Sunday, June 26, 2016

Marcia Rondello

Do you ever think back to your early education teachers? Did you learn something that has always stuck with you? A story? A memory trick? The solution to a math problem you thought impossible?

Mrs. Rondello is the first dedicated art teacher I remember. She was a whiz at everything and taught us all of the art tricks. She talked funny, but we loved her all the same.

Mrs. Rondello, Marcia Rondello, sticks out in my memory mostly because of the year (in either my 5th or 6th grade) that she taught both art and English, my two favorite subjects. She had us memorize the Jabberwocky, which I can still recite to this day, and other poems of our choice, some of which I still remember.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with her again, 28 years later, through a strange twist of luck and I had so much to ask her which I'll share this Winter but, for now, let me clarify the 'we thought she talked funny' bit. Turns out Marcia Rondello was born and raised in New York. That was - is - a New York accent, at the time completely alien to a bunch of kids from Northern Wisconsin. She still has the accent and the sweet temperament I remember from my childhood.

Marcia Rondello, her husband and first born child.

It was wonderful to get to know Marcia as a person so many years later and to have the opportunity to learn about her as an artist. This is one of Marcia's amazing paintings she shared with me during my recent visit. Truly great art doesn't 'age' and I think this piece is a testament to her body of work.

Marcia was born to a family of journalists and artists and this is a self-imposed project she, her mother and her sister created to while away an afternoon. The theme to create to:

This was her mothers interpertation:

This was Marcia's interpertation:

And this was her sister's interpertation:

Amazing doesn't even cover it.

To me this demonstrates the true value of an arts education! It demonstrates the ability of three like-minded people, given the same theme, delivering three vastly different, or shall I say original, interpretations. Not wanting to peer over one another's shoulders and deliver some homogenized, morphed recreation of the others work, but truly delighting in creating an original piece of work out of their own imaginations.

Now go forth and rediscover an early mentor!