Lania D’Agostino was born in southwest Michigan in 1957 and was raised on Lake Michigan in a small town. At the age of 16 she saw an exhibit of George Segal at the Chicago Museum of Art and began experimenting with casting her friends and family in plaster, some of whom she never heard from again.
D’Agostino began to hone her skill at the Lake Michigan Community College and then found her way to The Maryland Institute College of Art. It was then that she began sculpting the figure after being discouraged from casting. After graduation with a BFA in 1985, D’Agostino created a business building life cast figures for the museum and film industry. She later began incorporating these skills to create her own works of art.
D’Agostino has done direct body casts of some of Baltimore’s homeless youth and the ongoing project casting the transgender community. Some of these works were shown in the Sondheim Semi-Finalist exhibit at the Myerhoff Gallery (2016) and in solo exhibits, Out of the Rabbit Hole at the Gallery 788 (2014) and Transfigurations, School 33 Art Center (2013).
Lania D’Agostino, never having taken a painting class, utilizes a direct intuitive flow in her drawings and paintings. She is most known for her figurative works of childlike images with jackrabbits, toys and large-eyed children. These all seem to have an underlying feeling of an emotionally charged world of the knowing of the unknown. D’Agostino paints most everyday and has been exploring this medium to process her thoughts and feelings regarding current affairs of politics and racial discourse. These new works are a skilled blend of the intent and direction of D’Agostino’s sculptures with the naivety of a childlike statement of the obvious.