Born in Pueblo, Colorado Joseph A. Gatto studied Art Education and Design at California State University, Los Angeles, California (BA). Gatto continued his education at CSULA in Art Education and Design (MA). He completed his tenure of studies in the arts (emphasis on painting) by receiving a Master’s of Fine Art (MFA), Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, California.

Joseph A. Gatto is a fine arts craftsman who began designing and making jewelry when he was sixteen years old. "I was fascinated with the jewelry collections of the major museums in England, Russia, Germany, France and Italy, especially with the jewelry in the Vatican Museum, and the work of Benevuto Cellini."

Over the years Gatto has collected rare antiquities and exotic materials, inlaying them into his handcrafted gold and silver pieces. "[Philosophically] by designing and making jewelry with only antiques, or antiquities, I maintain the culture and traditions of ancient craftsmen; and as a contemporary designer, making jewelry reminds me of my own heritage as an artist designing and making objects of beauty by hand. Since most of the antiques or antiquities [such as Egyptian scarabs] are up to 3000 years old…I am challenged to design…one-of-a-kind pieces, while maintaining the integrity of the artifact…"

Joseph Gatto’s love of the earth and all living creatures is expressed through his jewelry, painting and photography. A deeply mystical artist and craftsman, Gatto views the earth as a vital sphere, offering a precious environment for mankind to honor, protect and respect. His topographic "Environmental" bracelets may be viewed as seen from the air, reminding us of earth’s great deserts and mountains, and vast waters. Earth’s living elements of stone, wood, and precious metals reveal a spirit that comes alive as the individual wears the art piece. His artworks are individually created to bring a rich element into our lives, moving us away from the dullness of a primarily "manufactured-object" world.

Gatto has shown his jewelry at venues such as the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, California; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles, California; Sun Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii; Capitol University Schumaker Gallery, Columbus, Ohio; and the Craft & Cultural Arts Gallery, Oakland, California. His paintings and representational photography has been exhibited at the California National Watercolor Society; Onion Gallery, Sepulveda, California; and Chico State, California. Joseph A Gatto’s work is included in the:
Ann Miller Collection, Edith Wyle Collection (founder, Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles), Sam Maloof Collection, Kent Twitchell Collection; and the Jean Ariyoshi Collection (wife of George Ryoishi Ariyoshi, 3rd Governor, State of Hawaii).

Known nation-wide as a presenter, lecturer, writer and teacher he has published numerous books, among which are: "Drawing Media and Techniques" (Davis Publications); "Color and Value, Elements of Design" (Davis Publications); Exploring Visual Design" (Davis Publications). Among his numerous honors, Gatto was awarded "Distinguished Teacher," The White House, Washington DC (2 consecutive years); and the Ruth Jansen Memorial Award, California Distinguished Art Educator of the year.

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