ISHMAEL RODRIGUEZ ART CAREER
My name is Ishmael Rodriguez. I've been a sculptor for 30 years. I am 60 years old and I am a self-taught artist. My inspiration comes from my experience and interpretation of life; an endless, growing process. I work with marble, alabaster, wood and bronze. However, I prefer carving stone.
I have exhibited my work in New York, and extensively in California. I've had extensive television and newspaper coverage of my career.
I was selected, exclusively among California sculptors, to show my work at Sak's 5th Avenue in Monterey, Ca. (1980), initiated by Sak's in New York.
I received a grant from the California Arts Council for 3 consecutive years (1979-1981) which gave me the opportunity to create and design a program which I am the founder of; I provided workshop instruction to the visually impaired. I had developed special stone carving techniques over the years that allowed my visually impaired students to engage in the area of direct carving, an area which had primarily been reserved for the sighted.
I had an exhibit at the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco ('80), sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, whose purpose was to demonstrate the appropriate methods of exhibiting artwork for the disabled population. I served at this time as a panel member and consultant to the NEA in regards to issues of the disabled and handicapped. I was one of the forerunners among those who made California favorable to, and effected the passage of, new laws which resulted in a barrier-free environment for the disabled.
In 1981 I was invited to participate at the International Sculpture Conference in Oakland, California, where for the first time in the history of the conference, I raised issues that addressed themselves to the concerns of the disabled. Art professionals from around the world, such as art therapists and instructors, and artists in general, came to