Dr. Tramantano: English Teacher and Painter


Dr. Adam Tramantano

Study of Innocent X,’ 50″ x 60″

Dr. Tramantano may seem like your average Bronx Science English teacher: he enjoys literature, wears semi-formal clothing, and brings his laptop to school. However, if you look a little closer at his laptop, you may notice colored spots scattered along its surface. They cover his phone case and his sweater as well. This is perhaps the only tell-tale sign that Dr. Tramantano is, in fact, a painter.

With his grandmother’s background as a painter, Dr. Tramantano was exposed to the arts at a young age. His interest in the arts grew during middle school, prompting him to explore potential art high schools. While his artistic side certainly existed as a young adult, painting was not his focus.

“I first started to paint when I was a freshman in college. I took a painting class. I would do it once in a while after that, literally every few years. It was not a continuous thing,” Dr. Tramantano said. It was not until January of 2015 that Dr. Tramantano’s infrequent hobby blossomed into one of his favorite pastimes.

His paintings are often experimental, merging skillful realism and abstract expressionism into one style. In other words, Dr. Tramantano said, “you notice the paint but you also notice the thing be presented.”

Dr. Adam Tramantano
‘Selfie Indulgence,’ 16″ x 20″

One of Dr. Tramantano’s most recent paintings is of his grandmother, inspired by a photograph of her in a family album. While she is no longer living, her spirit is reinvigorated through paint, a medium she enjoyed using herself.

Dr. Tramantano’s paintings are available online. He once had a relatively established social media presence, but the use of social media made him focus too much on the responses of others and not on what he thought of his work. Resenting this, Dr. Tramantano deleted his Instagram account and reduced the number of paintings available on his website.

“[My art] looks better in person,” Dr. Tramantano said. “The parallel would be that there are some musicians who just sound better live than recorded. And I think that is how my art is.”
For those who want to experience Dr. Tramantano’s paintings in real life, there will be an upcoming exhibition at the Tarrytown Library featuring some of his newer works. In the past, Dr. Tramantano’s works have been exhibited at other local libraries, as well as the gallery at Columbia Teachers College.

Dr. Adam Tramantano
‘Experimental Self Portrait,’ 60″ x 40″

Painting is seemingly separate from Dr. Tramantano’s life as a teacher. He admits, “I have two sets of clothes: painting clothes and socially-acceptable clothes.” There are, however, overlapping themes between literature, which he teaches, and painting. “Literature is interpretive; you are trying to interpret what is happening in a story or any work of literature. So I guess I am doing that when I paint. I am trying to interpret, and I would like viewers to try to interpret,” said Dr. Tramantano.

Dr. Adam Tramantano
‘Portrait of My Grandmother,’ 33″ x 33″

Dr. Tramantano is a perfect example of how academic life and creative endeavors are often more linked than we think. Bronx Science, while known for its academics, has an undeniable creative community. Alumni such as Jon Favreau and Daniel Libeskind have succeeded in their respective creative fields; Favreau directed the first two ‘Iron Man’ movies and Libeskind is the architect who designed the Freedom Tower.

Dr. Tramantano’s message to Bronx Science’s creatives is that “you are not alone, there are a lot of us. I see so many students drawing in the margins of their notebooks and the amazing work that they do. So, don’t hide it.”