Local artist and BU alum speaks on importance of following passions

Anthony Brunelli, ’92, preaches individuality as part of ‘Lunch and Learn’ series

Courtesy of Kevin Huaman/Contributing Photographer

Courtesy of Kevin Huaman/Contributing Photographer

Harpur College alumnus Anthony Brunelli came to campus Friday to speak to students about the importance of living in the moment and of embracing their thoughts and emotions — even if it means going against the grain.

Brunelli, who graduated in 1992, makes photorealist oil paintings which have been shown in museums in Paris, Florence, Prague and more. Photorealism is a type of art in which the artist recreates a photograph as realistically as possible using another medium. Brunelli opened his own art gallery, Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts Gallery, on State Street in 2003 and manages it with his brother John.

“I wanted to be an artist,” Brunelli said. “It was always a dream and a passion and I said from a young age I was going to die trying. It didn’t matter what I was doing, I was always going to try being an artist.”

Brunelli said he has been painting since age three. He creates his paintings by photographing a scene from different angles, stitching the images together using Photoshop and then painting the digital image on canvas. The entire process takes him anywhere from four months to a year to complete.

Brunelli’s talk did not focus on his art, however. He said that he wanted to delve deeper and help students understand the importance of honoring their passions. He encouraged students to make time to reflect on their lives and constantly ask themselves why they are here and what they can do.

“This is the time to go after your dreams and succeed because this is when you have the energy,” Brunelli said. “Fear is not a real emotion. It’s an illusion, it is not something that should be there.”

According to Harpur Edge director Wendy Neuberger, Brunelli approached her during Homecoming Weekend and volunteered to speak at the Lunch and Learn. The events are held for 10 students in the Harpur Edge office each Friday. Neuberger said students enjoy the events because they are informal and provide a chance to have intimate conversations with those who have navigated their career paths.

Malcolm Smith, a senior majoring in economics who said he has attended nearly every session, said that he finds Lunch and Learns more beneficial than his classes.

“It’s important that you make connections with the world outside of this place,” Smith said. “College can be very insular and institutional and I find that I have a lot more in common with these seasoned professionals than some students.”

Brunelli shared that when he taught art at Broome Community College, he assigned students to do something that made them step out of their comfort zone every day for a week in order to overcome their fears and reflect on their emotions and experiences.

“Your generation holds the key to changing the world, and you are,” he said. “The key to the future is now. Everything that you have or need is already inside you.”

Convincing this generation to take action, Brunelli said, is what his goal is now that he’s accomplished all he has set out to do.

“It’s really important to reflect throughout your life and say what works and what doesn’t work,” he said. “Life is about experiences, there’s no right or wrong. It’s good to explore, to fail. Nobody wants to fail but there’s no such thing as perfection.”

Source : https://www.bupipedream.com