Rino Friio, The Artist

Oil on Canvas


Born in San Giovanni in Fiore, Italy in 1955, Canadian painter Rino Friio has called Calgary, Alberta his home from infancy.


Since graduating with a degree in Fine Arts from ACAD (Alberta College of Art + Design) in 1981, Rino's warm palette and tranquil compositions have found a receptive audience in a myriad of private and corporate collections.


From the age of eight, Rino became aware of the joy of placing luscious pigment on fabric purely for one's own enjoyment. "Though subject matter may change in life, I believe constant joy is found in the beginning of the manipulation process. I have found the most dynamic painting is done in the first thirty minutes. That's where the raw skill is. Proceeding to completion is a seperate skill in itself."  


He was influenced greatly by Raphael, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Baroque realism. He then progressed his interest to Impressionism where he was largely influenced by Bouguereau, Degas, Monet and Pissaro. By his late teens, Rino's interest turned to The Group of Seven. By 1975, his focus of study shifted to the Abstract Expressionism of Mark Rothko, Chagall, Hans Hoffman and Paul Klee.


Rino's paintings have been on display in a legion of galleries including, Aghazzy Gallery (1977) where he was honoured as the youngest artist to ever be on exhibit in the Gallery. Hudson Bay Company Art Events (1978), Illingworth Kerr Gallery (1980), Art Link (1989), Image 54 Art Gallery (1990), Heartland Country Store Cookbook Illustrations (Best Seller Award, 1994), Art is Vital Gallery (1994, 1995 and 2000) are other notable examples.  His work is currently on display at the exclusive Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont Banff Springs (2017). 


Rino has made many significant donations of his work to support local charities and organizations in Calgary.  In 2007, a Miikka Kiprusoff original sold to benefit the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC).  Paintings at present can be viewed at the Foothills and  Peter Lougheed Hospitals, Glencoe Club and Offices throughout Calgary.


"Painter Rino Friio depicts Calgary streetscapes in a French Impressionist style. “Everything (art-related) is traditionally south of the river,” he says, adding now he’s able to exhibit his works, reflecting the romance and history of Calgary. “The atmosphere here … is beautiful.” ~ Calgary Herald  Published on: December 22, 2014 



Artist's Statement


To capture the light and the moment is important to me because we can only see what the vast changes of the open air will allow. From that, I myself and everyone can enjoy a piece of it in the form of a painting.

Given the modern age with fast pace lifestyles and high speed imagery that we are bound to, it gives me great pleasure to bring my paintings to view for the purpose of our own sentimental keeping, one frame at a time. Maintaining that purpose is what inspires me as an artist.