Martin Delabano: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise
Martin Delabano is a wealthy man. A life rich with art, family and spirituality has instilled in him an unrelenting zeal for creativity and compassion, along with wisdom to realize his inner vision by sharing it through outward expression. Art has surrounded Delabano all his life, not simply by default, but as a conscious choice and true calling.
Delabano’s assemblages are born from his vast collections of stufff, both physical and psychological. A self-described pack rat, he constantly accumulates objects for his work. Such items as religious icons, picture frames, and children’s blocks speak to his life and interest, while others serve to enhance visual balance and composition. Layered, stacked, and packed into the frame, life’s discarded minutiae coalesce into a singular narrative. It is abstract yet deliberate, full but not chaotic.
The many layers present a visual history, paying homage to the past even as they transform it into the present and preserve it for the future. The overall effect is one of abundance, of visual wealth. These high-relief pieces break the visual plane and beckon to the viewer with an invitation to look, think, and absorb the opulence therein. Of his art, Delabano once remarked, “I want my work to inspire, to intrigue, to set one’s imagination into play.”
In addition to enriching the community aesthetically, Delabano also contributes to its creative and intellectual wealth and physical well being. His art appears in numerous private and public collections throughout Texas, including those of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Grace Museum of Art in Abilene, and the Texas A&M University Art collection in College Station. As a teacher, he shares his knowledge and passion for art with children, instilling in them a fundamental belief in the power of self-expression. this devotion to his students is evidenced by the lifelong relationships he forms with them, acting as a mentor long after they leave his classroom. And, as a platelet donor for Carter Blood Care, he has given some twenty-one gallons over the years. As he puts it, “Health has always been one of my blessings….it seems only right to pay that forward.”
For Delabano, art functions as much more than a vehicle for his own gratification; it allows him the freedom in invest in the success of others. He makes art, and in turn, art makes him. It is this intrinsic wealth of talent and character that sets Martin Delabano apart as the 2010 Distinguished Texas Artist.