Jennifer Santaniello, is a New York-based artist whose influences include many artists, styles and genres.
Some of her earliest memories are of drawing, of having the desire to pick up the nearest pencil and draw what ever happened to be in front of her at that particular moment, “With my pencil in hand, anything felt possible.” Jennifer says that decades later it still feels that way for her. She is the daughter of successful contractor and one of her earliest memories is sitting beside her father as he sat on the phone and would draw and or doodle. Something about those moments felt natural and peaceful for Jennifer and she hasn’t put the pencil down since. It was in those precious moments that Jennifer realized the power and freedom that drawing provided.
Drawing was only the beginning. Jennifer has been surrounded by all aspects of art and performance her whole life. She received her first camera at the age of six. As a teenager Jennifer honed in on her drawing skills. As Jennifer entered college, photography quickly became another way of showing people her alternate realities, vast worlds and beauty that played out in her creative mind and imagination. Jennifer’s favorite part of creating as a young kid and teenager was the arts ability to take her somewhere else, somewhere outside herself and her surroundings. Often times these places were magical for her. Jennifer began wanting to create these places for others through viewing her art. If she could get such joy and comfort out of creating maybe others could experience it for themselves through what she created.
Jennifer studied illustration, Animation, and Photography from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in Cambridge.
Seeking employment after college, Jennifer was fortunate enough to land an internship at one of the worlds elite high-end fashion agencies with locations in NYC, London and Paris. This is where she was introduced to fashion as an art. This changed both Jennifer’s perception and her work. Through the agency, Jennifer was fortunate enough to work with the industries most talented national and international artists, photographers, designers and magazines. Jennifer worked as an assistant arts agent through NYC’s Fashion week and had first-hand previews into the worlds leading artists, fashion designers and design influencers. During this time she perfected her digital imaging skills and explored her photography abilities, which enabled her to work among iconic artists and technicians. Jennifer’s passion and experience in the arts and fashion industries helped shape her as an artist and person.
Jennifer’s art has been featured in cities and museums around the world; including New York, Washington, Paris, and Moscow. Her work has also been published in both articles and various art books.
After twelve years in the fine and digital arts fields, Jennifer pursued her graduates degree to combine her love of art and psychology. Jennifer became a Licensed and Nationally Board Certified Art Psychotherapist and EMDR Therapist. Jennifer has a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from New York University. Her art and psych educational training and clinical experience have now focused on integrating psychotherapy, visual arts practice and engaging the creative power of art for clinical assessment and treatment. “It wasn’t enough that art had helped me heal, I wanted others to experience its healing abilities as well.” Jennifer’s studies now promote scholarly research abilities and evidence-based interventions. Jennifer has been both a Presenter and an Events and Studio Chair Assistant for Art Therapy conferences across the United States.
Jennifer’s art studio and Therapy Private Practice is located in Westchester County New York. She is currently affiliated with a New York based Psychiatric Hospital where she regularly provides both individual and group Art Psychotherapy on an inpatient unit serving children and adolescents.
“I will always have questions. Life is as much full of doubt as it is certainty. There is one truth I’ve never questioned, and that is that I am an artist. I knew this as early as I could understand it. There is no doubt that everything I have experienced and lived through finds a place in my art. With all of my life experience and change one thing remains the same, I am an artist and my need to create is fundamental. My hope is that if you’ve found my art, you’re able to leave with something new, something just for you. Thank you for finding me here.”