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John Smith-Amato is a New York artist and Founding Director of Synchronicity Space and Fine Arts
Biography – John Smith-Amato,
Director, Synchronicity Fine Arts
Director of Art as therapy: St. Christophers Inn/ Graymoor
Artist in Residence: Synchronicity Fine Arts
Synchronicity Space Theatre
John Smith-Amato is Co-Founder and Director of Synchronicity Space. Established in 1989, Synchronicity is an internationally active theatre, gallery and arts development organization. Synchronicity was conceived to provide services, which encourage artist accountability in the exposure, development and presentation of their work. Mr. Amato has initiated and developed programs for emerging playwrights, poets, fiction and documentary film makers, photographers and writers as well as painters, actors and theatre companies. He has collaborated with community organizations in the development of programs to benefit the fiscal needs of artists committed to their own growth and service to a world culture. He has administrated and collaborated with educational institutions whose sparsely funded arts programs needed financial support by integrating and commingling different cultures and sensibilities and finding commonality in a universal art. Some such organizations that have benefited by Synchronicity’s endeavors are: The Dwelling Place, a New York women’s shelter, the Chinese American Association for Battered Women, scores of NY theatre companies, the Artists’ Alliance, NYU Medical School, St. Vincent’s Hospital, NYU Film School, NYC Public Schools, St.Christopher’s Inn/Graymoor and numerous international arts organizations. Since its inception, Synchronicity Space has been active in producing, presenting, exhibiting and sponsoring national and international artists. The efforts of the organization have given the public the opportunity to experience the diverse cultural interpretations of artists from: Africa, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Ireland, England, Israel, India, Japan, Hungary, Latin America, Poland and Russia.
Mr. Amato, prior to his founding of Synchronicity Space, was co-developer and co-founder of two other like organizations while living and teaching abroad in Japan and France. These organizations are still actively presenting and exhibiting artists in the spirit in which they were established. He has extensive experience producing, presenting and exhibiting in the United State and abroad. He established the first “Resident Theatre Collective” in NYC when Synchronicity housed 11 resident theatre companies for over 10 years. During his 25 years as Director of Synchronicity, he has presented or co-produced more than 300 theatre, music and dance productions and exhibited more than 250 visual artists in New York and internationally. Synchronicity continues to sponsor artists in international residency exchange programs in association with 13 international sister sites and maintains its base of operations in, NYC.(currently relocating).
Mr. Amato worked toward his master’s degree in comparative literature at Columbia University initiating his studies under the guidance of Lionel Trilling. He did his post graduate studies in painting and drawing with Norman Raeben at his Carnegie Halll Studio in New York, NY and L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, France where after he completed his post graduate degree in studio art. Amato remained in Paris for two years following the completion of his studies to assist as an adjunct in life drawing and painting at the academie. In addition to his work on the undergraduate level he became an assistant to the Magistrate of Culture and helped in the founding of an art center which eventually became Le Theatre du Soleil in the Bois de Balongne in Paris. While teaching at the atelier at des Beaux Arts he studied behavioral psychology at La Sorbonne where he worked with Francoise Dolto at l’Institute de Reeducation near Coulommiers, France. He received a certificate of completion and continued teaching at the University through his last year in Paris where he taught “Art As Therapy” at the Universite` a La Sorbonne in the Department of psychology . Following his stay in France he spent two years in Japan teaching Western Approach to Painting, which included one year at Kyoto University. Upon his return from Japan he established Synchronicity Space as a not for profit arts organization and has been it’s director ever since. Amato has taught painting and drawing for 35 years on the secondary, undergraduate, graduate and private levels in education.
2006 brought John to St. Christopher’s Inn/ Graymoor where he continued teaching “art as therapy” in Garrison, NY. Amato continues his work as an artist by sharing the art spirit and connecting behavior through perception in using his ever developing methodology which is designed to connect perception to behavior, with men in recovery from the disease of addiction and who suffer from alcohol and substance dependency. Graymoor and Saint Christophers Inn have become the extension of his life’s work in art. “The humanity that passes through this very special mountain in Garrison,” Amato humbly states “continues to inspire my work as a painter and as a human being. I discover, everyday, through art and perception, a new dimension which becomes yet another influence in my methodology for awareness and growth. Each new insight creates a greater clarity in what we all react to and which invokes purpose and inspiration whereby awakening each man’s reinvention of his higher self.” Amato has recently taken his method of “art as therapy” to the academic institutions in the tri-state area in the format of seminars with the support of Columbia, Harvard, Pace and SUNY New Paltz.
Mr. Amato’s paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. Most notably at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Kyoto National Museum, Okazaki National Museum, and Suzuki Gallery, Kyoto, Japan the Kunsthaus in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany, the Brookhaven Museum in Southampton, NY, Pierre Matisse Galarie and Grand Hotel Salon in Paris, France; Barone Arte Contemporaranes, Milano, Italy; London, Istanbul, Taiwan and Switzerland,to name a few. He continues to work and exhibit in NYC from his studio in Garrison, NY.