Ned Mackey enjoys looking at art, but he is not artistic. The closest he has come to making art is writing about it. And, if it counts, because he had written a poem for the noted bronze sculptor, Mark Rossi, he landed a volunteer job in a bronze foundry. Fortunately for him, it closed before he burned or ground off anything that wouldn’t grow back. He has written for other artists as well: Denyse Biagi, Gretchen Huff, Dave Burns, Earl Wettstein, and Mike Bradley. Knowing these artists has been his good fortune.
This is Ned’s third book of ekphrastic poetry. The poems herein are reactions to the work of friend and neighbor, Chuck Albanese, a renaissance man if such exists these days — a practicing and academic architect, musician, and painter.
Chuck Albanese joined the faculty of the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture in 1967 and soon found himself immersed in community volunteering along with his full-time teaching responsibilities. He became a registered architect, and settled into a busy pattern of teaching, architectural practice, and community service. He later developed a university program that enabled him and his wife to spend portions of the following twenty-six summers teaching friends and students traveling through Italy and Greece. He retired after thirty-six years on the faculty, but soon returned as Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture before retiring again.
Chuck accepts the structural influence that being an architect implies in his work. He strives to achieve freedom and understanding of watercolor and creativity of oil as an artist. He sees himself again as a student, one with a full career circle that now requires exploration, dedication, commitment, and a free and unencumbered focus on the creative process of being a painter. He is especially fond of painting in the barrios and the urban center of Tucson. He tries to capture the quiet simplicity of Tucson’s historic past, and presents the tranquil environment as a place to reminisce. Chuck has had one-person shows in Tucson, Phoenix, Pasadena, California, Athens, Greece, and on the Greek Island of Sifnos.