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Eastern Connecticut State University

Akus Gallery will be closed February 17 - 20: Presidents Day Weekend

Unfiltered V:
Vito Bonanno Riding with the Train Girls


Ghost Town on Davenport Avenue, 2007

Ghost Town on Davenport Avenue, 2007
Vito Bonanno
Courtesy of the Artist

Ghost Town on Davenport Avenue won the Award of Excellence at the VSA Arts and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Debut “Accelerate” Exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution

Exhibited Work


Reception and Interactive Mural Project


January 19 – March 1, 2012

Interactive Mural Project: Thursday, February 2, 12-5 p.m.
Opening reception: Thursday, February 2, 5-7 p.m.

Vito Bonanno’s art contains the essence of his life, feelings, thoughts and dreams, coupled around objects or topics that “get stuck in his head”, including traffic lights, grids, ceiling fans and graffiti. His work is image and concept driven and may incorporate any media which will fuel this expression.  Using spray paints, gouache, India inks, oils, acrylics and so on, he works on paper, canvas, or whatever support may suit.  Most of the characters or topics he draws are important to his life and embedded in his personal philosophy. His work has been described as raw, unfiltered, unedited, truthful, comedic, irresistible, bold, playful and charming; much like the man himself.  He has found a way to tap into the intensity of focus and insight afforded him through Autism Spectrum Disorder to unleash a formidable creative power and vision.

Early in his career, Bonanno was involved in The Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven where he participated in student shows and at a members' exhibition at Art Space, also in New Haven. In 2009, he was named one of 15 emerging young artists with disabilities by VSA Arts and Volkswagen, and was honored with an award of excellence from a juried exhibition for his printmaking piece, "Ghost Town on Davenport Avenue," exhibited at the S. Dillon Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., followed by a two-year nationwide tour of university and independent galleries. A second piece, "South Haven People," was on exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, also in Washington, D.C.

Vito Bonanno is represented by Margaret Bodell, curator and owner of Umbrella Arts Gallery in NYC and founder of The Center of Public Art and Design in Bridgeport, CT. Since his collaboration with Bodell, Bonanno has exhibited widely throughout Connecticut and New York as well as via Outsider Art Fairs in Miami and Chicago.  He is developing a line of merchandise based on several of his popular characters and recurring themes.  He recently established his own studio in New Haven, CT, as part of the award-winning initiative Project Storefronts.  For more:  http://www.vitobonanno.com

The Interactive Mural project of “Unfiltered V” is a Dean’s Cup Event at Eastern.The Dean’s Cup competition is an academic and service-related event that promotes spirit and collaboration among students living in the residence halls on campus. The competition’s purpose is to see which residence hall can get the most students to attend special events on campus while simultaneously encouraging students to become well seasoned in a variety of experiences; conducive to Eastern’s liberal arts mission. Students, staff, faculty and members of the community are invited to join Bonanno in creating the mural

Bonanno Poster