Paintings of Italian landscapes, of raw meat, and of abstractions; poems of love lost and laughs had; songs about living on Venus and cold beer at five; homemade wine and an olive orchard in the backyard. It’s Umbra Institute’s own Bill Pettit. Professor Pettit is known here in Perugia as the affable and patient painting and drawing teacher who spends long hours with his students in Umbra’s art studio in Via Danzetta. A quick look at Pettit’s website, however, shows that this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
An American living for the last five years in Italy, Pettit graduated with an MFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art, but after a long period of residences in various artistic locales like New York City, Martha’s Vineyard, and Rome, he has now settled in a small town in the north of the region of Lazio, just across the border with Umbria. Bill has been a professor with Umbra for the last six years, teaching at various times both drawing and photography in addition to painting. While he’s having an opening next month at a prestigious Parisian (Parisian, not Perugian!) gallery, Pettit’s latest accolade is becoming a father – congratulazioni e auguri!