This year marks the third annual Art in the Garden Festival Art Show and committee members are gearing up to produce a fantastic event. Their goal is to raise the bar even higher than at the first two festivals and to throw a few unexpected surprises into the mix.
On Aug. 21, from 3 to 7 p.m., you can join in the fun at Werner and Maryse Buck’s lovely property and gardens located in beautiful Continental Estates approximately 2.5 miles from the turnoff of U.S. 160 onto U.S. 84.
Local artist and sculptor Roberto Garcia will be on hand at the event, working plein aire for the third consecutive year. However, this time around his wife, Ana, also an artist and sculptor, will join him. It will be the first year she participates, along with 14 other artists, eight musical groups and numerous chefs who will help ensure the success of the event.
Ana Garcia, who adopted the name “Baby” for her artwork, was born in Detroit, Mich., but grew up in Laredo, Texas. She is the youngest of three siblings and recalls her mother purchasing painting by number kits for them to paint during the summer. Ana was always eager for summer to arrive so she could paint. Her father, who also influenced her, was very creative. In junior high she found her gift in drawing. Ana attended Laredo Junior College before transferring to Texas A&M in Kingsville, Texas. Her sister, Aida, helped her select fine art as her major. When she first started college, she had so many paintings that her sister and mother would conduct raffles for the paintings in order to help Ana earn extra money. Her first sculpting class convinced her she should follow in that direction.
Ana continues to spend most of her time sculpting in the foundry she and Roberto built when they moved to Pagosa Springs. The past two years she has started painting again after leaving it for almost 20 years. She finds digital painting especially interesting. Ana seeks to explore new mediums to further express her creativity and finds that the new technology and computer programs available help her reach higher levels in her work.
Roberto Garcia was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. From an early age, his parents were instrumental in helping him follow his path into art. His high school art teacher helped him continue to perfect his natural ability for art. Then, while at Texas University in Austin, he was fortunate to apprentice with sculptor Charles Umlauf. The circumstances there were ideal for Roberto to pursue and develop himself for the work required in three dimensional arts. Roberto obtained a BA in studio fine art. He then moved to Princeton, N.J., where he received additional training at the Johnson Atelier Technical school of sculpting. After working freelance and as an assistant in a foundry, he returned to Texas where he built his own foundry.
The Garcias were introduced to each other by a mutual friend who knew they both studied art. They married in 1982, and while traveling on their honeymoon passed through Pagosa Springs. They became enchanted with Colorado’s natural beauty; the cool and dry climate was also welcome. After purchasing property here they would visit often until they were able to make the final move in 1997. Ana especially enjoys the abundant wildlife that has always been an inspiration for her art. Roberto likes the climate which is ideal for the intricate steps in completing a sculpture. The elaborate steps are what help him grow in his work. He believes sculpting reflects the magnitude of love he contains in his heart for art.
Roberto and Ana have two children: Lila, who graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she received honors in international affairs, and their son, Robert Julian, who recently won a summer internship at Columbia University where he will do research at their laboratory headed by Nobel prize laureate Dr. Eric Kandel. Robert is attending the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he is working toward a double undergraduate degree in psychology and molecular cellular developmental biology.
Roberto and Ana recently participated in the Loveland Invitational Art Show and plan to attend again next year. Ana’s work can be seen at Wild Spirit Gallery and she also does privately commissioned portraits. Roberto has participated in numerous exhibitions. The most recent is a one-man show at Texas A&M University in Laredo, Texas. He has been commissioned, and has made, several bigger than life size statues which are located in several cities throughout Texas.
Enjoy meeting this talented duo and seeing and purchasing their artwork which will be on display in the Art in the Garden art galleries during the third annual festival on Saturday, Aug. 21, from 3 to 7 p.m. Tickets will go on sale July 1 at the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Nello’s and Community United Methodist Church. This worthwhile event raises money to assist the poor, needy and elderly in the Archuleta County community and 30 percent of the art sales will go toward this worthwhile cause. For more information, visit the website at www.PagosaArtintheGarden.com.