KaPOW! Bryan Gallo Bursts onto the Scene

Bryan Gallo displays action figure diorama

Gallo’s piece features Spiderman intertwined in battle with his arch nemesis Doctor Connors, also known as The Lizard. This is one of Gallo’s most recent pieces within his comic-book pop art realm, in which he hopes to inspire those who view his art.

Citizens of the metropolis watch in terror as the getaway truck tears down the street. On the verge of escape, Spider-Man swoops out of nowhere on the unsuspecting villains, taking things in his own hands. Uncertainty is suspended in the air as the exhilarating chase is too close to call.

For the month of October, artist and Sodexo staff member Bryan Gallo displayed one of his three-dimensional dioramas in the West Building First Floor Rotunda as a part of the Visiting Artist Program. The comic-like piece features unique textures, incorporating intricate worlds between pop-culture and realism.

Gallo’s miniature museum is one of several community art projects that Stevenson’s Visiting Artist Program has featured; last month, textiles from Piyas Battacharjee were draped across the walls. While the collection isn’t permanent, it allows students to see a variety of creative perspectives of artists with whom they can connect and encourages them to explore their potential through art.

“Art helps elevate the talents that you never even thought you had,” Gallo said. “With a little bit of time and effort, you can really see yourself grow. Every scene that I’ve done, I would have never thought that I would have done that and had that to show to the rest of the world.”

Gallo had always been interested in comics as a kid, and it was through his brother that he discovered action-figure photography. Gallo’s comic book scenes use newly-released figures positioned between handcrafted paper buildings, often taking months to complete. These projects are often extensive and Gallo sees his effort as something to be proud of.

“It’s very rewarding because at the end of the day you have something physical to show the world who you are,” Gallo said. “It can be something you consistently drive towards for yourself.”

Through the Visiting Artist Program, students are exposed to a world of styles and mediums exhibited within each artist’s work. Unlike the permanent public art installations and an alumni student collection Stevenson has purchased, Amanda Peterlin, director of the Visiting Artist Program, believes the various artists brought in provide fresh pieces and perspectives.

“By bringing in six different artists throughout the year, hopefully students see themselves reflected in one or two of the different artists that they really connect with,” Peterlin said. “I hope students know art can be anything for you. It can be something you enjoy walking by in the hallway, it can be your hobby or it can be your full-time career.”

As students travel between classes, Peterlin hopes that viewing the exhibition will foster positive discussions about art. In fact, students in visual art classrooms meet with artists like Gallo to discuss their featured artwork and learn from their experiences.

“If it’s jewelry-making or fashion design, anything in the creative arts that you can keep to your own path is something that I would like to inspire [students to pursue],” Gallo said.

While Gallo is currently a Sodexo staff member, he hopes to continue expanding his horizons through other forms of art like stop-motion and ultimately make it his primary career. This past year, he was able to collaborate with Spectrum Reach, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., to create a miniature town of 30 buildings. As he continues to build his portfolio, Gallo never forgets to carry on inspiring his audiences.

“As long as people enjoy it, that’s what I continue to do it for,” Gallo said.