create elevated  self awareness, social unity, and new opportunities.

John Donato

artist in Charge