In an effort to encourage UA employees to participate in the juried art exhibit “On Our Own Time”, we are featuring some past winners in a series of articles written by Susan L. Miller and originally printed in 2009. All of these colleagues balanced a busy professional and personal life and still found time to pursue their muse. So can you!
In uncertain times, what better way to deal with stress than cultivating your creative side? Pick up the old paint brush, dust off your sculpting clay or free your camera from the front hall closet. Get started looking through your pieces now and you’ll have plenty of time to work on your masterpiece.
If you are looking for a role model, a quick look at some of last year’s winners might provide the inspiration you need. We’ll start with Albert Sosa Gonzalez, Ph.D., a 20-year UA veteran who currently serves as Assistant Coordinator of Field Studies at UA South. Albert won First Place for Mixed Media last year with his pen-and-ink rendering.
Albert took a watercolor course here in 1988, but the seed of his passion for art began back in his native Panama sometime around 1983. He said, “I went to an art gallery and was very impressed by some pen and-ink drawings.” Albert studied these drawings and researched more art books on pen-and-ink. Early on he drew anything that interested him, including roof tiles and plants, while he slowly developed a style of his own.
Though Albert has two decades of dedicated employment in at the UA, he looks forward to a long career still ahead of him. His set of 8-year-old triplets (two boys and one girl) ensure that Albert won’t be retiring any time soon. Despite his busy schedule between work and family, Albert plans to continue nurturing his art. His future art plans include combining pen-and-ink with acrylic or watercolor drawings. “I have started to color all of my pen-and-ink work with watercolors and they are more vibrant and exciting,” he said.
Albert is a long-time contributor to “On Our Own Time”. He said, “I have seen it grow from its early years when we had to use makeshift galleries to our present and wonderful setting at the Student Union. It makes participating much more appealing and pleasing.” Last year's winning piece, "Vasco Nunez de Balboa/Ruins of Portobelo" was inspired by Albert’s grandfather who died before Albert was born. Juan Bautista Sosa, Albert’s grandfather, was a renowned Panamanian historian and politician and he wrote the History of Panama (Compendio de Historia de Panama). Bautista Sosa also was responsible for the discovery and restoration of the ruins of Old Panama as they exist today and he was on the first vessel to transit the Panama Canal when it opened. It’s not surprising that a keen interest in history came naturally to Albert, given this auspicious background.
Albert read about Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the Spanish explorer who discovered the Pacific Ocean. This discovery paved the way for the conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru. Albert also read about the importance of Portobelo (Atlantic Ocean side) and the City of Panama during this time of conquest. The Spaniards would deliver gold from Panama to Portbelo and then to Spain until Portobelo and Panama City were destroyed by English pirates. Albert said, “I decided to do a drawing of the ruins of Portobelo inside the profile of Vasco Nunez de Balboa.”
Albert has received recognition for his artwork in several venues, including previous “On Our Own Time” exhibits and he was honored with a Permanent Art Exhibit at the National Finance Corporation of Panama in the Republic of Panama in 1991. One of his pen-and-ink drawings was given to then Panamanian President, Arturo Del Valle, for his birthday.
Albert credits his wife, Theresa Marisa, and the triplets, Christian, Isabella, and Alberto, for their love, devotion and continued support of his artwork and he encourages all of his colleagues here at the University to submit their own artwork (photos, sculptures, paintings, drawing, etc.) in the next "On Our Own Time" Exhibit. He predicts “You will take great pride and enjoy the moment,” if you participate and added, “I look forward to seeing your artwork!!!”
ALL staff members are encouraged to enter their work in this exhibit. If you’ve not participated before, here’s your chance to get your talent out in the open.
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The Annual Art Show and Awards of The National Arts Program® for University of Arizona Employees, Retirees and Volunteers and their Immedite Family Members Co-sponsored by The National Arts Program Foundation of Malvern, Pennsylvania, and the University of Arizona Employee Recognition Committee.