Huntsville, Ala – New York artist Donato Giancola balances modern concepts with realism in his paintings to bridge the worlds of contemporary and historical art. The Huntsville Museum of Art is proud to present Donato Giancola: From Middle Earth to Outer Space and Beyond beginning Saturday, November 16, through January 19, 2014.

From J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to paintings inspired by Old World masters, the exhibition will present the full range of the artist’s magical and highly engaging paintings and drawings. It is organized by the Museum as part of its yearlong exhibition series American Beauty: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

“Donato Giancola, who’s widely considered the most popular and successful sci-fi/fantasy illustrator working today, is an unusual contemporary artist whose work is deeply rooted in traditional art movements of the past,” Peter J. Baldaia, Director of Museum Curatorial Affairs, said. “Through his mastery of technique used by Renaissance and Baroque artists, he conveys modern fantasy subjects that have a broad appeal to the public,” he added.

The exhibition will be divided into four thematic sections: mythological and contemporary realism; science fiction; Tolkien-inspired Middle Earth and fantasy paintings; and astronauts and outer space. Especially for Huntsville and this exhibit, Giancola has created a new space-themed painting, which will also be on display titled Awakening.

Since beginning his professional career in 1993, Giancola’s list of clients has grown to include major book publishers in New York to West Coast concept-design firms. His clients include The United Nations, LucasArts, National Geographic, Scientific American, CNN, DC Comics, Microsoft, The Village Voice, Playboy Magazine, US Postal Service, Wizards of the Coast, Scholastic, Simon&Schuster, Tor Books, Random House, Time/Warner, The SyFy Channel, Milton-Bradley and Hasbro.

The public is invited to join the artist for a personally-guided exhibit tour Sunday, November 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. Giancola will sign his book Middle-Earth: Visions of a Modern Myth, in which he explores the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, following the tour. The Women’s Guild of the Huntsville Museum of Art will also host a reception in the Richard and Roper Room following the tour. This opening event is FREE to Museum members and included in general admission for nonmembers. The Museum Store will carry Donato Giancola exhibit-related merchandise.

Major corporate sponsors for the exhibition are iBERIABANK and Davidson Technologies. Additional support was provided by The Alabama State Council on the Arts, The Huntsville Times and, and The Women’s Guild of the Huntsville Museum of Art.

The Museum is closed on Mondays and some major holidays. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m.−4 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m. The Museum is open Sundays from 1−4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for military, students, teachers, and seniors with a valid ID; and $5 for children ages 6−11. Admission for Museum members and children under 6 is free. After 5 p.m. on Thursdays, admission is only $5 for nonmembers, as part of the museum’s $5 After Five program.

People who skate at the Museum’s outdoor ice rink will receive a $5 admission discount to the galleries, when they present their wrist bands. Skating in the Park, in its second year, will open Thursday, Nov. 21, and be open seven days a week through Jan. 5, 2014. Visit for more. For more information, visit or call 256-535-4350.