Meet Kathy Pantele
Kathy Pantele is a native of Richmond’s West End who is dedicated to her family and the community. She studied history, specializing in the ancient near east, as an undergrad at Meredith College and married her high school sweetheart within months of finishing her degree. Once her youngest child was in kindergarten, Pantele took a basic oil painting class from Irene Perry at the Tuckahoe Women’s Club. “I wanted to do something different,” she says. Perry was so impressed with Pantele’s first painting that the latter decided to go into business and began painting portraits. Hundred’s of portraits later, “I just got burnt out,” she says. She also started to care for the infirm matriarchs of her family. “Then,” she says, “Curney Nuffer became my teacher and I eventually moved into abstracts, painting with acrylics.”
Describing her process for abstract paining, Pantele says, “I just get ideas and they just evolve. I never know what my abstracts are going to look like. For me it’s about capturing a feeling or just a fun combination of colors or lines or shapes.” She also brings lessons from her days as a realistic portrait artist. “I pay attention to how the eye moves over the canvas and notice if things are distracting or do they draw you into the piece,” she explains.
In terms of the meaning behind her works Pantele says, “I think original art should be relatively affordable and something that people want to bring into their home. It should be timeless and distinctive. My philosophy is that a painting is something you purchase is to enhance your living environment and make you happy.”
Another thing that Pantele is involved in that makes people happy is the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral Annual Greek Festival which was cancelled this year due to fears of spreading Caronavirus. She has worked along side her husband on the festival for the past 35 years. “This is the first Memorial Day where we were not at church preparing for the Festival,” she says. “It’s a landmark in our married life.”