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.