Tuesday, November 19, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 37
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Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on August 7th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 23 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 20, Issue 23

Ameriprise Financial showcases abstracts and landscapes from local artist Mikel Naccarato

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

Over the years, Central Coast artist Mikel Naccarato has become well-known for diving into various mediums, from enameled jewelry to cold-cast sculpture. But Naccarato’s latest show, which runs through Friday, Sept. 27, at Ameriprise Financial in Santa Maria, spotlights his acrylic paintings. The exhibit ranges from abstracted landscapes and seascapes to pure abstracts.


Support local art
Santa Maria Ameriprise Financial holds a reception for featured artist Mikel Naccarato on Thursday, Aug. 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Naccarato’s art is currently on display at the office, located at 2605 S. Miller St., Santa Maria, and will remain up through Friday, Sept. 27. Visit mikelnaccarato.com to view Naccarato’s work and for more info on the artist.

WOOD FOR THE TREES
Local artist Mikel Naccarato’s latest show, which runs through Friday, Sept. 27, at Ameriprise Financial in Santa Maria, highlights some of his acrylic paintings on canvas and wood panels.
IMAGE COURTESY OF MIKEL NACCARATO

“My aim is to blend the majesty of nature with the wonder of imagination,” Naccarato said of his paintings, usually defined by his trademark use of vibrant colors, either on canvas or wood panels.

Although chiefly influenced by Richter, Diebenkorn, and other contemporary abstract artists, Naccarato finds traces of inspiration from nearly every artist he’s ever studied, spanning back to childhood, he explained.

“I knew that I wanted to be an artist by second grade,” he said. “On weekly trips to the library, I discovered art and the paintings of famous artists. Art was a refuge for me as I was growing up.

“It took my mind off the fact that I was lonely and didn’t know my own father,” said Naccarato, whose parents separated when he was only a toddler.


DANCER IN THE DARK
Along with abstracted landscapes and seascapes, Naccarato’s Ameriprise exhibit also features pure abstracts.
IMAGE COURTESY OF MIKEL NACCARATO

After the separation, his father left the U.S. to return to his home country, Italy. Naccarato was later placed in a county facility after his mother was deemed unable to take care of him.

“Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were Italian, as I am, and I think that, in a way, they became surrogates for me,” Naccarato said of the first artists he discovered during those library field trips.

From then on, Naccarato would continue to study art, going out on his own at age 17 to attend Pasadena City College. He soon took on his first arts job, teaching arts and crafts classes at the Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena.

“While there, I opened a cabinet and found a kiln and enameling supplies. Together, the children and I learned how to fire enamel powders onto copper,” he said. “Little did I know at the time, I was beginning my life career as a craftsperson and artist.”

After receiving his A.A. degree in 1975, Naccarato transferred to UCSB where he continued to study fine art, collaborating with several renowned Santa Barbara artists along the way, including Louis Taylor, Richard Phipps, and Marcia Burtt. Soon after, Naccarato became a member of the Santa Barbara Arts and Craft Show, allowing him to sell his art every Sunday on the Cabrillo Boulevard sidewalk, just outside Stearns Wharf, over the next three decades.


SUNRISE TO SUNSET
“My aim is to blend the majesty of nature with the wonder of imagination,” Naccarato said of his paintings, usually defined by his trademark use of vibrant colors.
IMAGE COURTESY OF MIKEL NACCARATO

The artist made a living specializing in steel and glass wall art, as well as the acrylic paintings guests can see at his latest show. The exhibit is one of a continuing series of shows curated by Ameriprise Financial advisor Terry Dworaczyk to help support local art and artists. To celebrate Naccarato’s work, an artist reception will take place on Thursday, Aug. 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. The event is open to the public, and guests will have the opportunity to meet Naccarato, who’ll be there to discuss his artistic process.

Even with decades of experience under his belt, Naccarato still feels as if he is constantly growing as an artist, he explained.

“I have studied artists from all genres, and I feel that I have been influenced by every one of them,” Naccarato said. “They’ve taught me the courage to keep going and growing and learning as an artist.” 

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood never wants to stop learning. Reach him at cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.




Weekly Poll
Should school districts invest more into vocational and career technical programs?

Yes. Students need to get on a career path as soon as possible.
No. It's more important for students to learn study skills than specific disciplines.
No. District should save money by partnering with businesses to offer more internships.
Yes, but only if these programs also count for college credit.

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