Monday, March 7, 2011

in the atelier…with Gabriela Galarza

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!

gabriela galarza "la gallina turuleca"

gabriela galarza "la gal­lina turuleca"

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.

gabriela galarza "dani-riqui-trompo-regalito-mariano-cristina"

gabriela galarza "dani-riqui-trompo-regalito-mariano-cristina"

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.

gabriela galarza "blooming"

gabriela galarza "blooming"

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!)

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