Updates for November 2014

Abstract art show- Karpeles
Abstract art show- Karpeles

One of my untitled pieces is hanging in an ongoing show at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum in Santa Barbara.  There will be  opening receptions on two First Thursdays, December 4 and March 5. Please drop by.

Now at the Karpeles:

Untitled, 2013, 16”x20”, framed, acrylic on board, © A. Michael Marzolla
Untitled, 2013, 16”x20”, framed, acrylic on board, © A. Michael Marzolla

 

I have finished my last panel for the Vera Cruz House here in Santa Barbara. The panel is a light-hearted flash-back of symbols of my time in Roma from ’58-’62’; La Boca de Verita, a Roman theatre mask and the She Wolf with Romulus & Remus.

“Roma Memories” - acrylic on hardiback panel, 8.5”x36”; © 2014 A. Michael Marzolla Panel installed on Vera Cruz House, Santa Barbara, CA
“Roma Memories” – acrylic on hardiback panel, 8.5”x36”; © 2014 A. Michael Marzolla
Panel installed on Vera Cruz House, Santa Barbara, CA

Reunited with Abstract Artist Friend

On a recent trip to New York City I reconnected

with an old friend and fellow abstract artist, Peter

A. Bradley. We had not seen each other for over

thirty years.

Peter and I first met in Guatemala, where I was

serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He and his

Basenji dog Kota appeared at my door step lost,

looking for lodging. A Peace Corps colleague told

Reunited with Abstract Artist Friend

Michael and Peter Bradley in the Village, NYC
Michael and Peter Bradley in the Village, NYC

him to look for an artist named Michael living

in the town of Mixco, just outside of Guatemala

City. Peter ended up traveling with my black

Labrador Mars and me for three months,

throughout Guatemala. I learned that

Peter was an extraordinarily well-know

member of the arts scene in New York

City and an accomplished abstract artist.

He was a member of the color field

school. I also learned that his father was

Miles Davis.

Peter has done well as artist. On one

occasion he traded one of his paintings for

a brand new custom-made Ferrari. His

biography is impressive. Here is a link to

his web site: www.peterabradley.com

Our recent reunion was joyous. Peter

credits me with having saved him from

wandering aimlessly in the jungles of

Central America. On our most recent

vist we spent time at his East Village

apartment and then we travelled north

along the Hudson River to his studio and home

in Saugerties, near Rhinebeck, New York.

Peter Bradley in his studio in Saugaties, NY
Peter Bradley in his studio in Saugaties, NY

There I was able to view his recent work, as well as

some of his earlier pieces, including several

sculptures. It was inspirational experience.

Peter and I are committed to staying in touch.

We talked about him visiting Santa Barbara

and the possibility of Peter teaching an artist’s

workshop while he’s here. Perhaps organized by

the Abstract Art Collective.

Peter Bradley showing his studio
Peter Bradley showing his studio
Peter and a recent work in his viewing room.
Peter and a recent work in his viewing room.
A recent painting by Peter Bradley
A recent painting by Peter Bradley

Last chance to visit the Abstract Artist Collective’s “SB Abstract Open” show at the Faulkner Main Gallery

Do you appreciate abstract art? Then take a moment  and visit the Faulkner Gallery at the downtown library here in Santa Barbara to see one of the best art shows on the South Coast.  I  am happy to report have two pieces in this juried show.  Hurry over. The show comes down this Friday, October 31st at 10 AM.

“Excogitation to the 3rd Power”, 2013, framed triptic; acrylic & mixed media on board & canvas; framed, 16”x36”; © A. Michael Marzolla $2,500.00
“Excogitation to the 3rd Power”, 2013, framed triptic; acrylic & mixed media on board & canvas; framed, 16”x36”; © A. Michael Marzolla $2,500.00
Two of my works hanging in the AAC Abstract Open
Two of my works hanging in the AAC Abstract Open

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A panoramic of the AAC show at the Faulkner
A panoramic of the AAC show at the Faulkner

“Beyond Your Dreams” gallery exhibit September 29 thru November 1st, 2014

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This piece is located on the upper part of the gallery.
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Look for this piece at the foot of the stairs on the left.

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You are invited to visit Gallery 113 (http://sbartassoc.org/gallery-113/) Located at 1114 State Street in the picturesque La Arcada court in downtown Santa Barbara. Gallery 113 is open seven days a week, excluding major holidays.  The gallery hours are:  Monday- Saturday, 11am – 5pm and Sunday, 1 – 5pm.  Call 965-6611 for more information.

I have two juried pieces that are in the show. Please stop by!

"Creatura”, acrylic on panel, 18”x24”x1.5”; © 2014, A. Michael Marzolla  $750.00
“Creatura”, acrylic on panel, 18”x24”x1.5”; © 2014, A. Michael Marzolla $750.00
"Cosmic Splash”, acrylic on panel, 16”x20”x1.5”;© 2014, A. Michael Marzolla $650.00
“Cosmic Splash”, acrylic on panel, 16”x20”x1.5”;© 2014, A. Michael Marzolla $650.00

 

The Vera Cruz House

Thanks to my architect friend Glen Deisler who introduced me architect Jeff Shelton who designed the Vera Cruz House at 521 Santa Barbara Street in Santa Barbara. The house is unique as it is covered with paintings by local artists. I have contributed four paintings to the project, two of which have been mounted on the house.  Treat yourself- stop by the house and feast your eyes. (It is a private residence, and you need permission to walk around the house).

Vera Cruz House, 521 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA_IMG_4912

Vera Cruz House, 521 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA_IMG_4912

Vera Cruz House, 521 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA_IMG_4912
Vera Cruz House, 521 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA_IMG_4912- The two paintings below are now mounted on this side of the house.

Quality prints of my Vera Cruz paintings are available for purchase.

Oso & Einstein on the Beach in Santa Barbara
Oso & Einstein on the Beach in Santa Barbara, acrylic on panel; © 2014 A. Michael Marzolla
Zambezi Crocodile Mask in honor of Babatunde Folayemi, acrylic on tuff panel, for Vera Cruz House, 15 1/4”x 45 1/2”; © 2014 A. Michael Marzolla
Zambezi Crocodile Mask in honor of Babatunde Folayemi, acrylic on tuff panel, for Vera Cruz House, 15 1/4”x 45 1/2”; © 2014 A. Michael Marzolla

Samples of my early work

Untitled Engraving,1973
Untitled Engraving,1973

While living in Humboldt County I was inspired by old photographs and images from the Mexican revolution and the images of Native Americans. These are images from that period.

Prints are available upon request. Price is determined by size.

"Dos Sombreros after Alfonso Casasola", mixed media on paper, 16"x20", © 1973 A. Michael Marzolla
“Dos Sombreros after Alfonso Casasola”, mixed media on paper, 16″x20″, © 1973 A. Michael Marzolla
"Ho'néhevotoomáhe/Wolf Robe", Southern Cheyenne,  (b. 1838-1841, d. 1910, Oklahoma)
“Ho’néhevotoomáhe/Wolf Robe”, Southern Cheyenne, (b. 1838-1841, d. 1910, Oklahoma)
"Mixed Time Niches", Pen, ink and pencil on paper, 10 3/4"x 13", © 1973 A. Michael Marzolla
“Mixed Time Niches”, Pen, ink and pencil on paper, 10 3/4″x 13″, © 1973 A. Michael Marzolla

Art for Causes: Join me at the Voices closing reception August 17th.

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There are still many wonderful paintings available for purchase.  I have several small pieces that are available:

The following 8″x8″x1.5″ pieces are still available for sale at the show at $45.00 each. All sales benefit the SMHS Performing Arts Fund.

“raizes”, acrylic on panel, 8”x8” x1.5",  © A. Michael Marzolla 2014
“raizes”, acrylic on panel, 8”x8” x1.5″,
© A. Michael Marzolla 2014
”Cicli”, acrylic on canvas, 8”x8”,  © A. Michael Marzolla, 2014
”Cicli”, acrylic on canvas, 8”x8”, © A. Michael Marzolla, 2014
"Horizonte", acrylic on panel, 8”x8” x1.5",  © A. Michael Marzolla 2014
“Horizonte”, acrylic on panel, 8”x8” x1.5″,
© A. Michael Marzolla 2014
"Sorriso torto", acrylic on panel, 8”x8” x1.5",  © A. Michael Marzolla 2014
“Sorriso torto”, acrylic on panel, 8”x8” x1.5″,
© A. Michael Marzolla 2014
"Excogitation on metamorpho", acrylic on panel, 8”x8” x1.5",  © A. Michael Marzolla 2014
“Excogitation on metamorpho”, acrylic on panel, 8”x8” x1.5″,
© A. Michael Marzolla 2014

This larger piece is also available for purchase:

“Cartooning in the abstract” 2013, 12”x16”, mixed media & acrylic on board; © 2013 A. Michael Marzolla
“Cartooning in the abstract” 2013, 12”x16”, mixed media & acrylic on board; © 2013 A. Michael Marzolla  $450.00

 

A Tribute to my Labrador Buddies

Four Labs 3 P5280013

“Four labs”, acrylic on canvas, framed 24”x36”; © 2014 A. Michael Marzolla 

My painting in tribute to my four Labrador friends.  Originals and prints are available.

Bear, Mars, Humboldt and Oso.

Oso & Einstein on the Beach in Santa Barbara
Oso & Einstein on the Beach in Santa Barbara

This painting is hanging on the south wall of the Vera Cruz House on Santa Barbara Street in Santa Barbara.

"Bear the Dog" etching Ink on paper
“Bear the Dog” etching Ink on paper

My first zinc engraving from way back in 1970. Bear was my first Humboldt County Lab. He was half Lab and half McNab.  Prints available for sale.

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Oso was my most recent Lab buddy. He passed in January of 2012 at the age of 13.  November, 1998-January 2012.

"Oso the Wonderdog"
“Oso the Wonderdog”, photograph printed on canvas. © 2011 A. Michaewl Marzolla

My formal portrait of Oso.

 

Witness to a dream: El Tigre, Ahuachapan, El Salvador

These are my photographs from the El   Tigre Agricultural Cooperative Nutrition Education Project in El Salvador from 1976-’77 where I was Peace Corps Volunteer & a project team-member.  These photos document the cooperative and community life.

El Tigre, El Salvador.001

My Peace Corps service started in 1973 in Guatemala, working with an agricultural cooperative.  I had a degree in art from Humboldt State but wanted the experience of learning first hand about other cultures and was looking forward to making new friends and improving my Spanish. I hoped to make a small difference in Central America.

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In 1976, I was reassigned to a nutrition education research project located in El Salvador. The purpose  was to assess a rural community’s protein/calorie malnutrition status and determine if local food sources could be developed to address the malnutrition.  Three out of four children were considered malnourished because they were not receiving enough protein and calories. International food aid was not solving the problem.  Could a model program be developed that would improve nutrition status using local food sources?

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After meeting with local community leaders, the El Tigre community cooperative in El Salvador was identified as an ideal site for the project.  This is a photo of the coop headquarters. The cooperative was made up of approximately 30 families with a total population of 150 people. All of the families lived on or near the cooperatives’ land.

El Tigre
El Tigre

The coop managed approximately 800 hectares/ or 1,977 acres of arable land.  Corn and beans served as their basic food crop, with surplus being sent to market. When the project was initiated, the cooperative was farming using only animal traction, hand planting and cultivation.

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Transport to and from the cooperative was on foot, horse-back or via the chicken bus that carried not only people, but often small livestock, and sometimes even pigs. Roads into the area were not paved and subject to washouts and flooding in the rainy season. The nearest school, market and clinic was 14 kilometers away in the town of Ahuachapan.

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This gentleman, a member of the coop, is sitting with his grandsons on the porch of the coop offices. He would tell me stories of his childhood, and in particular, I remember him telling me of the 1932 Pipil Indian revolt and the resulting massacre of 10,000 Pipiles by General Martinez, the El Salvador head-of-state. The abuelito told me with a hint of irony that Martinez’s explanation was that the lives of the Pipiles was so miserable that he was doing them a favor and speeding their trip to heaven.

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This was typical house for a cooperative member’s family. The houses were seen as transitional to more permanent adobe or cement block structures that a family would build as the money and materials became available.

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Our project team included an multi-national group of medical staff, technicians and research scientists from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, Holland and the U.S. We developed  a sense of mutual trust that proved to be crucial for the projects success as we worked on nutrition assessments and nutritional education programs. The most popular activity was the outdoor movie night.

Witness to a dream
Witness to a dream

The project began with a health assessment of all of the community members. This included biometrics: weight, height, age, Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood values. This information was used to establish the communities’ overall health baseline. Here, our teams’ master health technician, Ruben Dario does a BMI assessment on a very pregnant community member.

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This is the El Tigre Cooperative manager visiting with one of the coop’s prized oxen. When the cooperative was started, animal traction was the primary means of preparing the ground for planting as well as for hauling heavy loads. Hauling was done with two-wheeled ox carts, the sort of conveyance that was common back in the times of ancient Rome.

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This is a classic ancient-style plough used for preparing the coop’s land for planting. It was hauled by a team of oxen.  There wasn’t the labor and time available to prepare the 800 hectares by hand and so much of the land would lay fallow or unplanted.

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These cooperative members hold tools of their trade: an azadon ( a large hoe), picks, machetes, and home-made cane knives. The large vessels in the foreground were for hauling  water to the field. One is made of metal, and the other is made from clay. Today these have been replaced by cheap Chinese made vessels.

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Eventually the cooperative was able to secure a loan to mechanize their production. They were able purchase two tractors, disks, and a large truck for hauling seed, fertilizer and product. This investment increased the cooperatives ability to expand their production capacity and leap from the 17th to the 20th century in terms of technology.

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These are the proud owners of a newly acquired disk.   This tool gave them the capacity to expand the cultivation of crops to a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. This increased their income so they could purchase livestock,  thus giving the families more access to protein.

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Here the cooperatives male members gather for a group portrait. Together in a cooperative, they were able to expand their potential and the possibility of creating a better life for themselves and their families.  It was a successful grassroots effort started by the community members themselves.

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Doña Maria shows off her homebuilt kitchen. Most of the women members not only worked the land, they also had the endless task of preparing meals for their families.  There was no running water, electricity or refrigeration. Firewood was the principal cooking fuel.

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Here a cooperative family, Don Mario, and his wife and daughter are sitting down for a meal of corn tortillas, beans, rice, chicken and greens. This was a feast compared to many rural families, who, if they were lucky would have a meal of only tortillas and beans.

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This is our INCAP team and coop families on the porch of the El Tigre Coop building in 1977. The project was able to track the improvement of protein/calorie intake and the increase in family income. There was a strong sense of hope and possibility among these families.

When political tensions in El Salvador increased and our team was labeled “communists” by the U.S.-backed Salvadoran government we were told to leave the country. The El Tigre Cooperative was eliminated and the families forced to flee.   This album of photos is very likely the only record of a period of hope and a project that might have served as a model for helping address chronic poverty and malnutrition.

When political tensions in El Salvador increased and our team was labeled “communists” by the U.S.-backed Salvadoran government we were told to leave the country. The El Tigre Cooperative was eliminated and the families forced to flee.   This album of photos is very likely the only record of a period of hope and a project that might have served as a model for helping address chronic poverty and malnutrition.

©  2013 A. Michael Marzolla, All Rights Reserved