Charlie Ciali

Charlie Ciali
Charlie Ciali
Charlie's Bio
Charlie Ciali is a local Palm Springs Artist who works in encaustic, painting and printmaking. He is the 2009 recipient of "Best of Show" at the Palm Springs Museums" Artist Council Exhibition (ACE) and the 2008 first place recipient. His work is in many private collections and he has shown throughout Southern and Central California. He has been active in the arts community serving on the Board for the Artist Council at the Palm Springs Art Museum as Executive Vice President of Fund Raising, Palm Springs Public Arts Commissioner and Former President of the Art Institute at Palm Springs High School.

Charlie received his B.F.A. Degree in Ceramic Arts from Daemen College in 1978, followed by graduate studies at Edinboro University, Edinboro Pennsylvania, where he studied under renowned ceramicists, Robert Milnes, George Ferguson, Steve Kemenyffy, and Donna Nicholas. During that time his work was shown in many group shows including the Albright Knox Art Museum, Buffalo New York and won entry into the Super Mud exhibit at Pennsylvania State University. Following Graduate School he became a flight attendant for a major airline of which he recently retired to work full time on his art and teaching. Living in Minneapolis for over two decades he worked as the Assistant Director for MC Fine Arts Gallery considered one of the leading galleries in the Midwest.

After five years with MC Gallery he opened his own gallery, "Perspectives" which specialized in glass and ceramic arts. Perspectives Gallery earned national recognition in several trade magazines and was named "Best of the Twin Cities" for art galleries in its first year. The Gallery was invited to participate in a visiting Gallery Exhibit at the Tokyo Exhibition center in 1995. In 2002 Charlie moved to Palm Springs with his partner and began doing commissioned abstract portrait work. Considering himself a mixed media artist, he has explored the possibilities of different mediums and how they work with each other.

Today Charlie works in monotype prints, encaustic, painting, sculpture and mixed media. Monotype prints are prints pulled form a painting that has been painted on a plexi-glass plate, only one impression is made. The difficulty in this method of work is that the artists is always working in reverse of the final piece, several "drops" of the inked plate may run through the press on one piece until the finished art work is achieved.
Charlie Ciali's Gallery
"I believe that art is a language. It should speak to the viewer, the viewer in turn responds. It needs to communicate to others by evoking memories, emotions and understanding. I think art is like cooking. As chefs combine ingredients that on their own have a specific taste or degree of sweet, hot or sour - when blended together they become something new and extraordinary. My paintings combine elements that can stand on their own but when blended together they take on a new meaning specific to each person viewing the work. My paintings are about layers, each layer telling a different story. My goal is to allow two viewers to have different experiences while looking at my work. As an artist, the greatest challenge is to create your own unique language and yet have it understood by someone who has never seen your work or met you. Each artist speaks their own language and the reward is to be understood. I believe that art is as much about asking the questions as finding the answers." -Charlie Ciali
An Interview with Charlie Ciali

So, I always begin by asking how you first came to know about encaustic and what was the draw for you that made you want to explore this medium?

Why do you feel using encaustic is important in your work?

Tell us how working with encaustic has enhanced your artistic creativity and sensibility?

Who do you look to for inspiration? Are there any historical or contemporary artists that you specifically admire or that may have influenced you in some way as an artist?

How do you begin? Do you work from items you collect? Do you draw to work out your ideas? Do you have a vision before you start painting or does it develop as you work?

Your work seems to incorporate a lot of mixed media techniques, can you talk about that?

What are some of the concepts and ideas in your work?

I see a lot of repeat of pattern in your work, do you tend to work in series or do you explore different genres concurrently?

I also notice that you have at least one bold color element in your work, can you respond to that?

How about a favorite encaustic technique that you find yourself doing often in your pieces?

What are some of the hurdles you have encountered working with encaustic or as an artist in general, and how do you deal with them?

Do you work in other mediums and how does working in encaustic influence other mediums?

What do you want people to walk away with when they see your pieces? What is it like for you to see people's reaction to your art? Where can we see your art?

How do you share your talents? Do you personally teach any encaustic workshops or lectures? Is there any community outreach that you are involved in?

Please talk about the acquisition of your friend Michelle's studio and your goals if you would like.