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Artist Robert Maniscalco Sees Possibilities In Art Where Others See Problems

By Kelly Church

With works of art in more than 850 public and private art collections across North America, Robert Maniscalco is a Summerville, SC artist with his own gallery and specializing in the same classical painting techniques as famous artists Rembrandt and Velazquez.

"My father was an artist and the arts were a big part of my upbringing," Maniscalco said. "It was a real thing that some people did for a living. I love being creative and have been blessed all my life with the gift of seeing possibilities where others see only problems."

Much of Maniscalco's work consists of portraits with subjects of all ages, shapes and sizes, backgrounds and ethnicities. Men and women are shown at work and during leisurely activities. These portraits are oil paintings, which for Maniscalco symbolize prominence and nobility.

"I've always been fascinated by the human form and the expression that can be achieved by a sensitive artist who understands deeply the fundamentals of the visual medium," Maniscalco said. "I enjoy trying to convey the thoughts and feelings of my subjects."

Maniscalco estimated that in his nearly 40-year career he has drawn or painted more than 60,000 faces. He said, however, that he's never drawn the same face twice. On his resume, he has more than 850 award-winning oil canvas paintings for corporations and institutions. However, he also explores other methods of art.

"As an artist, I believe it is important to explore new ways of expressing myself, to grow and to develop as a professional creative," Maniscalco said. "Even though I have a signature style, I'm always trying new things."

Maniscalco created a series he called the botanicals that are an ode to some of his high school artwork where he used watercolors. He brought watercolors back after teaching demonstrations in 2016 as part of the annual botanical event. He now sells watercolor paintings on his website alongside all of his other work.

Anyone can learn from Maniscalco. He teaches classes and workshops which vary in subject. The Power of Positive Painting is just one of his workshops, which he adapted from the teachings of Frank Reilly, who taught several notable realists of the 20th century, including Maniscalco's father.

"I like to think I am passing on the secret knowledge of the masters," Maniscalco said. "I'm very generous with what I know, because I know no one will ever paint exactly like me. I wouldn't want that anyway. I'm much more interested in developing what you have to say as an artist than getting you to paint like me."

Maniscalco said many of his students have gone on to have more successful careers than Maniscalco himself. To him, that is the mark of a good teacher.

You can find Robert's work online at

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