"To stand in a gallery surrounded by Frank's works is to be reminded that youth... is an ever-fresh condition of curiosity and experimentation, peace, tranquility and dignity, with moments of privacy, solitude, innocence and faith. And always a thing of beauty."
Born in 1922 Frank Palmieri was raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, N.Y. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at 17, building roads and doing carpentry work in the Pacific northwest. Frank enlisted with the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, serving as a carpenter and providing ground support for aircraft in North Africa and Italy. While in the service, Frank discovered that he had art talent. His paintings graced everything from the nose cone of a war aircraft, to a latrine, and an officers' club.
Returning to New York City after the war, Frank Palmieri enrolled in the Art Student's League of New York, where he met his wife, Anita. While at the League, Frank Palmieri studied under renowned artists Reginald Marsh, Frank Reilly, Robert Brackman, and Ivan Olinsky. In 1963, Frank Palmieri won the Robert Lehman Scholarship to the National Academy of Design, where he studied under Morton Roberts.
Palmieri built his first gallery in Valley Stream, N.Y. Drawn to the summer art colony at Rockport, Mass., he continued his art studies with Harry Ballinger and Paul Strisik. He discovered Ogunquit, Maine in 1967 and opened his Palmieri Gallery at the entrance to Perkins Cove that summer. He loved to paint the boats in a working harbor, the pounding surf on the rocky coast, the quaint villages and homes, but most of all he loved to paint children on the beach.
It is almost ironic, given his upbringing in an orphanage, that he embraced the images of an idyllic childhood. He was able to recreate the life that had been denied to him, and it was his own childhood struggle that shaped his creativity. Frank Palmieri became well known for his portraits, still life paintings, florals and especially beach scenes of families enjoying the outdoors.
Palmieri eventually sold his gallery in Ogunquit, moving to Indialantic, Florida, where he continued to paint, exhibit his work, demonstrate, and teach. In 2012, Frank and Anita returned to Maine for long term care, at Sentry Hill. Memory loss had taken away some of his skill, but not his joy for drawing and painting.
Frank Palmieri died at Coastal Manor on May 1, 2017.