A professional artist and entrepreneur in her own right, Madeline Gallucci is a nothing less than a rising star in the Kansas City art scene.
After graduating from Greensboro Montessori School in 2004 and Weaver Academy in 2008, Madeline received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012. Shortly thereafter, she landed the Charlotte Street Foundation Urban Culture Project Studio Residency. Two years later she was named Artist-in-Residence at Hotel Phillips, a historic hotel in the center of the city. The 12-month program showcased Madeline and her work in a large storefront window space on the first floor of the hotel that doubled as her studio. Her artwork was also translated into textile patterns used in interior design elements—such as bedding, upholstery, pillows, curtains and wall art—in some of the guest rooms. She also conducted numerous workshops, studio tours and artist lectures. Madeline was only the fourth artist to be selected for this elite residency program and notes: “It was a tremendous opportunity to develop my public speaking skills. In essence, I was acting as an ambassador for abstract art.”
As if two residencies weren’t enough to celebrate, Madeline was named one of three Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Award Fellows in 2016. The award recipients were selected through a competitive process involving in-person interviews, presentations and studio visits by a panel of renowned and qualified arts professionals, and culminated in a four month exhibition that concluded in January 2017 at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Crossroads location. She also received a $10,000 unrestricted grant to support her work as an emerging contemporary artist. Madeline described this exhibition as a turning point in her life and her career. As a result of that award, she sought representation by a professional firm, Weinberger Fine Art in Kansas City, Missouri.
When asked to describe her work, Madeline says, “My work is driven by color. Right now, I am playing with the combination of fluorescent colors together with colors found in nature. My work is also very whimsical. I am fascinated by camouflage culture. If the purpose of camouflage is to help something blend in to its environment, what happens when you take that pattern out if its natural environment. How does it blend in or stand out? I think of the trend of pink camouflage.”
Beyond the borders of Kansas City, Madeline has also shown nationally at IDIO Gallery in Brooklyn, New York; Rebekah Templeton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Skylab Gallery in Columbus, Ohio; and Terrault Contemporary in Baltimore, Maryland. Her newest work is currently on display in an exhibit entitled “Habitual Observations” at Weinberger Fine Art.
In addition to pursuing her professional goals through a fine art studio track, Madeline shared that she is also realizing her drive to become an arts administrator. Since 2014, she has worked as a co-director of Front/Space, a storefront apartment in downtown Kansas City that has been repurposed for non-commercial exhibits, performances, forums, research and publishing projects.
As co-director of the gallery, Madeline loves fostering a spirit of collaboration. She works closely with past exhibitors to review proposals for new artists who want to use the live/work studio and gallery space (which is supported by funding from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Charlotte Street Foundation and the University of Kansas’ Spencer Museum of Art). “I love that the momentum comes from the artists themselves. I don’t want the gallery to just be the artwork that I or my partner would curate. It is important to me that we curate through an open call to the community.” The other element of the Front/Space mission that resonates for Madeline is the connection to social justice. “Front/Space is a safe space for artists and people who have been marginalized. We want the artist to feel safe to use the space for risk taking and to experiment with art that may not be accepted in the main stream. And more than anything, we want the artists to do what they want to do.” Madeline’s skills as an administrator and collaborator are paying off as the gallery has received the biggest group of proposals to date…over 50. “We know our reach is growing,” she stated proudly.
Madeline’s passion and penchant for the arts run deep. Her brother, Mario Gallucci, holds a Master of Fine Arts in visual studies and lives in Portland, Oregon. Her father, Jim Gallucci, is an internationally acclaimed sculptor based in Greensboro. His large gateway pieces have transformed the Greensboro landscape, and Greensboro Montessori School is honored to have two of his “whisper benches” in the gardens flanking our front office. Madeline’s mom is Dr. Kathy Gallucci, associate professor of biology at Elon University. Madeline shared she and her mom have a running joke that in their family, art is the dominant gene and science is the recessive gene. Art and science genes aside, if you saw the two side by side, you might actually wonder if they were twins.
Like so many of our graduates, Madeline attended Greensboro Montessori School from the time she was a primary level student. “I was such an independent learner,” she said. “My parents knew that GMS was a good fit for me because I always had to do things in my own way and in my own time.” She further reflected on the values and life lessons from GMS that stick with her today. “Looking back, I realize how [the Montessori method] mirrored art school and also how it mirrors studio practice. There was always room for creativity and experimentation, and at the same time, I had to learn how to stay motivated and create my own structure and deadlines.”