Proud Italian, Roger DiCamillo

Jun 11, 2018 204

New Mexico’s Italian community has lost a proud member and a good friend. The world has lost a prolific, creative spirit. Born in Gallup NM, Roger DiCamillo was an architect by trade and an artist by nature, with a gifted hand in nearly every medium from oil, watercolor and pastels to sculpture, pottery, lithography, glass and more.

Roger held numerous awards and exhibited throughout the U.S., most recently in the Agora Gallery of New York City’s famed Chelsea art district. In 2015 he was honored by the Albuquerque Art Business Association as a Local Treasure. In that same year he was one of the Italian American artists of New Mexico featured at the NM Italian Film & Culture Festival.

Both in his life and his art, Roger identified heartily with his Italian roots. His pottery and ceramics clearly declare their Italian influence. Many of his paintings depict scenes and villages that lived in his memory of trips to the Old Country. Those memories are captured and catalogued in his book of photos, sketches and paintings entitled Li` in Italia. Ever conscious of his Italianeita`, Roger often recounted stories of his family in Abruzzo, his grandparents’ immigration to New Mexico, and the traditions that he cherished and preserved. He was especially proud of his family’s contributions to the history of Italians in New Mexico, noting that his father, Frank, worked as a bricklayer to build Gallup’s Sacred Heart Cathedral in the Italian style, often referred to as “a piece of Italy in Western New Mexico.”

Roger was always the coolest guy in the room. He never met a stranger, and collected friends by the dozens. His obituary reads, “If you measured friendships in dollars, Roger would be a billionaire.” Arrivederci, caro amico.

SOURCE: Italy in New Mexico

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