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Borsheim Art Newsletter:

by Kelly Borsheim copyright 25 September 2011

  1. The Book is Here! "My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy"
  2. Calendar
  3. Tribute to Toto de Angelis (aka "Straccetto")
  4. Blog Highlights
  5. Subscription Info.

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[Toto de Angelis Straccetto art]

Toto de Angelis, aka Straccetto
paints on the street in Nocera Superiore,
Italy 2010 May

Dear Art Lover,
Well, I am not sure if you heard about the wildfires in Bastrop County, Texas, where I live, but they caused quite a lot of damage in this drought-suffering region. My home and studio turned out to be miles away from the fires, but it was quite confusing in the beginning of it all and we did evacuate. I had just driven over 18 hours from Indianapolis with only three hours of sleep while on the road. I was napping when I got the call asking if I knew about the fires. I am still trying to catch up and figure out ways to help my friends who lost everything. Unfortunatly, Texas is not out of wildfire danger, with another news-breaking story as I write . . . it is odd to hear of people wishing for a hurricane because of the life-giving rain it brings.

In the midst of all of this, I am delighted to announce that I received the proof copy of my new book "My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy" and it looks great! There are over 330 images in the book and while I did try to focus on the art, there are images of the artists who create the paintings. I also wrote about various issues that street artists face, including our struggles with taxes and government and the joys of sharing the street.

[book cover My Life as a Street Painter in Florence Italy]

I placed my first order for the books, which should arrive before October. And so, I am offering a very SHORT-LIVED Special Offer:

Pre-printing Sales Offer:
Signed copy $25 + $5 shipping (anywhere in the world)
[regular price for unsigned book = $28.95 + shipping]
Offer Expires 28 September 2011
Do not forget to include the name(s) you would like me to write into the book signing.

To order, please visit my home page:
and you may pay safely with PayPal
send a check to me for the proper amount, depending on your book quantities to:
223A Greystone Lane, Cedar Creek, Texas 78612
and then send me an e-mail to lock in your rate. I will reserve a book for you.

Calendar - You are Invited!

My time in central Texas is coming to a close soon, so I do hope that I get to see you before I leave. Here is what I have planned thus far:
  • 1-2 October: Stone Carving Competition, The Vineyard at Florence (Texas)
  • Thursday, 6 October, 6 - 8 p.m.: Book Signing - ArtSpace, Austin, Texas
  • Saturday, 8 October, 4 - 6 p.m.: Book Signing - Community Renaissance Market, Austin, Texas
  • 14-16 October: Kelly's Last Open Studio in Texas
  • 22-23 October: Sculpture Show, Wesley Gallery, Dripping Springs, Texas
  • 25 October - 14 November: One-man exhibit, Quattro Gallery, Austin, Texas
  • Saturday, 5 November: Quattro Gallery, Artist's reception (evening, time to be announced)
  • Saturday, 12 November, 2 - 5 p.m.: Book Signing - Quattro Gallery, Austin, Texas

This coming weekend:
1 & 2 October:
Saturday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

2011 Stone Carving Competition and Fine Arts Festival
The Vineyard
8711 FM 487
Florence, Texas 76527
Contact: KAMBRAH GARLAND at 512-924-7447 or ph. 254.793.3363
www.thevineyardatflorence.com E-mail: stonecarvingevent@gmail.com
The competition will be judged on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm by no less than 3 independent judges. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places will be given.

For details about all the future events, please visit my exhibits page:

In addition, Don Elliott of the Franklin Barry Gallery will continue to feature my work during the Mass. Ave. Fall Harvest of the Arts & Gallery Walk on October 7, 2011, in Indianapolis. Check out the fun at 617 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204. For information, please contact Don Elliott at the gallery via telephone at 317.822.8455. Gallery Walk runs from 5:00 to 9 p.m.

Tribute to Toto de Angelis (aka "Straccetto"):

Toto de Angelis (aka Straccetto) breathed his last breath this evening in Italy. Or, as his niece Anna Innocenzi wrote, "Il cielo da questo momento non solo sarÓ profumato di lavanda...ma sarÓ pieno di tanti colori...ZIO TOTO STRACCETTO CI HA LASCIATO............." ["The sky in this moment is no longer perfumed with lavender, but it will be full of many colors. Uncle Toto "Stracetto" has left us."]

[Toto de Angelis Straccetto Italian madonnaro street painter]

Toto was born on 31 March 1948 in Rome. At an early age, he was stricken with polio, which left him with a permanent limp. He had a difficult childhood in a ghetto in Roma, with a father who was in and out of prison. As he got older, Toto sold lavender from a cart that rarely left him. He often admired the work of the madonnari, who created devotional paintings on the street, but it was not until 1982 that he began to try his untrained hand in art. He painted consistently once he got going, teaching himself mostly, and in 2003, he began to receive recognition from such events as the street painting competition in Grazie di Curtatone in northern Italy.

Straccetto was arguably the most famous of all of the contemporary madonnari in Italy. Even in my relatively short time street painting in Italy, it was not long before I met Toto. I was introduced to him on May 15, 2009, in Nocera Superiore, a small town in southern Italy that hosts an annual street painting competition each May. I noticed him at another table before I understood that he was also an artist. His face caught my attention and I remember thinking that he would make a tremendous portrait subject - what a sculptural face! It struck me as classically Italian and reminded me of the many Dante sculptures I have seen in that country.

[Toto de Angelis Straccetto Italian madonnaro street painter]

He was always friendly to everyone and the night after we all finished our paintings that year, my colleague Johnny McGrogan and I got to share a drink with Toto and another true madonnaro Pino Vommaro (also from Roma). That was a pretty cool evening!

[Toto de Angelis Straccetto Italian madonnaro street painter]

Toto was never far from his cart and in August 2010 at the competition in northern Italy, I saw that his dogs Mara and Valeria were with him as well. His art would be considered folk art, but like any true artist, he walked his own path and spoke with his own symbols in his work.

[Toto de Angelis Straccetto Italian madonnaro street painter] [Toto de Angelis Straccetto Italian madonnaro street painter]

Blog Highlights:

  • Yin and Yang: a few images from my recent trip to Chicago and Indianapolis and the view of wildfire smoke on the road by my home:

You may follow a variety of art topics on my blog:
(This is a different subscription list than the one for this art newsletter.)

I hope to see or hear from you soon. Thank you for reading and by all means, forward this newsletter to anyone you think would enjoy it. Next week, I will send you the invitation to my Open Studio and let you get a sneak peak at the marble Gymast as she nears completion.

Pace (peace),
Kelly Borsheim
25 September 2011

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