Visual Artist Patti Capaldi discusses her photo-based print work

Art historian Jennifer Jolly in conversation with artist Patti Capaldi about how theory and praxis become entangled, cracking open new ways to see

Patti Capaldi, Visual Artist and Graphic Designer

Patti Capaldi is assistant professor of Art and Design at Ithaca College. She is also the coordinator of the Graphic Design Minor.

Capaldi has received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation Award, a Gottlieb Foundation Grant, and a Rauchenberg Foundation grant. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Banff Centre for the Arts, Millay Colony, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Santa Fe Art Institute, Ragdale, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Kunstlerhaus  (Salzburg, Austria), A.I.R. ( Vienna), and Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus (Germany).

Most recently, her work has been exhibited at the Handwerker Gallery (Ithaca College), Syracuse University, and the Johnson Art Museum. Other venues include Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn; University of Rhode Island Fine Art Gallery; Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee; CEPA Gallery, Buffalo; Photographic Resource Center, Boston; Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston; M.I.T. Hadyn Gallery, Cambridge; Huntington Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; Nylon Gallery, London; Joseph Carroll & Sons, Boston; Pieroggi Flatflies, Brooklyn and many more.

Capaldi has worked as a freelance graphic designer for over twenty-five years in some of the country’s leading editorial art departments such as Random House, Harper Collins, FSG, WW Norton, Scholastic, Martha Stewart, The Metropolitan Museum, and MIT Press as well as many brand agencies and design boutiques such as Wolf Olins and Segal Savad. She was nominated for an AIGA Design Award, 50 Books/50 covers in 2018. Her work will be featured in an upcoming “Message Journal: Special C-19 Issue” with Plymouth University, UK Design Publication.

Artistic Practice

Patti Capaldi's artistic practice works across various forms of print media such as digital imaging, photography, multiples, drawing, installation, and artists’ books. Her art explores the cultural overlay placed on the natural world, questioning idealized notions of beauty and the sublime.

Capaldi sees graphic design as a tool for change. She is interested in how design transforms, translates, and shapes culture. She is passionate about book cover design, and continues to work on her freelance editorial design projects. She is the artist and graphic designer for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival 25th Anniversary.

Jennifer Jolly, Art Historian


Jennifer Jolly is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Art History at Ithaca College. She researches the intersection of art and politics in modern Mexico. 

She specializes in the work of the Mexican muralists, and has recently published on the work of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Josep Renau at the Mexican Electricians’ Syndicate.  Broader research interests include understanding the Muralists within the context of international politics of the 1930s, the intersections of art and technology, and race and representation. 

Her book, Creating Pátzcuaro, Creating Mexico: Art, Tourism, and Nation Building under Lázaro Cárdenas, investigates the art--murals, sculptures, and their architectural settings--commissioned by Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacan, Mexico, as part of a program of tourism development and national integration. Research for this project has been supported by a Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. The book was awarded the Whitaker Best Book Prize from the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies (MACLAS) and the 2020 Best Book in Latin American Visual Culture Studies from the Visual Culture Section of the Latin American Studies Association.