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Sal Zagami Bio

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Sal Zagami's Bio

1953 - Born Norwich, New York of Italian heritage, spent his childhood and adolescence in his native city. Occasional trips to Italy with his father (Agatino) and mother (Rosaria) were influential in the development of his artistic vocation.

1969 - Travels throughout Italy by train. Photographing and studying subjects for later use in making sculpture.

1971 - He receives honors at his graduation as “outstanding senior student”. He receives a scholarship, to Marymount College, in Boca Raton, Florida. He establishes residence.

1972 - He continues his education, travels the east coast of the United States throughout Canada. He returns to Italy to be reunited with his family and visits museums and ancient ruins. This year Zagami begins his experimentation with plastic as a medium, receives a prize in the “26 Annual Sherburne open Exhibition,” New York.

1973 - Continuing to experiment with plastics, he receives a diploma in, ”Associate in Arts”, Marymount College, Boca Raton, Florida. He is honored in the publication, “Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges. He is given an award at the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s 22nd Annual, “All Florida Exhibition”. He begins his education at Florida Atlantic University where he receives instruction on photography, jewelry, ceramics, graphics and sculpture. He travels to Puerto Rico.

1974 - Opens his first studio at 4112 Ocean Boulevard, Highland Beach, Florida. In November he becomes a member of the gallery artists at the Carone Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He marries Amalia and visits all major galleries and museums in New York and Washington.

1975 - Zagami receives his B.F.A. and education degree from Florida Atlantic University. Purchases his first home and studio at 515 South West 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Participates in a Group Exhibition at Carone Gallery, “24th Open Annual” Boca Raton Museum of Art. Travels to the Caribbean Islands and Venezuela.

1976 - Group Exhibition at Carone Gallery. Exhibits at “Black and White Show”, Boca Raton Museum of Art, also “Portrait of America Show”, where he receives an award from painter Syd Soloman. Begins to exhibit at Art and Objects Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida.

1977 - Individual Exhibit at Gallery of Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida. Groups showings at Carone Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Group Exhibit at Art and Objects Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida. Travels throughout Florida, From Marco Island to Key West. A blind psychologist purchases a Zagami Sculpture.

1978 - Zagami Exhibits with Roberto Matta, Conrad Marca-Relli. Opens Studio 900 at North West 10th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Group Exhibit at Art and Objects Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida. Zagami meets artist Nicolas Carone and buys one of his paintings. Meets William Lieberman, Curator of 20th Century Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art at the Carone Gallery.

1979 - Individual Exhibit at Art and Objects Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida. Individual Show at Gilman Gallery Chicago, Illinois. Meets Paul Jenkins. Jenkins asks him to help submerge objects in polyester resin. Meets James Rosenquist. Zagami’s son Sebastian is born. Group Exhibit with Mauricio Lasansky at Art and Objects Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida.

1980 - Group Exhibit at Gilman Gallery, Chicago. Frank Gallo and other Gallery artists. Group exhibit at Carone Gallery. Meets Italian painter Agostino Bonalumi and dealer Luciano Paladini. Converts 18th Century home into a working studio at 112-59 Avenida Andres Alloy Blanco, Valencia, Venezuela. Exhibits work at Colegio de Medicos, Valencia. Patronized by David Ferrix, philosopher and director of the Gran Fratenidad Universal para la Promoclon del Arte. Fraternidad Mundial.

1981 - Exhibits at Cub Hipico de Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela. At this exhibition, Zagami makes contacts for future showing at Centro arte El Porque,. Meets Zabaleta, the painter, who invites Zagami to have an exhibit with him. Zagami sculpture accepted in “39th Salon de Artes Arturo Michelena,” (Venezuela’s most important juried art exhibition). Resimon C.A. of Venezuela (largest plastics resin manufacturer in south America) begins patronizing Zagami sculpture. Zagami meets Cruz –Diez, Cruz-Diez invites him to his studio.

1982 - Zagami sculpture accepted in “40th Salon de Artes Arturo Michelena,” daughter Gabriela is born. Zagami meets sculptor Victor Valera. Valera puts him in contact with Belica Rodriguez, director of Fundarte and vice President of the World Art Critic’s Association. Belico Rodriguez gives him an exhibit which is sponsored by Ministerio de Informacion Turismo and “Concejo Municipal Gobernacion del Districto Federal”. Zagami meets sculptor Zitman. Zitman asks Zagami to cast some sculpture for him in plastic resin. “Galleria G” begins showing Zagami work. Works exhibited at “I Salon De Arte National,” Museo de Arte Barquiisimento, Venezuela.

1983 - Zagami sculpture accepted, “41st Salon de Arte Arturo Michelena”, Valencia, Venezuela. Zagami commissioned by City hall to do a sculpture for the new outdoor sculpture museum, Museo Andres Perez Mujica, Valencia, Venezuela. During preparation for installation, sculpture falls on Zagami and seriously injures him. Zagami is personally congratulated by Venezuela President Luis Herrera Campins and other officials. Zagami is shown at “IX Anniversario de la Brigada Blindada” he was personally invited by General Juan Antonio Herrera Betencourt. Zagami’s studio is robbed. He decides to return to the U.S.A.

1984 - Establishes his studio in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. exhibits new works at the Carone Gallery. Meets with Jenkens, Corneille, and Zitman at the Carone Gallery. Betty Lou Curry does television show on Zagami sculpture, sponsored by Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

1985 - Zagami meets Robert Hughs, art critic for Time Magazine. Betty Lou Curry, Curator of Education, does a second television show on “Zagami, Art and Philosophy,” sponsored by Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale and Selkirk Productions.

1986 - New York Council of the Arts, Chenango County Chapter. Special invitation to show Zagami sculpture. Shows of Carone Gallery along with other Gallery artists, installs large-scale steel sculpture at Carone Gallery. Exhibits at Galeria “G”, Caracas, Venezuela. The Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, shows Zagami’s sculpture in the Hortt Exhibition. Meets Thomas Hoving. Former curator of the Museum of Art, Betty Lou Curry, does third television show filmed in his studio by Selkirk Productions. Three of Zagami’s sculptures are shown at the Museo De La Cultura Brauilo Salzar, Valencia Venezuela. Zagami’s sculpture is also included in the publication: “Escultura / Escultores,“ by art critic Juan Calzadilla.

1987 - Palm Beach Council of the Arts, Florida invites Zagami to exhibit with Duane Hanson and other South Florida sculptors. Meets Duane Hanson and invites him to his studio. New York art dealer Ivan Karp of the OK Harris Gallery exhibits Zagami at his OK South Gallery. Leslie Judd Ahlander, art critic for the Washington Post and Miami News, reviews Zagami’s sculpture as, “outstanding”. Betty Lou Curry of the Museum of Art of Fort Lauderdale, does fourth television show on Zagami’s sculpture. Zagami becomes resident and founding member of the Miami “Bake House Art Complex”. Lowery Sims, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, gives Zagami first prize in the “All Florida Show” at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Roger Selby, director of at the Boca Raton Museum, asks him to install a large scale sculpture on the Museum grounds. Zagami helps found “2 + 3, the Artists Organization.” Fort Lauderdale, Florida. George Bolge, Director of the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, has Zagami install large-scale sculpture in front of the Museum. Zagami writes editorial on the necessity of art in an effort to stop City and County Commissioner from abolishing Art in Public Places ordinance. Galeria Lozano begins showing Zagami’s sculpture. He also shows at the Carone Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, and the Galeria “G” in Caracas, Venezuela.

1988 - Installs “Three Horse Over The Catwalk” at the Imperial Point Library Project for art in Public Places in Broward County. Exhibits in the “All Florida Show” at the Boca Museum of Art, judged by Lisa Phillips, curator of the Whitney Museum. Exhibition at the Carone Gallery, Fort Lauderdale. Expands sculpture studio. Lectures at the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale.

1989 - Exhibits at the Carone Gallery, “6 New Works.” Invited to show at the Peter Drew Gallery, Boca Raton. Develops the concept “Chamber of Culture,” for the Broward Cultural Affairs.

1990 - Horvitz Family commissions Zagami to create a large-scale sculpture. Dr. Kenworth Moffett, director of the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, invites Zagami to exhibit his work on the Sculpture Terrace. Zagami does several workshops, and also assists Betty Lou curry to curate the John James Audubon Birds Exhibition to be shown in 1991, at the Museum of Art.

1991- Zagami establishes a new residence in Plantation, Florida. The South Florida Cultural Consortium, and National Endowment for the Arts award Zagami a $15,000 fellowship for his works. Zagami shows at the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, Florida. Zagami invited to participate in the “South Florida Invitational” at Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale.

1992 - One-Man-Show at Carone Gallery. Exhibits in South Florida Invitational at Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale. Zagami Studios is used for Art tours. Curator Patricia Risso invites Zagami to show at the Metro-Dade Cultural Resource Center.

1993 - Produces artwork for solo show at Art Miami International sponsored by Two Fifty RIO, Bal Harbour, Florida.

1994 – Individual exhibit “Art Miami 94” Artwork published in International Fine Art Index by David Shiba - artworks published in Forum Arts magazine. David Lester features Zagami large-scale sculpture (CAR #13) in prominent display area at Art Miami.

1995 - A 25-year Celebration exhibit at the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida titled “Zagami: A Quarter Century of Sculpture.” Forum Artis Museum of Art, Modena, Italy acquires a Zagami Sculpture for its permanent collection. Curator Natalia Uribe-Brown invites Zagami to show of the Richard Copland Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida

1996 - Zagami and his wife divorce and develops new relationship with Joan Nathan. Travels to Southwest. Visited the natural wonders of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado, which are influential in new creations. Zagami returns and reopens his studio at 515 SW 4th Avenue. Artwork takes on new direction as well as a new occupation. Zagami begins to lecture and teach in the community. He is hired to teach in the Broward County School System.

1997 - Teaching and lecturing begin to play a major role in Zagami's life. He is now sharing his private thoughts and techniques with others. Sharing the artistic experience gives him much gratification after many years of a life of solitude. Zagami writes program for and develops creativity workshop. Teaching opens up a new avenue of expression for Zagami to communicate. In this year he expands his interest in digital photography incorporating his original three dimensional memetrics ideas into two-dimensional format. These photographs became two-dimensional representations of his previous works. Begins relationship with Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority to develop the Art in Downtown program. His sculptures are used to enhance the beauty of the city.

1998 - Returns to the southwestern United States to rekindle the spiritual experience he encountered the year previous year visiting such magnificent sights as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and Monument Valley. These travels inspired another series of new works.

1999 - Zagami continues to create art, teach, lecture, and exhibit.

2000 - This was a celebration year for Zagami. Earlier plastic sculptures are revisited. His concepts on chemical line imagery begin to surface. His thoughts on chemical reactions creating images stir public interest. Continues to exhibit as well as judge shows. Digital photography experimentation continues to occupy Zagami's interest.

2001 - Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce awards Zagami teacher of the year. He is awarded best in show at the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute exhibition of all of the School Board of Broward County's Art Teachers. Zagami begins plans to open International Fine Art Gallery to exhibit artist from around the world. Boca Raton Museum of Art celebrates 50th Anniversary Invitational featuring 15-selected artist spanning that 50-year period.

2002 - In 60 days Zagami renovates dilapidated building into pristine exhibition space with 32 international artists. In July of this year the gallery was successfully received by the public with more than 400 visitors viewing the innovative contemporary artworks. The opening of the art gallery takes Zagami into another direction. The gallery focuses on the fine arts rather than the decorative arts. Local newspapers and television throughout South Florida review the controversial works and the gallery space. Zagami and Joan return to the Southwest to search for new artists.

2003 - For Zagami was a tumultuous year. Automobile and motorcycle accidents along with deceptive landlord caused the gallery to close prematurely. This caused Zagami great financial, physical and emotional stress. Zagami visits art centers and family in Italy.

2004 - Zagami continues to create art, teach, lecture, exhibit and pursue his goals of creating a fine art community.

2005 - After traveling to Italy once again to do research for new sculpture Zagami returns to the United States to establish the first stone carving class in the Broward County School System.

2006 - Enthusiasm continues to develop his interest in stone carving. His career has now gone 360 degrees to the beginning of his career, which began with marble carving.

2007 - Zagami travels to Europe once again, visiting the great art museums such as the Tate, Louvre, Uffizi in England, France and Italy. Very impressed with the Picasso collection in Paris. Seeing Picasso’s works from childhood to his last days. Begins showing works with the A.N.E.W. Foundation in the Wynwood Art District of Miami. Son Sebastian gets married on Miami’s South Beach.

2008 - Travels to New York visits the Guggenheim , Whitney and Metropolitan Museum of Art Last two years influence Zagami to develop new plastics technique. Zagami was commissioned to use this new technique to create a large scale mural for a private collector in Palm Beach.

2009 - Shows in Sculpt Miami, Art Basel. Represented by A.N.E.W Museum/Galleries. Daughter Gabriela is married at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum. Showing at Lurie – Kavachnina Gallery.


Educational workshops, teaching and lecturing,
and juror services are available.

"Making my art is my only way to participate in the world.
It's always been better to create than destroy. Destroying is very
simple. The people who create rather than destroy are really the
architects of society."

~Salvatore Zagami


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