by Dave Warner

Oscar Stivala’s ‘Evolution’ art exhibit opened at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA) on Friday night to a packed house.

Stivala is well known in the jazz and art circles of Central New York and has delighted audiences with his music and paintings for many years.

According to Stivala “I call this show Evolution because it’s my evolution through the years. I used to do mostly impressionist paintings which are fine. Five years ago I did one of my first abstract paintings and I liked it, but I still did not understand what I was trying to say.”

“But, I finally evolved and incorporate materials into the canvas to make it three dimensional. Because I’m a surgeon, I’m used to objects and mass, not just flat things. The same evolution I had in art I’ve had in music, but that happened a lot quicker,” he said.

Stivala was just a teenager playing Dixieland because he didn’t know anything else. “When I went to the City, I met some real jazz musicians and I listened to them. I got it, so it didn’t take me 50 years to evolve in music like it did in my art.”

Stivala’s art blossomed into marble and wood sculptures, and then the bold, colorful sculptural paintings he is known for today. His paintings frequently depict his world of jazz and its masters.

Today, Stivala can be found painting in his studio or jamming with his jazz cohorts in local festivals and clubs.

The exhibit runs through June 15, 2019. The MVCA is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12 pm until 4 pm. You can find out more by visiting