previous arrownext arrowBack to top arrow
Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Linkedin
Group 212.svg
Patrizia Galati​
West Windsor Plainsboro High School South​|West Windsor, New Jersey​
Patrizia Galati.jpg
Untitled|31 x 56 in. Material(s): raw canvas, gauze, fabric scraps, water color, ink. Process(es): pollack approach,distressed layer of gauze for paint to pass thru, spilling, flow of beta fish, mold​.
Curatorial Note: a flow from the brain.​
“A lot of my creative process is about getting messy, using my hands, building up my canvas, and then distressing and breaking it down, I use whipping spikey lines to create a rigidness which I juxtapose with muted colors and neutral tones. I like the action of distressing canvas and the skeletal, lace-like quality, using recycled and found objects as a memento mori or to give it a new meaning, tying knots and sewing things back over to build up layers and create unraveling texture, ultimately bringing together my roman catholic heritage and my high school experience as a very tactile learner.”​


Listen to the student statement
Read the transcript
One of the main things that has always attracted me to art is the very tactile quality of it all. Ever since I was young, I've always been a very hands-on tactile learner and just human being, and I tend to collect things. I'm very much an observer, and I like to experiment and see how things react or how different things around me and my environment or in nature may look and how I can reflect those into my art pieces. Art is a very like therapeutic outlet for me.
headshot patrizia galati .JPG
Mask Group 8.svg
Patrizia Galati​

Teacher Statement

Nathan Leventhal​
Working with Patrizia (Toots) Galati was a pleasure. They have one of the most developed senses of productive play that I have ever encountered. If there’s an artistic super-power, it would be centered on their love of media (both traditional and unconventional) and possibilities offered through processes that is virtually limitless. They are enamored of textures and fall in love with the little details that they just layer upon layer.
Nathan Leventhal headshot.jpg
I give lots of leeway in interpreting assignments to invest students in the work on a very personal level. The AP class is really a group of independent studies that, in the best cases, become a team that supports/pushes each other. The students need to stop trying to be the artist they think they have to be and start being who they are. They are only competing with themselves. They need to focus on their strengths and avoid their weaknesses. The only real skill-building that is done is individually based on what the student wants to accomplish and what they need to know for that. They also keep open the idea of solving problems with alternatives that build on what they already know versus what’s “expected.”
Toots came naturally to this. They threw their work on the ground and trampled it. They left canvas in the rain for weeks to watch the developing fungus and mold patterns. They took a nosebleed and turned it onto a previous piece while investigating splatter patterns. While painting, they tip canvases and blow paint into new patterns. They balance constructive aspects with destructive elements too. I try to encourage pushing work in new directions to give them approaches that include avoiding total predetermination of the outcome. I try to instill the idea that if their art always stops before it’s pushed too far, they’ll make a collection of really good art—but if they push it without fear of ruining it, then they can make some truly great works. Key to this approach is the idea that your art isn’t ruined unless you stop working on it, and sometimes the ruining is necessary for discovery and problem-solving that will create the truly spectacular. It is also crucial to develop their analytic and written/verbal skills for expressing themselves. Both in their own work (where being able to express your thoughts and concepts helps you determine if your art is really doing what you want it to) and in looking at others’ (where you do not have to make every mistake yourself to learn, and your insights help people grow to become better themselves). There’s a steady rotation of group critiques, small-group mini-critiques, and weekly reflection/projection in their journals. The journal's role of investigation/reflection/recording is emphasized, and they are reviewed for usage rather than a specific approach. Everyone can use their journal differently as long as it’s authentic usage and not just filling in pages. They generally use their journals for their artist-hero research as well. Patrizia was always willing to join in interpreting the works of others. This comes from developing a safe place for thought, but also grows as people like helping those that helped them. The more they grow in their ability to talk, the more they talk. Their work is not collected at critique either. They have time to respond and adjust after critiques. They can also revisit their work after grading to improve it, but there needs to be a significant effort and difference for re-grading. Our school has a variety of spaces and support. Many teachers work with our students when interests cross curricular boundaries. This school community started because we were not afraid to ask for help, and you shouldn’t be surprised at how much people like to support enthusiastic students with their own knowledge to help them solve new problems. Our administration is all brand new as of a year ago, but they already continue the tradition of supporting the arts that have made our department a vital part of the school and are heavily involved in service to the school and other teachers. In closing, push your students to their strengths, push them to try new things based on those strengths, push them to determine what really is important to them about art and art-making, learn what makes every student different and special, and then celebrate and direct it, make failure a step in the process of success, make them talk and write and reflect on their own and others’ work, get involved in the larger school community and take advantage of the advantages and strength it gives, and take a day now and again to have a shenanigans day to develop the room as a family. The best years are the ones where they become a unit that dissolves the normal expectations and groupings that they came with.