Clare Stokolosa grew up in Astoria, New York. She has always felt the importance of giving back.
“Art is the vehicle I use to contribute to my community,” she says, describing her path to becoming an artist. Clare’s journey as an artist began when she was accepted to The High School of Art and Design in New York City. “I was fortunate enough to develop as an artist from my childhood and receive the attention needed to develop my artistic pursuits,” she adds.
At Hunter College she spent a semester studying art in Florence, Italy where she found inspiration from Renaissance buildings and art all around her. Through perseverance and practice she succeeded in becoming an artist. Clare continues the journey. “I try to grow as an artist every day in the way I see and interpret the world around me in my paintings. Through the years, being an artist has fused with who I have become as a person.”
Teaching visual art gave her the opportunity to combine her passion for art with nurturing and broadening the perspectives of developing artists. Clare’s expertise as an artist and an educator was acknowledged when she was selected to mentor art teachers for the NYC Department of Education. “Mentoring is a rich experience which also informs and inspires my own art,” she says.
“I took to the vocation of teaching Art with enthusiasm, teaching students from diverse cultures and economic backgrounds the practice of refining their own art skills.”
Clare explored many areas of fine art with her students, ranging from manuscript illuminations to video and animation. She worked collaboratively on a variety of projects and grants with the cultural institutions that form the bedrock of the arts in New York, including the Morgan Library and Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Queens Museum and the Tribeca Film Institute.
Currently, Clare spends time painting in both Cortona, Italy and in her studio in Long Island City, Queens. She was honored by former Borough President Melinda Katz in 2019 with the art award from the Italian Heritage Cultural Committee of Queens at St. John’s University. Clare was interviewed as a Long Island City artist for The Queens Public Library’s Memorial Project on video. Her work was featured in the Bayside Times, in a cover story in LIC Magazine, as well as other media outlets. Her painting series “NYC Faces” was displayed on 1,700 plus ArtOnLink kiosks screens throughout the five boroughs in July 2019. Clare was keynote speaker for the virtual fundraiser event at the Queens Historical Society Kingsland Homestead, in Flushing N.Y. in October, 2020.
The words of artist Edward Hopper captures her sentiment: “If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.” And in her own words “Creating works of art is, was, and always will be my vehicle of self-expression and being an artist forms the core of who I am as a person.”