It is my pleasure to have 'In the Atelier' this week my talented friend Gabriela Galarza. We met last year during Designer Spaces and Market Places and I was immediately engaged by her warm personality. I did not realize until later that the fantastic "Gallos" painting I saw during the event was one of her works! I see so much of Gaby's personality in her painting. The colors are joyous and vibrant, the canvases often larger than life. One can sense the depth of her connection to her family and environment. Each canvas is laden with meaning, a celebration. Enjoy!
In her own words, I present Gabriela Galarza-Block:
1) What path led you to your life as an artist?
Coming to North America. I knew I wanted a career change – I was well on my way to being a lawyer in my native country, Argentina, and coming to the United States presented me with the opportunity to go to art school. I wanted to be a fashion designer but first I needed to build a portfolio. Then I took my first painting class at Manchester Community College and I just fell in love with the art of expressing through colors and emotions and I said “This is it.”
2) Please describe three sources of inspiration for your art.
My first source of inspiration would be my family, the family that I come from. I come from a big family where brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, and aunts played a big role in my upbringing – naturally for me that is the place that I go to look for my inspiration. Music is also a place that I turn to in order to feel inspired. For instance, when I listen to Beethoven I cannot stop wondering how one day I can convey through my art all the feelings that he conveyed with his music. I also use music to keep me through the same feeling in a painting. The other source of inspiration would be a good conversation or good time with friends; something there will trigger my inspiration and the desire to paint or make art.
3) What was the last item you brought home from a trip? Where did you go, and why that item?
Lately I am not buying on my trips; I take a lot of pictures. But if I have to think about an item that I love it is a matera I bought on a visit to my hometown in Argentina. It is a rawhide piece that you carry around when you drink mate (a traditional tea infusion from Argentina). I bought it from Tienda Tannure, a store that is a mix of Chinatown and frontier general store and which has been in town forever. I am using my matera to hold wood and long matches next to my fireplace. It is a constant reminder of where I come from and it fills my heart with joy.
4) Please fill in the blank: If I was not an artist, I’d be:
A lawyer working with the United Nations.
5) What advice do you have for people who are afraid to buy art?
Don't be afraid. Purchasing a piece of art it is one of the most rewarding things that you can do to treat yourself. Nothing is more joyous and uplifting for your spirit than waking up to an original piece of art.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Gabriela and her work. Please visit her online at:
And to see some of her murals, visit restaurant Barca in Hartford. The spirited environment celebrates the food. Try it and let me know if I'm right. (I am, really!)