We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabriela Abbondanza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabriela, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in Peru, and moved the the states with my family when I was six years old. Although moving at a young age to a completely different place, with a new language and culture was at times difficult, I have grown to deeply appreciate how it has allowed me to see the world through a unique perspective. Being an immigrant, and being from a family of immigrants has taught me to value my heritage, and value the diversity of humanity in a very powerful way. I’ve had the privilege of growing up in a home where our Peruvian culture was present in every part of our lives, and I learned from my parents what it meant to be hard working, humble, compassionate, and selfless beyond measure, I learned from them the importance of a hot meal together every evening, and the comfort of relying on family at all times, they taught me how to be observant, how to be kind, polite, and always grateful. It was because of my family that I fell in love with humans and with the wonderful chaos each one of us holds. From the world outside my home, I learned of cultures different than mine, of music, art, films, and conversations different than what I was originally introduced to, and with that, the exquisite opportunity to get to know myself in never ending ways, especially mentally, and emotionally.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been making art my entire life. It has always felt like a lifeline for me, and the urge to create has come very naturally in my life. My first true loves have been writing, and drawing, but I’ve also grown fond of multiple medias, such as painting, collage work, and relief printing. My greatest source of inspiration comes from human emotion and I feel that in one way or another my art aims to represent what the human experience means to me. In the past couple of years I have delved into more modern art that tells a simple message, or is an ode to a specific feeling. Oftentimes my art is a way to turn my melancholy into hope, or to simply try to understand or simplify a moment or thought that sometimes seems quite complicated.
I am deeply fascinated by people…faces, expressions, emotions, skin, and movement have captivated my attention and led to a deep curiosity about what makes us be the way we are.
I am growing as an artist every day and am nowhere near where I’d like to be, but I am grateful for the chance to create and the progress I’ve seen so far. When I started my small business I didn’t have many plans for it, i started an art account mostly to give myself a push into sharing more of my artwork with others, and it has turned into a wonderful opportunity to sell prints, see my ideas through, and take on commission work that inspires me. I hope to continue to develop my skills and creativity in a way that can honestly portray my love for people, and fascination with life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m so blessed to live where I live. Rhode Island is truly one of a kind, and when I have friends visit I’m always eager to show off this tiny state and all it has to offer. My perfect week in RI includes some light hikes through one of the many forest trails, grabbing some tea and strolling through some beloved providence book shops. My perfect days always include a chilled bottle of Prosecco being enjoyed under a few trees with a homemade picnic decked out with fresh peach pie, crackers, fruit, and so much cheese.
I have a passion for thrifting and when I visit a new place I always love to check out a local thrift store to see what treasures I may find, so I take my pals to at least a couple of my favorite thrift shops when they’re in town.
I’m also a big fan of ramen noodles, throwback films, and whiskey, so we’d be sure to hit up a ramen spot for dinner, and end the day with a cheesy 80’s classic, an old fashioned, and many chats.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’ve had the pleasure to learn and teach others about the Bible through volunteer work. My family and I began to study with Jehovah’s witnesses when I was 8 years old, and have since all dedicated our lives through baptism. Being part of this worldwide organization has been the greatest joy of my life. Through this faith I have learned the importance of key qualities like humility, patience, kindness, and most importantly love for others. I have met people from all over the world who share my deep passion for helping others, and are united with me through faith and love. I’m grateful that this organization has allowed me to make unbreakable lifelong bonds, including meeting my loving husband Chris, who I share the privilege of serving God with. Being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses has given my life true purpose and meaning, which is something all people deserve to feel.