Born 1957, Dallas, Texas.
I believe that I grew up in the most peculiar of situations. More like growing up in a museum than say one of my friend’s home. I grew up in a house full of paintings, prints, drawings, Pre-Columbian, African, and New Guinea sculptures and baskets and all these things have had a profound influence on me. While my friends fathers watched football games on Television, my father was often painting in his studio or piecing together a pre-columbian sculpture from hundreds of clay shards.
My father, Barney Charles Delabano was the noted Curator of Installation at the Dallas Museum of Art for thirty-three years as well as a gifted painter. Recruited during the summer times to work for my father at the DMA, I got to see a lot of really wonderful art work up close. Through my father, I met international artists Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, and Robert Rauschenberg as well as being family friends to important members to the Dallas and Texas art scene, such as Jerry Bywaters, Otis and Velma Dozier, Charlie Bowling and Octavio Medellin.
Barney Delabano as an artist painted portraits, still life and landscapes. “Family Portrait, 1962” in the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art is my portrayal of a slice of the Delabano’s family life prior to my brother Taylor’s death the following year. I remember a lot of time in the studio watching my father paint and being the model being painted. Most family’s have family photographs, we had family paintings.
Another of my biggest infulences was my Grandfather, Harry Lester Taylor. He was my mother’s father. He was a wood worker and I use a lot of the tools that he used in his studio to carve bowls and make furniture.
In the past couple of years I have started repairing vintage instruments as well as building instruments. What started as a quest to just learn something new has just added another dimension to my artistic life. More information about the instruments I build and restore: Foley String Instruments
Besides my artistic efforts, I have taught fifth through eighth grade art at St. John’s Episcopal School since 1990. Before teaching, I was the shop foreman at the Refinery Casting Company in Dallas for eight years after receiving my Masters of Art from University of New Mexico. While pursuing my undergraduate degree in Sculpture from East Texas State University, I worked for a man who built houses to be moved, because he said he needed a hippie to cuss, welded mobile home axles on a assembly line. Thankfully I love teaching and love teaching at St. John’s, which I also attended when the school was a kindergarten through 3rd grade school.
For more information about Martin Delabano see bibliography.
Delabano is represented by Kirk Hopper Fine Arts, Dallas, Texas