Toni-Lee’s art can be found on Page 18 Of issue 51.
As a scholar of the carnivalesque and an internationally exhibiting artist, Dr. Toni-Lee Sangastiano studies the postmodern sideshow’s American and European processional origins, and its relevance to contemporary language, aesthetics, and media. She makes visible the people and spaces of the postmodern sideshow and freak show, the codes of normality they challenge as social activism onstage, and the circus through contemporary realism and maker technology. As a leading sideshow banner painter and scholar, she produced this early form of advertisement for the last permanent sideshow in Coney Island during the “sideshow Renaissance” of the 1990s. Sangastiano also approaches the circus and the sideshow, two distinct types of performances, through mixed media and video. She is primarily trained in art theory, aesthetics, and visual arts, but her work also engages philosophy through analysis of power structures, language, and theories of the body within the canon of art history and design.
She is a Digital Media Specialist and Assistant Professor of the Practice in Studio Art and Digital Media in the Art & Art History Department of Georgetown University, where she teaches visual communication, design, and art courses. She is a core faculty member in Georgetown’s Medical Humanities Initiative, and she also conducts research with its Massive Data Institute through a unique partnership using neural nets and machine learning to recognize hard-to-find sideshow banners in archival databases worldwide.
Sangastiano earned a B.A. in Art with a concentration in illustration and graphic design from Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ, and an MFA in studio art at Montclair State University, NJ. She studied classical drawing and painting at the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, and earned a Ph.D. in Visual Arts: Philosophy, Aesthetics and Art Theory, from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, Portland, ME. Carnivalesque, Sangastiano’s most recent solo exhibition at the Lucille M. and Richard F. X. Spagnuolo Gallery at Georgetown University closes on May 23, 2022. Her work has also been exhibited at the Yale School of Art’s Edgewood Gallery, the Coney Island Museum, the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, the Shelburne Museum, Tate Modern, London, and is included in the permanent collection of the Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC).