Our Community - Carlos Bardalez - "Promoting Painters in Paradise"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 23            June 19, 2003

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Carlos Bardalez

People from different walks of life make up every society, and it is the same in our small town of San Pedro. All types of culture can be found here: in the styles of music, dance, sculpture, verse and other types of art. This week The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce you to Carlos Bardalez of Island Originals; one of the people who provides a distinct variety of artwork for sale on the island.

    Carlos was born on June 11th, 1976, to parents Aida Velasquez and Carlos Bardalez Sr. in Belize City. The youngest child of the family, he was raised with three brothers and two sisters on a ranch in the small village of La Democracia located just outside of Belize City. At five years old, Carlos was enrolled at Saint Ignatius Middle School in Belize City, and completed his secondary education at Nazarene High School. He continued his education by attending night school at St. John's College Extension.

    It was at this time, that Carlos "turned a page" in his life, and on January 27th, 1995, married the love of his life, Luisa Ramirez. Newly wed, Carlos obtained his first job as a reservations clerk at Skybird, a chartered flight company located at the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. While employed there, he was offered a position at Javier's Flight Service as assistant manager. After some time, Carlos found that working with the airlines did not suit him, and he went to work for a Costa Rican company named Tim Elektra, issuing tools to employees performing interior work at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Following the completion of this building, he was rehired by the same company to manage their inventory.

    By 1997, Carlos realized that he needed a more stimulating type of work, and jumped at the chance to work with artist Eduardo "Papo" Alamilla, a relative of Carlos's wife. Papo was painting signs and murals countrywide for Travellers Ltd. and Carlos was hired to assist Papo with his painting, and to sell his artwork. In no time at all, he became proficient in selling oil and acrylic paintings, and also added Marcos Larios and Walter Castillo to his list of artists.

    In September 2002, Papo presented Carlos with the opportunity of a lifetime; opening an art gallery in San Pedro. Carlos established his gallery "not to compete with other businesses but to display purely original art work." Carlos believes that when paintings are "mass produced," it not only diminishes the value of the actual piece, but the painters themselves. He states that he wants to "keep the originality in every piece of artwork." Carlos felt that he could supply unique art styles for the island of Ambergris Caye, and with Papo's help, proceeded to open the gallery.

    Presently, nine months later, Carlos finds himself operating Island Originals Art Gallery, a successful business that sells oil and acrylic paintings by many renowned artists such as, Leo Vasquez and George Landero, and also paintings by his partner Papo Alamilla. Carlos explained that his clients consist mainly of professionals from around the community who take pride in displaying unique artwork that cannot be found elsewhere. Carlos feels that because he possesses artistic abilities, this helps him to assist consumers in purchasing pieces that suit their personalities.

    This successful business takes up most of Carlos' free time and he does not have much of a chance to "take it easy." When Carlos can spare a few minutes, he prefers to play basketball, paint, and spend time with his wife and two children: Amanda (8) and Joshua (7).

    Carlos Bardalez is happy living in San Pedro, and would like to extend his appreciation to everyone who has supported his business by purchasing a piece of original artwork. He is proud to be living amongst the friendly, "colorful" people of Our Community.

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