by Guglielmo Botter
August & September 2018

Since he was very young, Guglielmo was fascinated by urban landscape and his drawings continue to reflect this preference. The artist started to sketch using an ink pen at only age 5 when his father, also an artist, introduced him to this special technique. He enjoyed working in black and white so much that he never changed his style.

Guglielmo won a lot of art contests for young artists and his greatest win was at the “XXII Giornata del Francobollo” (22nd Day of Stamp), in 1980, when his urban sketch of Treviso, his hometown, became an official stamp of Italian Post (350,000 participants). He became an architect in 1993 and continued to sketch on the side. He has a habit of taking a sketchbook with him in which he draws his experiences and impressions of places visited.

The recent economic crisis in Italy made him rethink his life, and made it easier for him to rediscover his past path in the art field. In 2012 Botter decided to come back to the United States where his mother, Lyù Da Corta Fumei, lived and worked as an artist between the late ‘50s to early ‘60s, in Pittsburgh, PA.

Guglielmo's first sketches of the “Steel City” were well welcomed and published on the cover of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette giving him the chance to be introduced to the American public. A year later he exhibited for the first time in the U.S. and started to travel along the east coast to expand his interest to other cities. Lately his drawings have depicted Richmond and Norfolk in Virginia, Frederick in Maryland, Cincinnati and Cleveland in Ohio and most recently Lexington, KY and Jasper and Columbus in Indiana, where he was invited as “artist in residence” in November 2017.

He is Italian American, born in Italy in 1966. Even though he is still living in Treviso, a nice medieval city close to Venice, Guglielmo's goal is to settle soon in the Pittsburgh area where his ancestors came as immigrants in 1892 to be miners. Currently he spends a few months every year in the U.S. continuing to expand his experience in the “land of opportunity”.

In his sketches Guglielmo combines the Italian aesthetic background with a family history rooted in the U.S. to envision the American urban landscape. He likes the contrast between modern and historic buildings, and his simple approach in black and white helps to blend details of the contemporary era. Guglielmo doesn't need many materials to work but what he does need is the inspiration that a landmark or a intricate view of buildings can give to him.

Guglielmo did not attend a school of art as it was already a huge presence in his family. His father was a fresco restorer and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. Guglielmo's father was his mentor and encouraged him to improve his study in the classics, Latin, Greek and philosophy. For that reason Guglielmo was inspired most by classic artists who saw drawing a valid study tool of reality such as Venetian Masters like Jacopo de Barbari, Giovanni Canal (Canaletto) and Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

Guglielmo's goal would be to have the same opportunity to visit even more American cities and depict them with his simple but intricate method and thus make them known in a different way - through the traditional view of an Italian architect. When he decides to work in a new city or town, he has to interact with it, spending a few days immersed in its urban structure to understand and to grasp the peculiarities that make it unique and interesting before starting to sketch. Guglielmo is now offering to the public his view of Lancaster's monuments and landmarks.

The artist is opening other three exhibitions in the US this summer, in Norfolk, Va at the Slover Library and at the Percolator Space; in Harrisburg and New Kensington, PA.