West Virginia University College of Creative Arts alumnus Stanley Palmieri is one of the competitive designers vying for the top prize in the seventh season of HGTV’s top-rated reality show “Design Star.”
The finalists in the one-hour series include professional interior designers, contractors, stylists and artists. After navigating through innovative design challenges and impressing a panel of judges, one contestant will win his or her own show on the hit network.
The show is judged by acclaimed HGTV interior designers Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder, along with some special celebrity guests including Daisy Fuentes, Vanilla Ice and Sabrina Soto, host of HGTV’s “The High Low Project.”
Palmieri had a rocky start and faced elimination the first week, but lived to design another day on the competitive show. He’s quickly rebounded in the second and third week and won the most recent challenge of creating an office for reality TV star and Kardashian family mom and manager, Kris Jenner.
Palmieri uses custom sculptures and innovative wall installations to impress the judges and clientele. He says these skills were developed early on while studying at WVU.
“My studies at WVU influenced me more as a formalist sculptor,” he said. “I was working with a lot of metals while I was there and began forming my design style called ‘artistic industrial.’”
As for his academic influences, Palmieri credits several faculty members who have helped him become the designer he is today.
“Alison Helm, now the director of the School of Art and Design, was a huge influence on me,” he said. “She showed me drive, motivation and perfectionism, as well as teaching me a lot of my skill with tools.”
The bond and friendship made between Palmieri and his ‘sculpture mom’ Helm is one that still thrives today.
“He would soak up everything I said, so it was a pleasure to teach him as I felt that he really listened to me and that made it easy to want to pour more thoughts and ideas into him,” Helm said.
“He is ambitious, thoughtful, caring of others, confident and, above all things, talented. That is why I love teaching, because every once in a while you get to have the honor of watching a star being born. Stanley is one of those students that I will never forget.”
While being a contestant on “Design Star” and possibly starring in a show of your own is every designer’s dream, the road getting there can be a bumpy one. Palmieri had to adjust to life in front of the camera and hectic design challenges.
“It was a lot more difficult than I thought,” he said. “You have to be extremely quick to adapt and react while being able to accept your plan going from A to Z. It also took me a bit to get used to being in front of cameras all the time.”
Palmieri’s designs and sculptural pieces are quite popular in several spots in Morgantown, including Tailpipes, Dragonfly, Ky’s Lounge and Karma Nightclub.
The designer was pretty tight-lipped when asked about choosing a favorite design in Morgantown.
“I cannot say if I have a favorite anymore because each of the places I have designed and built has something that represents me,” said Palmieri. “If I had to choose though, Tailpipes has some great burgers.”
Palmieri was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Combined Media from the State University of New York at Albany and his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from WVU. After graduating, he co-founded Artistic Landscape Creations with two of his closest friends. The company quickly became a prominent force in the Pittsburgh area.
Palmieri decided to leave the company and pursue his master’s in New York. In graduate school, while studying under Ed Mayer, Adam Frelin and Roger Bisbing, he found his true artistic self during the evolution of his “provoked performances.” This type of performance allows adults to psychologically turn back into children as they are allowed to break and destroy various objects. It was also during this time he started designing and building restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
To see Palmieri compete to become a “Design Star,” watch the show Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on HGTV.
For more information on Stanley Palmieri, visit his website at http://www.stanleypdesign.com.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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