NOVEMBER 17th, 2005
Woodstock artist, Ishmael Rodriguez, who recently returned to his beloved San Francisco Bay Area, was struck down on November 6th by what was said by Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California to be a heart attack. He was 67 years old. Coming up from the streets of West Oakland, California, and suffering enormous hardship which many can't fathom, he found huge success in California as an artist. He was the recipient of many awards, including grants from the California Arts Council for his teaching of visually impaired artists. He found success for a time in New York, where he subsequently began prolonged period during which he built up a new body of artwork. He became deeply involved with Public Access Television in Woodstock, during his time here. His work in sculpture originated in California and became multi-dimensional; he followed different traditions in abstract and semi-realistic styles, becoming an extremely proficient and very original stone carver. "Guyana," "Reflection" and "Awakening" are just a few of his many refined works which reflect a profound love and respect for his fellow human beings, which grew out of "finding out what I'm about, through art." Ishmael's life was a great accomplishment, and marginalized all the obstacles, meanness and discouragement that he experienced and overcame. He was the quintessential survivor. He will be laid to rest forever; he's at peace now. No one can hurt little "Miley" anymore. He's free. Ishmael Rodriguez is survived by a very large extended family, as well as his companion and partner of 25 years, Glenda G. Wasserman.