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
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.