Glenn Abanilla draws buildings. Repeatedly. Tenements and crumbling factories to be exact. The remnants of the industrial revolution, are his subject matter. He visits and draws the hulking nineteenth century mills and worker housing that have only recently ceased to be the center of communities here in Rhode Island.
Glenn is fascinated by the human history of these now near vacant buildings. In front of one of his drawings you feel the conspicuous absence of human presence. Mills that held hundreds of workers a day sit still and haunted. Rows of tenements range up and down hilly streets with unknown stories inside. Though haunting, the images are not made to be depressing. The architecture itself is a testament to a past that won’t die, proud, resilient and enduring.
Glenn was born in Providence, RI in 1970. He began drawing during childhood, and at fourteen, was awarded a scholarship to the RISD Museum's 'Junior School' where he took several drawing classes. After high school Glenn worked in a variety of positions to fund his fine arts education. Glenn completed an Associates Degree in Fine Art from the Community College of Rhode Island in 1997.
Glenn now works as a painter and illustrator in Johnston, RI, in addition to exhibiting around the area. Glenn’s work has been commissioned by a broad variety of individuals who respond to his unique style ranging from rock musicians for whom he has designed album covers to a poet whose published works he illustrated in 1996 to private art collectors.
In Providence, RI, Glenn has exhibited his work at Gallery Agniel, the Providence Art Club and the Sarah Doyle Gallery at Brown University. His work has also been featured at the W.M. Turner Gallery in Pawtucket, RI.