Angelina Dolores Possemato can’t help but smile when she describes how much she loves making art. “It makes me happy. It’s so colorful and fun.”

Trained in ballet, she had been dancing since the age of 3. The 22-year-old spent summers dancing in New York before moving to Chicago to dance for the Common Conservatory. She was living her dream when the pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt in 2020.

Like so many others, she moved back home with her parents in Fort Wayne. Not wanting to become a couch potato, she started sketching and dabbling in art. “My mom’s an artist,” she says. “I grew up with her always making art and she collects art. I was surrounded by it and always appreciated it, but I never really tried it.”

Angelina Dolores Possemato works on a piece of art at her gallery at Davey’s Delicious Bagels.

Once she did, she said it was like flipping a light switch. “It was immediate that I fell in love with it because it brought me so much joy. It was like I was a child again playing with paint and with my hands.”

The unplanned break in her dance career turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “With dance, it’s very rehearsed and practiced,” she says. “But with art, you just go for it. It’s free. It’s like art improv.”

It didn’t take long for her to realize this form of art is what she wanted to do with her life. Others are taking note as well. She sells her work at the YLNI Farmers Market downtown and has a gallery of her work in the back room of Davey’s Delicious Bagels on Broadway. You can also find her work at angelinadolores.com.

In part one of a two-part special Positively Fort Wayne, we explore Angelina’s newfound passion for art and how it’s ignited a new dream for her future. Next week, we’ll take a look at how her dance career has taken on a whole new look and look into her artwork.