If you’ve been in to Söntés over the past few months, you’ve probably seen the work of Fred and Francie Ginocchio on the walls. Recently, we asked this husband and wife pair to write a bit about their work and about working together. Read on for their story!

Fred and Francie Ginocchio not only share lives as husband and wife, they also share a passion for creating art. In 2002, after Fred retired from thirty years in public education, he joined his wife Francie as a full-time artist.

Francie’s Fiber Arts

Francie has been a professional fiber artist for forty years. Through continuous experimentation and a restless desire to try new techniques and materials, she has won grants, sold commissions to countless individuals and institutions, and lectured in the Midwest. She has also edited fiber art books, and taught for 20 years at Sievers School of Fiber Arts on Washington Island, WI.  Known for color, design, and quality craftsmanship, Francie’s work ranges from one-of-a-kind contemporary quilts to abstract mixed-media fiber, incorporating unusual elements such as porcupine quills, beads, and hand-dyed paper and silk.

Since moving to Rochester with Fred in 2009, Francie has continued to experiment and create new work in her home studio. During the past two years she has completed commissions for Samaritan Bethany and has sold work to Olmsted Medical Center. She has also created unique quilted works for the Children’s Music Network Magic Penny Award.

Currently Francie has been transforming fabric by printing, dyeing, and stamping. Recently she attended a collage workshop and is looking forward to incorporating new techniques in her artwork. She says,“I enjoy the entire process of creation from the initial flash of an idea to completing the last stitch. I consider the day a success if I stumble across a spool of unique thread or a beautiful piece of fabric.”

Fred’s Pastel Street Scenes

Along with Francie, Fred has carried on making art since moving to Rochester. Fred currently creates artwork from his working studio on the second floor of Sontes. His subject matter ranges from rural landscapes, to building and street scenes, to faces. He began creating images with oil paints but now uses dry and oil pastels almost exclusively. During the past ten years Fred has sold work to banks, medical centers, hospitals, insurance companies, and private individuals.

Since 2009 Fred’s major focus has been on iconic Rochester buildings and street scenes.  He has created over eighteen local pieces and has found that they are popular with Rochester citizens and institutions. Samaritan Bethany and Olmsted Medical Center each own several of his pieces. Fred says this about his building and street scenes: “I look for scenes that are appealing to me. I need to feel an emotional connection to a place, its light, its setting, its structure, its color. Appealing settings and a sense of place have always attracted me to a scene.”

Fred enjoys the challenge and endless variety posed by landscape images. To push himself and to break away from realistically rendered scenes, Fred has explored landscapes by experimenting with color. Before working on a large piece, he often creates several thumbnail color studies to see how the scene looks, for example, with a blue field, red trees, or a yellow sky.

On Working Together

Creating art is an endless problem solving activity.  Many times fresh eyes can offer essential insights. “Francie’s critiques and support have been very important to me.  It has been terrific being married to another artist,” says Fred. “I know by the look on her face if she likes something or if she doesn’t.” Francie adds, “I totally agree; I frequently get Fred’s thoughts while a work is in progress. We do not always agree with one another, but we have to admit the critiques are always helpful.”

Francie and Fred share a website www.ginocchioart.com, and can also be reached at ginocch AT gmail.com or (507) 208-4205.