Check out the article written in the Bergen Record HERE
Meet Luz Dari Galindez, an up and coming artist creating quite a stir on the American Art scene. Luz Dari, as her friends call her is quickly realizing her American Dream within a wonderful part of New Jersey art history.
Luz, a Colombian native and recent American citizen like most people today worked in many different vocations over the years from child care, house cleaning and as a licensed beautician to make ends meet. Coming from humble beginnings, she was the second of five children raised in a typical once bedroom cement dwelling in her tiny town of La Union Valle, Colombia.
However, in the back of her mind, her passion starting from her earliest years came from dreaming of one day coming to America to realize her dreams in the arts. Throughout her life , from Colombia to Panama and then to the United States, virtually all of her spare time was consumed in many different art forms. From photography, oil painting, charcoal etchings and a large array of wood carvings. It was clear at a very young age that Luz had a special gift frequently displayed in intricate wood carvings which provided three dimensional depictions of wild animals and people.
Sadly, for no other reason than mere survival, Luz in search of desperately needed work was relegated to leaving her family and life work in the arts behind in Colombia and traveled to Panama for the opportunity to work caring for the children of a wealthy Jewish family. She remained caring for the children some three years. Sadly, she had little if any time to partake in her passion for the art she so loved. During her time working in Panama and quite understandably, much of the money she earned was sent back home to provide the essentials for her family.
However, not deterred from her inspiration , Luz would dream each day of going to America to pursue her passion in the arts. Each day she saved every last peso she could. During this time she navigated daily the required legal paperwork that millions before her know so well to finally reach America. Finally her dream came true and with documents in hand in December 2005 she was granted permission by the United States to come to America. Without a job, not able to speak a word of English, a light sweater on her back in the freeze of December, and less than $400, she arrived in New York at Kennedy Airport with one dream in mind. Her art.
However, and understandably, survival instinct was nothing foreign to Luz and with nothing more than a few phone numbers to contact acquaintances in America, within days and without options, she was back to caring for children. Finding a place to live, food and clothing were once again the priority and her art would just have to wait.
Three years would pass and it appeared the reality of American life was sinking in. Desperately needing to increase her income, Luz acquired a second part time job in a nail salon in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. After working full time all day she would then spend hours working at the salon just to make ends meet.
God’s fate however, has an incredible way of intervening life and one day her future husband walked into the salon for a manicure. His name was Steven and his knowledge of art was at best the Mona Lisa. He was a successful businessman in construction and incredibly in what may be considered a divine intervention, Steven owned a glorious parcel of land that a century before was home to many of the most famous artists in the world. The Ridgefield Art Colony.
WELCOME TO THE RIDGEFIELD ART COLONY
This incredible sleeping beauty, untouched by typical contractor development which laid dormant more than a century, represented a small mini-estate consisting of four homes which was part of the frequent get-a-way to many notable masters in the arts such as the world famous Man Ray, James Maxfield, Maurice Sterne, Van Dearing Perrine, Samuel Halpert and William Glackens.
It was a virtual deja-vu as Luz remembered being introduced to the very same artists as a child in school back in Colombia. This glorious bucolic setting on the western slope of Ridgefield New Jersey overlooking the meadowlands with a backdrop of the Ramapo Mountains has been documented time and again in writings and on canvas paintings brushed by the masters themselves. Luz clearly remembered as a child reading about the images of Man Rays Ridgefield Landscape.
Now married to Steven in a tear filled ceremony right in her home town back in La Union Valle, Colombia, Luz in nothing less than what many would consider a fair tale story, lives on and owns what is truly a part of New Jersey art history. As god’s fate would have it she now pursue’s her lifelong dream creating her art at the home of the very masters she was introduced decades before in her native land.
Following the recent disaster of Hurricane Sandy, the beautiful property not unlike many others was ravaged by the storm resulting in some hundred year old oaks that shaded the many artists a century before crashing to the ground. Fortunately, no one was hurt, however Luz Dari was deeply saddened realizing hundreds of beautiful birds that came to the beautiful property each day were suddenly gone. Luz and Steven frequently thought these beautiful creatures were likely the future generations of the same family of birds who sat with the artists a century before.
Inspired by her sadness, Luz collected all of the wood that fell and began carving new elaborate homes for the birds to return and nest. Her work which she calls “Continued Life” resulted in a collection of some 100 birdhouses and using the remaining wood she created the manger of Jesus and the Menorah as a gift to her husband all designed from the very pieces of wood that came crashing down after the storm.
Before long people everywhere began praising her outstanding collaboration of artistic wooden creations and in the blink of an eye she was suddenly asked to appear on the New jersey networks channel 1 and 12. Last Saturday on December 14th, 2013 the Bergen Record wrote an outstanding piece applauding her truly unusual creativity displayed by her wooden creations.
”It’s nothing less than a miracle from God himself says Luz, “I pray people enjoy my work, but my heartfelt inspiration is to take this gift god has given to me and share my gift with the many artists the world over who work so hard each and every day who have not yet been blessed as i have. The Ridgefield Art Colony is not about me. It represents a gift from God, a miracle for all talented people the world over to come and display their work at the very same location as the masters before them and equally as important, a place for people the world over to see their work. Like a virtual on line museum to hang your work, it’s not for me, it’s for everyone to enjoy. “
”In the next few months, I invite you to become a member. Patrons who purchase the work of the artists will become members of the colony and will take a place in this fabulous part of history. ”
I invite you to keep in touch by writing: info@ridgefieldartcolony .com
from me to you! Luz Dari Galindez