Gerald Perrino ’80 in his home studio
Enrico Vittorio Pinardi, known to his friends,
family and students as “Henry,” is a nationally
acclaimed artist and professor of art who taught
at RIC from 1967 to 1995. During his time at
the college he dedicated his life to creating
memories with his students, his “kids,” helping
them find them the courage to follow a career in
art, and giving them the strength to believe in
their worth as artists. Many of his students have
found successful careers as artists, business
owners and teachers. These alumni still remain
in touch and express gratitude for Pinardi’s
influence in their life; they collectively refer to
themselves as “Henry’s kids.”
This series traces Pinardi’s influence at RIC
and throughout the local art scene through
profiles of several of his “kids,” as well as the
Click on each of the articles in this five-part
They didn’t start out with a career in mind. In fact, they didn’t even have a direction.
Gerald Perrino ’80 and Dennis Delomba ’76, now artists and teachers both, were the first in their families to attend college. Both knew they didn’t want to go into a trade, yet they didn’t know what other options were available. The only thing they knew for certain was that they were passionate about art.
“I had no map to the future,” said Delomba.
Perrino also struggled with choosing his career path. “I had no role models,” he said.
It wasn’t until encountering Enrico “Henry” Pinardi at Rhode Island College that they found their future. “I thank God every day for Pinardi,” said Perrino.
For Perrino and Delomba, there was always something different and exciting to experience at RIC.
“Rhode Island College was an adventure,” Perrino said. “I couldn’t wait to learn something new every day.”
When Delomba first visited the campus art building, “there was a huge fizz of creativity in the air,” he said. Through his courses he eventually met Pinardi. “It was impossible not to meet Henry. He was involved in everything, from the softball team to the art club and art auctions,” said Delomba.
Pinardi took both students under his wing, embracing their blue-collar background. The two noted that Pinardi, who even today characterizes himself as working class, would always say affectionately “You’re blue collar, you’re smart enough. I can teach you what it takes to survive in college.”
Throughout their tenure at RIC, Pinardi helped Delomba and Perrino find their way. He helped them create portfiolios and apply to prestigious graduate programs, encouraging them to have confidence in themselves as professional artists.
Delomba credited Pinardi with helping him gain acceptance into the master’s in sculpting program at RISD. “I believe I was accepted not only because of his letter of recommendation, but his belief in me,” Delomba said. Perrino cited Pinardi’s support and assistance as factors in both creating his diverse portfolio and landing a full scholarship to Syracuse University.
Dennis Delomba ’76 at home with his work
Today, both Perrino and Delomba are successful artists and faculty at local colleges: Perrino is associate professor and chair for the Art Department at Salve Regina, while Delomba is adjunct faculty of art at CCRI. Still in touch with Pinardi, the men try to bring his legacy into their classrooms.
“He became a model for me in a time when I didn’t know who I wanted to become,” Delomba said.
As for Perrino, Pinardi is the reason he was able to find his own path in life. “There are so many breaths and heartbeats in this body, I don’t want to spend them on anyone else’s goals,” he said. “I couldn’t have done that without Henry.”