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Florence Academy of Art - blog
Oct 13 11

Farewell to Leo Mancini-Hresko

by admin3

by Alan Lawson

With over a decade of outstanding service to The Florence Academy of Art, Leo Mancini-Hresko, director of drawing in the sculpture department and head of materials, leaves us for Boston.

As Leo moves on to focus on his flourishing painting career it is with sadness but also admiration that the FAA family bid him farewell. As I planned this brief tribute I spoke to some of his colleagues and students and amongst the comments were, ‘Leo the charismatic teacher, Leo the voracious and pioneering painter, Leo the bon viveur, the funny guy, and the man with time for anyone and everyone.’

I met Leo shortly after moving to Florence and I was struck by his bold painting, his unique style, his love of colour, and his willingness to share his knowledge. It would not be hyperbole to say that you can call Leo at any time to ask him about painting materials or techniques, and needless to say generations of FAA students have profited from his generosity and knowledge.

It’s impossible to do justice to someone’s past, present and important future career in such a short space, so I won’t attempt it. However I will give you one quote of Leo’s that offers something of an insight into his artistic vision. When I asked him about his paintings he said this:

‘Many of the painters I like are for that ‘illusion’ quality…impastos and glazes, using the paint itself, not just trying to paint an image, sculpting with the paint, dragging the brush back into it. Not slavishly painted detail but ‘suggestion’, ‘impression’. Tony Bennett had a good one, he told me, “You have to respect your audience. If you explain everything to them, if you don’t trust them to figure it out, that’s not respecting the viewer”’

It is with great respect that everyone at the FAA wishes Leo, and his fiancée Elpida, not adieu but a very fond au revoir.

To see more of Leo’s work, click on the link below:

Alumni Gallery in Florence Academy website

Painting by Leo Mancini-Hresko

Portrait of Guido, Oil on canvas, 2011

Snowy Landscape, Oil on canvas, 2011