Painter and three-dimensional artist Roberto Garcia will participate at the Art in the Garden Festival 2009 Aug. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. at El Rancho Pinoso in the upper Blanco Basin. He will bring some of his wildlife and sealife bronze sculptures as well as paint plein aire at this year’s event.
Roberto was born in Laredo, Texas. He started sketching in elementary school and was encouraged by his parents who noticed his natural talent. He was further encouraged to pursue art by his high school art teacher. He attended University of Texas, Austin, where he had the opportunity to apprentice with sculpture Professor Charles Umlauf, who he credits with giving him the confidence to work with three dimensional media. He received his B.F.A. in studio fine art in 1978. He then attended the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in Princeton, N.J.
From 1980 to 1984, he worked exclusively in the art world as a freelance artist and art foundry assistant. In 1985 he built his own foundry in Texas.
In 1997, he came to Pagosa Springs with his wife and two children and has been here since then. He has built his own house and foundry here. Roberto does every part of the artistic process himself. His bronze pieces usually start with a sketch, then he forms a mold with clay, which is coated with rubber and then wax.
The wax mold is removed from the clay and used as the mold for a ceramic shell. This is placed in a kiln to harden the shell and melt the inner wax away. Roberto built his own kiln for this process.
The hollow ceramic form can next be used to mold the molten bronze. Roberto also built his own furnace for melting the bronze.
The finishing work is all done by hand to produce the completed bronze statue. The finish work involves sandblasting, grinding, chiseling, and even welding.
Roberto produces pieces of all size, from animal subjects for a mantel to life size pieces in the classical form. He was commissioned by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs to do the Fourteen Stations of the Cross, a project that he did in bronze over a period of three years. His work, including a life size statue of George Washington, is on display in public buildings in Texas.
Roberto also sculpts in marble and paints with ink, oil and acrylic. He has recently returned from a trip to Europe where he was captivated and inspired by the beauty of the classic art and sculpture so prevalent there. He noticed a reverence for art that seems to permeate European culture and came back hopeful that in America we are evolving to that level of appreciation for great art.
There will be 15 artists at Art in the Garden Festival 2009. Art will be available for purchase by cash or check. As well as wonderful art, there will be gourmet food, and live music in a beautiful mountain setting. Tickets are on sale for $30 at the the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, the Community United Methodist Church and the Plaid Pony.
All proceeds, including 30 percent of fine art sales, go to the CUMC Community Assistance Fund to help those in need in Archuleta County, regardless of religious affiliation. The public is invited to attend and enjoy the art, food and music on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. at El Rancho Pinoso here in Archuleta County.