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.

Maria has worked with several businesses big and small to develop illustrations for brands and products. She also takes on private commissions for building illustrations, event posters and more. 

You may have come across some of Maria’s work on 2016, 2017 and 2018 Saranac beer labeling, the 2015 Made in Utica Passport and Utica Coloring Book.

Interested in working with me? Contact me, I want to illustrate for YOU!

Notable Clients:

  • Saranac Brewery

  • Flying Bison Brewery

  • City of Utica

  • Made in Utica

  • DJ Ease One

  • Suzi's Place Diner

  • The Mustard Seed

Where to Find Retro Sorrento: 

Gallery Showings & Acknowledgements: 

  • Big Ol' Steamrolling Print Invitational, MWPAI, July 2017 & 2018

  • Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce "Area Pride" Small Business Week Award 2018

  • 2018 City Showcase Banner Program - City of Utica

  • 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

  • "Star Wars v. Star Trek" Gallery at the Tech Garden, Syracuse, NY 2016

  • 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: