I was born in London Ontario to loving Italian parents.

My desire to draw started at an early age. In grade eight, I drew the pictures for the colouring contests. I was in art and drafting classes throughout high school. My creativity varied from painting a mural of a Porsche on a friend’s garage to commissioned portraits.

I applied to The Ontario Art College in Toronto after grade 13. The thought of leaving town did not sit well with my parents. One day, I grabbed my portfolio and traveled by train to Toronto without my parents’ knowledge. After the acceptance papers arrived, I had to explain to my parents that this was my destiny. My fathers’ favourite line was, “Artists don’t make money, everybody else does after you die”. After hearing this often and because I lived in a very close family structure, I decided not to defy my parents and looked into a career that provided security.

I applied for the Civil Engineering Technologist program at Fanshawe College. Infrastructure work is always in demand and therefore, a guaranteed career and salary. The challenge was the lack of women in the industry.

For over 15 years, I have worked both in the private and in the municipal sector of this industry. My work was structured: roads and sewers. It’s form with a function and a necessity. They are utilized everyday but never viewed as creative.

“Detailed, precision, analytical, creative; yet disciplined. Existence without acknowledgement.”

“The artist is trying to get out, to be free, to let the creative passions emerge to the canvas. To be observed and appreciated or critiqued. To have others stop and look for a moment or two; not to have it passed by at 60km/hr. To create without standards and restricted guidelines. To create based on my terms and what appeals to me. What comforts me and makes me feel at ease.”

Adele Figliomeni February 2005