Human Rights Office

Human Rights Office
Human Rights Office

Tile E4

"She will dance again"

Joan Romano


Artist's Biography

Joan Andal Romano was born in Legazpi City, Philippines, and immigrated to Canada at the age of three.  She grew up in Toronto against a backdrop of a multi-cultural community.  She grew up in an environment of diversity and acceptance.     
At a young age, Joan realized one of her strongest subject was mathematics.  She ultimately became a professional engineer and so far, her career spans over fourteen years.  Then there was her other strong subject - art. She recalls a class where she created a full-sized large mural depicting her impression of the novel "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck.  The teacher extremely impressed, stated, "Joan, you were born with a gift, I hope you use your artistic talent in the future, it would be a waste otherwise".  Her high school teacher's advice would echo in her mind for years.  Then in September 2010, she began to paint and experiment with mixed media art.  She joined a studio group of artists in Campbellville where she continues to learn mixed media techniques.  

Fast forward, three years later, Joan is a member of the Fine Arts Society of Milton, Artists Toronto, Artists' Network of Riverdale and Gallery 1313.  She has participated in several juried art exhibitions across Toronto and continues to sell artwork in galleries located in the hub of Toronto's art scene.  The Hangman Art Gallery, located on Queen Street East, was the gallery she chose to hold her very first solo art exhibition. The exhibition ran from August 28 - September 16, 2012 and was a defining moment in Joan's art career.  Her solo show resulted in several media release coverage.  She titled her show 50/50 due to her use of both her left and right brain.  Art enthusiasts await her next art exhibition as most of her mixed media artwork sold during opening week.

Joan continues to create artwork as she finds inspiration in the most unexpected places.

"Art allows me to live my 'best life'."  




Artist's Statement

In some third world countries women with disabilities or suspected to have a disease are kept hidden from the public usually in a small shed. In countries with material abundance, women place themselves in isolation and hide away in their secret place. A representation of this shed or secret place can be found to the right of the artwork. The woman in the artwork is outside the shed and is facing forward toward her future. Not only is she free from this shed of despair, she is also dressed in a beautiful gown. Perhaps she is going to attend a regal party. She is a simple soul in a dress worthy of her inner strength. When I created this artwork; I envisioned a woman dancing or preparing to dance. Her two hands are in front of her as she lifts her dress and takes the first step, perhaps hearing her song after years of hearing only ridicule. 

     All of us are broken in one way or another. Some of us are broken in several tiny pieces. But then life throws us some "healing glue".  Some examples of such glue are love, support, kindness, patience and the understanding of grace.  We are such gentle and fragile souls. We need to allow ourselves to dry and set properly. Then once set, we are rock solid, ready to live life to the fullest again. Yes, the woman in the painting will dance again. Even when no one is watching; she will be smiling, singing, and dancing.