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Barbara Delligatti: Ashland artist leaving an impression

For Barbara Delligatti, her interest in art began as a hobby but has been painted onto the canvas of her life over the past 25 years.

Born in 1953, the Youngstown, Ohio, native has been painting since 1985. She began working in oils, starting recreationally after the birth of her twins. She decided to take classes in oil painting, but felt compelled to learn more than her instructors were offering. She began teaching herself through books and videos. Still evolving as an artist, Barbara began painting in watercolors in 2000.

The artist studied for two years before opening her first gallery, The Upstairs Gallery, in Ashland, Ky., located at 1428 Winchester Ave., above her husband’s insurance company.

“When I told my husband I’d really like to put an art gallery up here, he said ‘Go for it,’” Barbara said. “I’m an artist. What better place to get your work out than in a permanent home? This is when my hobby turned into business with local artists displaying their talents. The hobby part always remains.”

The gallery space was once upon a time an apartment. Its bedrooms and living areas have been converted into showrooms to display more than 25 Tri-State artists’ paintings, photography and sculptures.

Considering herself an impressionist, Barbara has completed around 400 pieces. Some of them she sells and some she gives as gifts. She says she tries to paint for herself everyday. “I usually have some sort of music on in my studio which reflects the mood I’m presently in. This in turn reflects on my style of painting from classical to hard rock. I totally black out any outside noises, concerns or problems as I am absorbed in my work.”

Barbara’s classes are held every Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the gallery.

She charges $20 per class with the first class free.

“I love painting, not only for myself, but to be able to share my knowledge with my students. Everyone has a God-given talent of some sort and when you discover it … explore it to the max!”

The Upstairs Gallery is open every Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment. The gallery offers refreshments and live music on First Fridays. Featured artists are on hand to meet and greet visitors. Barbara can be reached at (606) 325-0233 or (304) 633-4401 or by e-mail at barbiedell53@hotmail.com.