Artist Resume and Bio


ARTIST BIOGRAPHY


Michelle Micalizzi is a Visual Journalist who creatively combines words, video and images to convey a concept, thought, social concern or biographical story. Her multi-media illustrations are shorthand for a snapshot in time of her subject’s work and life while conveying a universal message for all.

Ultimately, Micalizzi is inspired to contemplate, communicate and resolve ideas and concepts that inspire her personally and professionally, or make her say “hhhmmmm?” She is driven to share what she finds in her interaction with those that inspire her. Micalizzi cannot ignore the story of life unfolding around her in each moment.

Historically, the artists that initially inspired Micalizzi the most are Robert Rauschenberg for his “combines” that spoke to the moment; Frida Kahlo for her fearless raw emotional biographical content; Jean-Michel Basquiat for his dark thick lines and willingness to think/feel/scream out loud on canvas; and Louise Nevelson for her sheer audacity. Some other influences include Jasper Johns for his social context and use of stencils and color; Joseph Cornell for his use of the box format and collage; and Max Ernst in particular for his “Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale.” A piece that she would visit, like an old friend, as often as she could at MoMA. Micalizzi also appreciates Andy Warhol for his unabashed capitalistic approach to art and life. She has also been strongly influenced by the Vermont based Bread and Puppet Theater, specifically their “Cheap Art Manifesto;” and Vermont folk artist Warren Kimble.

Micalizzi was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Rutland Town, Vermont amid a family business.  After graduating with a B.A. in Fine Art from The State University of New York at Albany in 1989, she spent ten years in and around Manhattan studying art in all the major museums and worked in the fashion industry as a graphic designer. She lived in a small community Artist Colony in Stone Ridge, New York while she took graduate fine art courses at The State University of New York at New Paltz. This experience lead her to focus on commercial art by supplementing her fine art degree with a certification in Computer Design from Pratt Manhattan, one of the best art schools in the world in 1998. During her lifetime, Micalizzi has had the unique opportunity to get to know many very successful and creative business people which she feels has cultivated her love of entrepreneurs.

When Micalizzi returned to Vermont in 1999, she realized, much to her surprise, that she had actually been in business her whole life in one way or another, and that “business” was not a limiting word.  She came to understand and embrace that business is another artistic medium to cultivate and was not in opposition to her creativity. As the granddaughter, daughter and goddaughter of business owners, Micalizzi has entrepreneurship in her DNA. She has created five business of her own. Micalizzi made her left-brain accountable for her business and leadership skills by earning her Masters in Administration (MSA) from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont in 2006. The MSA is equally weighted in Business and Public Administration, which spoke to Micalizzi ‘s passion for business + community.

The images she creates as a multimedia painter can combine acrylic, oil stick and pastels, collage and assemblage, found objects, water color, gauche, graphite, colored pencil, traditional and paint markers or photography to make her images.   Each painting is a mini-emotional, illustrated documentary laced with facts that are arrived at from active listening and deep interest in her subjects.  Each piece is a one of a kind visual essay because; there are no duplicate life stories. No snapshot of any life is the same. Our moments and lessons as people are as original as a snowflake. However, although every piece is inspired by a specific story, the concepts addressed in them are universal. For example, the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Series focuses on how others have overcome fear while the Fearlessly Turbulent Series focuses on the value of investing.

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” ~ Andy Warhol

Micalizzi has had art studios in New York City and Stoneridge, New York; Colchester and Essex Junction, Vermont; and Scottsdale and Cave Creek, Arizona.

Relentlessly fearless entrepreneurial spirits have fascinated Micalizzi since she was a little girl sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of her Father and Godfather/Uncle intently listening to them dream big about the many businesses they both owned and operated as they sat hip to hip on the sofa. As a result, entrepreneurs are her primary muse and inspiration. Additionally, all genuine deeply human experience interests her.

It took Micalizzi many years to figure out that her love of art and her love of business were actually one in the same!  In her mind’s eye, her talent as an entrepreneur and her talent as an artist were separate. When Micalizzi started her company Fearlessly Deliver, LLC with the plan of using her multifaceted skill set to merely execute projects for business owners in need of an eighth day in the week, she did not know that this business concept would lead her to a solution she had been looking for her whole life.

While on the way back home to Arizona from an annual trip back east to visit family, she was brainstorming on ways to meet her ideal client and how to get them to know, like, and trust her. She contemplated how she could prospect as she reflected on the wisdom of Dale Carnegie. How could she make her prospecting all about her prospective client? Micalizzi formulated the thought that she would interview her ideal client and ask them how they became fearless. She would make a video of the interview and write a blog about the takeaways each business owner shared about being fearless, and she would share this whole experience on social media. She then had a deeper thought that would change her future forever.

On that flight home, Micalizzi’s art was naturally very much on her mind because she was still reeling from the experience of having just shredded a lifetime of journals and art back at her parent’s home in Essex Junction, Vermont just days before. Why did she destroy approximately 1,800 journals and about 3,500 pieces of art? In a nutshell, in that moment she decided to let go of the past so that she could get on with her future. The shredding experience made her realize that while she had almost forgotten who she was as an artist as she was building her other businesses, she was still an artist. Destroying a lifetime of work, made her clearly see that she had been hiding her writing and her art in her journals all those years. She believed all of her work to be nothing special and regarded her work as just scribbling and doodles. On that plane ride home, she realized it was not nothing and it was in fact EVERYTHING. More importantly, she realized that she had let her own fear keep her from living her own dreams and if she were to be an example to her future clients, she had to get out of her own way and conquer her own fear.

In a moment of shear bravery on her part, while sitting in the window seat of a South West airplane, she decided that she would openly share what she has been doing her whole life instead of hiding her experiences in journals. She would not only share her writing skills in her professional blog, she would illustrate the interviews as well. With that decision, the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business project was born. Just a few days later after the life changing four-hour brainstorm, she locked herself into her plan by publicly sharing her plan on social media. She then put down her fear and picked up the phone to invite business owners she respected to be the first Fearless Thirteen business owners to be part of the project.

The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business (AoFDB) is a visual journalism project that tells the story of entrepreneurship. Micalizzi’s business Fearlessly Deliver, offers this project to a carefully selected list of successful inspirational business owners each year as a unique way to introduce them to art while strategically networking and building their personal and professional brands. At the end of the series, those business owners meet one another and the community at an opening featuring their business and story.

Micalizzi has interviewed thirty eight business owners for two solo AoFDB shows at {9} The Gallery, The Walter Art Gallery and Fearless Art Works. She has shared the work in four group shows at the El Pedregal Gallery, The Sonoran Arts League Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour, the Tiny Works | Tiny Dances show at {9} The Galleryand For Art Detour at the Ice House Gallery. This year, Micalizzi has interviewed another thirteen business owners for the 2017 AoFDB projects which served as the first opening to for her newest project Fearless Art Works a gallery and a space for good works of all kinds in Carefree, AZ. She has several more group shows planned at the Ice House Gallery and with her Fearless Pop UP project through out the Valley.

Michelle Micalizzi absolutely nailed this!! She is a gifted artist that is able to express the story from both a visual and a narrative perspective. An incredible talent!! Thank you Michelle Micalizzi!!”
~ Deborah Bateman, Deborah Bateman, LLC

The creation of the AoFDB in turn opened the floodgates of Micalizzi’s creative entrepreneurial imagination. In 2017 she created three more Fearless Art Projects: Fearless Art Works, the Fearless Pop Up, and the Art of Fearlessly Giving Back. She is also collaborating with fellow artists Joe Holdren, Ken Kaminski and Dennis Kliendon on the group show; Fearlessly Turbulent: A Conversation about Control vs Chaos.

The Fearless Pop Up are curated popup art shows hosted in unexpected commercial and non-profit locations with the purpose of connecting local community by uniting local artists with local businesses and non-profit organizations. Micalizzi’s company, Fearlessly Deliver, offers this project to business owners and artists who are on fire for growing their businesses. Current hosts for 2017 are The Ice House Gallery in August and The Desert Foothills YMCA in November. Other shows may be announced later in the year. A best in show award for the top three artists will be selected by a team of members from the Valley of the Sun Arts Community.

The Art of Fearlessly Giving Back is the socially responsible sister of the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business. Michelle is partnering with Tyler Butler and 11Eleven Consulting on this project, which will be hosted at Fearless Art Works in December of 2017. The goal of this project is to demonstrate why cause marketing, that inherently has a strong socially responsible mission is not only benevolent, it is smart business. Details to follow!

Ten percent of the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business project is donated to charity each year. The 2017 Fearless Art of Fearlessly Doing Business charity is The Contemporary Forum, a support organization for the Phoenix Art Museum. The 2015-16 Fearless charity was the Arizona Consortium of the Arts. Applications to be considered as a future charity are being accepted now.

Fearlessly Turbulent: A Conversation about Control vs Chaos is a collaborative project with artists Michelle Micalizzi, Dennis Kliedon, Ken Kaminski and Joe Holdren. This show will have two showings in 2017 at the Ice House Gallery in October in the warehouse district of Phoenix, Arizona, followed by Fearless Art Works in November in Carefree, Arizona. Micalizzi is focusing on the idea of investing for this show. Her work for this series will have the purpose of creating new art collectors in general by educating them that art is one of many meaningful investments. The first panel focuses on investing in oneself, the subsequent panels center on the many types of investments, and the final panel is about art as investment. Holdren, Kaminski and Kliendon will be presenting on other subject matter as it relates to the conversation about control vs chaos.

What is unique about what Micalizzi does is that she is fully connected with the fact that for her, Business is Art and Art is Business. She believes from her personal experience that artists and entrepreneurs are more similar than dissimilar in that they both create something from nothing. Micalizzi, in the spirit of Steven Covey, always starts with the end in mind. One of those ends is to connect with people and to be a connector of people. Micalizzi’s art is not created solely in isolation. It is a wholly collaborative experience with many co-creators in the art and business communities. Micalizzi is very aware, as an artist and a gallery owner, that her world of art is changing and that there are many opportunities to take advantage given the technology available today while simultaneously creating local community and space. She is currently working on new software that embraces how technology has leveled the playing field for artists, galleries and businesses of all kinds.

“You are as artistic as you are beautiful Michelle Micalizzi. Thank you for this inspiring piece. I know my friends will also value the outline of our team on Kilimanjaro. You are amazing!”

~ Luke Kayyem, Fittest Tribe Alive

Micalizzi has added publishing and retail divisions to her company this year. The AoFDB shows are being developed into books so that every Fearless Art Project will have an accompanying book. Micalizzi is also designing a line of retail products that include posters, greeting cards, apparel, and house goods such as coffee mugs, pillows and other items. All products will be available for purchase at Fearless Art Works, online and in other retail locations.

On May 5th at 6PM the doors will open to the new Fearless Art Works space for the first time. Fearless Art Works is an Art Gallery and a space for good works of all kind whose whole purpose is to Connecting Art + Business + Community.  Art Openings will take place on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month and will feature contemporary local, national and international artists. All art forms will have a place at Fearless Art Works – and remember Micalizzi considers Business and art form. Check out fearlessartworks.com to see the events calendar which will include poetry slams, book readings, movie premiers, music, speakers, business networking and yoga and much more.

Micalizzi currently lives and works in Cave Creek, Arizona at the foot of Balck Moutain with her husband Michael Neal, their two Cornish Rex cats (Mijo and Mija) and their two Catahoula Leopard mix puppies (Manchas and Moca). She enjoys riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle (Ruby) beside her husband on his Harley Davidson. She has been practicing yoga since 2000 and still considers herself “a gym rat”.

Visits to The Micalizzi Studio in Cave Creek are available at select times throughout the year and by appointment.

Fearless Art Works in Carefree is open Monday through Friday from 10-4PM, Saturday from 11-3PM and by appointment.


ARTIST STATEMENT


Visual journalism has always been my way of exploring and recording the ideas that captured my imagination. Journaling is how I make sense of the world. The whole process is meditative in nature. Making the image is a repetitive action similar to knitting that releases my mind completely. I use the activity as a way to learn, grow and release stress.

I always start with the story first. Relentlessly fearless entrepreneurial spirits fascinate me. However, all genuine deeply human experience interests me. The entrepreneurs I invite to participate in my projects are people I respect or are nominated by people I respect. Once I have the story, I ruminate intently about the concepts that are highlighted in the story. Is there anything ironic about the story? Is there a play on words that I can manipulate? Once I have a few ideas, I research online to allow my mind to dig deeper into the concept. Before the Internet, I would sit on the floor of bookstores for hours and hours and page through magazines and books. I am constantly scanning the world for alignment with the notion from the story that has captured my imagination. Once I have a few ideas, I just let my imagination wander. I know I have the concept when the idea of the painting makes me laugh. When I get to this stage, the drawing pretty much draws itself. I use multiple mediums in my work; the base of which is acrylic paint, paint marker, pastels, colored pencil and sometimes collage and assemblage.

Once I have the drawing, I transfer the image to a wood panel that has been gessoed and blacked. I always start with a black canvas and then pull the image out of it. The drawing is created in pencil and then outlined with paint marker. From there I choose colors in my palette that are in alignment with the concept. The outlines in my paintings represent an outline of life rather than a detective who outlines death. Intentionally, the objects in my work are simplified because for me the story and the concept of the work is most important. I know the painting is done when I look at it and I have no anxiety. I have heard it said that although each of my panels in a series have a different subject matter, my style is consistent and instantly recognizable.

What makes me unique is that my work is as much about creating relationships as it is about being a visual journalist. In a way, I truly fall in love with my subjects and I am mesmerized by all the ideas I investigate. ­My greatest challenge is time. I have committed to an aggressive creation schedule and there are a lot of moving parts to my work. I am also managing several projects simultaneously from soup to nuts so I have to be very focused to get it all done.

My ultimate mission is that I want people to be inspired to put down their fears and pick up the dream they have been putting off until they believe that all the stars are aligned sometime in the future. I see myself continuing to interview inspiring people, fundraise for great organizations, and help more artists and business people to achieve their dreams with my latest project Fearless Art Works.


ARTIST RESUME


Solo Shows

2017    The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business IV | TBA, Los Angles, CA
2017    The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business III | The DeskHub, Scottsdale, AZ
2016    The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business II | The Walter Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
2015    The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business I, | {9} the Gallery, Phoenix AZ

Group Shows

2017    Art Detour| Ice House Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
2016    Tiny Works | Tiny Dances, {9} The Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
2016    The Sonoran Artist League, Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour, Cave Creek, AZ
2016    The Gallery at El Pedregal, Cave Creek, AZ
1989    The State University of NY at Albany, Albany, NY

Education

2016-Present     Art Business Academy, Scottsdale, AZ
1989    State University of NY at Albany, BA in Fine Art, Albany, NY
1998    Pratt Manhattan, Certification in Computer Design, New York, NY
1996    State University of NY at New Paltz, MFA Course Work, New Platz, NY
2006    St Michael’s College, MSA Masters Degree in Administration, Colchester, VT

2011     Series 7 & 66 Security Licenses

Professional Art Experience

2015 – Present    Sonoran Arts League, Volunteer, Cave Creek, AZ
2015-16    Sonoran Arts League, Board Member / Marketing Chair, Cave Creek, AZ
1989    Gallery Internship, Albany, NY

For further information about Michelle’s professional background check out her LinkedIn Page.

Awards

2003 & 04     VT Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports Worksite Wellness Gold Rising Star Award
2009     Nominated for the Chittenden County United Way “Home Town Hero” Award

Press

2016     The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business – Presentation at the Gallery at the El Pedregal,– the Scottsdale Independent | Scottsdale, AZ

2016     The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business” set for Thursday, Oct. 27 at Gallery at el Pedregal – Scottsdale.com | Scottsdale, AZ

2016     The Art Of Fearlessly Doing Business’ Presentation Set For Oct. 27 – The Foot Hills Focus | New River, AZ

2016     The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business” set for Thurs., Oct. 27 at Gallery at el Pedregal – The Sonoran News | Cave Creek, AZ

2015     11 Arts Shows You Should See in Downtown Phoenix this Week, Opening at the {9} Gallery Dec 18, 2015 – New Times | Phoenix, AZ

2015     December Third Friday Art Walk in Downtown Phoenix – Downtown Phoenix Journal

Arts Organizations

Sonoran Arts League – Member

Friend of the Arizona Consortium of the Arts – Benefactor

The Phoenix Art Museum – Member

The Contemporary Forum – Member & Benefactor