Retro Sorrento

Illustrated and Handmade designs

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” - Kurt Vonnegut



Maria Vallese is an illustrator and artist living in Utica, NY. She is a 2010 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.F.A. in Illustration. Maria specializes in color- saturated artwork and illustrations, inspired by building architecture, interesting places and people and a little bit of nostalgia.

In 2009 Maria founded Retro Sorrento, which combines her art and freelance illustration business with her bohemian-style handmade designs. You may have come across some of Maria’s work on 2016, 2017 and 2018 Saranac beer labeling, the Made in Utica Passport and Utica Coloring Book.

Where to Find Retro Sorrento: 

  • Signature 81 - Clinton, NY
  • The Indie Garage Sale - Utica, NY
  • Etsy
  • Several Craft Shows, trunk shows and farmer's markets - please check Calendar for more details! 

Notable Clients:

  • Saranac Brewery
  • Flying Bison Brewery
  • City of Utica
  • Made in Utica
  • DJ Ease One
  • Suzi's Place Diner
  • The Mustard Seed

Gallery Showings: 

  • Utica Love's "Bohemian Nights" Exhibit, August 2017
  • Utica Love Art Exhibit, April 2017
  • Maria Vallese/Rosa Oliveri Art Exhibit, The Dev, Utica NY March 2016
  • MWPAI Sidewalk Art Show 2015, 2014, 2011, 2010
  • "Star Wars v. Star Trek" Gallery at the Tech Garden, Syracuse, NY 2016
  • "Love Me Do" Strut Gallery 2014
  • 2014 ProjectU Display, Downtown Utica
  • featured artist 2014
  • Electric Nostalgia, Solo Exhibit, Urban Headquarters Utica, 2011
  • 2010 RIT Senior Illustrators Exhibit at Gallery R in Rochester, NY


    Follow me on Instagram to see work in progress and processes: