HUDSON — For one artist who recently returned to the home of his ancestors, the inspiration has resulted in a local gallery filled with color, passion and healing.
Peg's Gallery, 10 W. Streetsboro Street, is featuring original artwork by Jose Sacaridiz with “Homage to Catalonia,” with sketches and finished paintings on exhibit through June 4.
“The Passion Facade of the Sagrada Familia” is inspired by the work of Antoni Gaudi, and all the prints — 1 through 16 — by Sacaridiz represent stages in the development of his final piece.
“You'll see small paintings, prints or sketches which are not in the large painting,” Sacaridiz said.
The Sagrada Familia was started in 1882 and only 70 percent of the design by architect Antoni Gaudi is complete, he said. It combines Art Nouveau, Catalan Modernism, Spanish Late and Gothic.
Sacaridiz’ family is from Spain, leaving the country because of the Spanish Civil War which began July 17, 1936, and lasted until January 1939. They were on the losing side and his father was smuggled out of Spain when he was 11 years old.
“The Spanish Civil War tore the family apart,” Sacaridiz said. “My father never spoke of war or Spain. Spain died with the loss of the war.”
Sacaridiz said he traveled to Catalonia a year and half ago after his father told him to heal the family rift.
“I never learned the culture or language or the history and suddenly on his death bed he said go back and fix the family,” Sacaridiz said. “I was the first member of my family to return to Catalina since my father left. It was something he made me promise to do. It was the best experience of my life.”
From this journey came the genesis to paint “Homage to Catalonia” and it took seven months to complete.
Sacaridiz said he would paint a figure for The Passion and love what he had put on canvas when he went to sleep. Then he would wake up in the morning hating the figure. He’d then scrape the figure from the canvas and start again.
“Someone asked me about creativity and what it took to be creative,” Sacaridiz said. “So much creativity comes from an inability to stop what you're doing. If you keep doing it, it happens.”
Sacaridiz said he became so frustrated with his work, he threw it out, but his daughter saved it from the trash, and he reached a point where he liked it.
“The painting is an allegory,” Sacaridiz said. “It tells a story. The interplay of the figures didn't just have to work together, they had to talk together. They had to make sense together. That's why many of the sketches were left out. They didn't work.”
The other pieces reflect what Sacaridiz saw while in Catalonia, or they may represent his father and grandfather.
More information about Sacaridiz can be found at www.josesacaridiz.com.
Peg's Foundation focuses on mental health, education and art. About 54 galleries have been displayed on the walls of the lobby, according to Peg's Foundation President Rick Kellar.
Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org