PASSION ON CANVAS- MARIA TERESA AZUCENA
Passion on Canvas
House warming guests from across Miami gathered for an art exhibition earlier this month at the home-based art studio of Artist Maria Teresa de Azucena. Her outdoor gallery was filled with a variety of paintings submitted by a host of artists. The assortment included pastels, charcoal, acrylic, and oil painting. The most amazing and recognizable feature that stood out was the fact that none of these young Rembrandts stood taller than 5 feet or were older than 12 years of age. What also stood out was the personality and passion captured on the canvass by each individual artist with the smooth strokes of their paint brushes.
Artist Maria Teresa de Azucena was the gallery’s hostess. An artist and educator practically all her life, Teresa de Azucena picked up her first paint brush as a little girl back home in El Salvador. As the daughter of Bohemian parents, Teresa de Azucena went on to discover her talents in other forms of art such as music and poetry. Obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Education allowed Azucena to successfully run a pre-school in El Salvador.
Her move to Florida did not deter her from her passion and vision. After art training under the tutelage of several great artists, Azucena finally discovered her expressive style of painting and began to showcase her paintings in national and international exhibits.
Teresa de Azucena’s vision of spreading the painting wealth has embraced kids as young as 6 to as old as 82 and all taught from her home-based studio.
Teaching kids and adults how to draw and paint is certainly what Teresa de Azucena was inspired to do. She didn’t expect it to grow into what it has become.
“I felt that there was a need for kids and certain adults to express themselves,” explained Azucena, “particularly kids that were scared and emotionally hampered by domestic woes or peer pressure exhorted through the common form of bullying.”
Teresa de Azucena has been conducting kids’ art classes at her home for about 5 years. As of 2 years ago, she began to show off the talents of her students in home-based exhibitions.
“Teaching is so satisfying because you can see how students improve day by day,” said Teresa de Azucena. “How they enjoy it is also good spiritual and physical therapy. They learn to control themselves, be patient, improve their imagination and be free.”
“I can feel how they thirst for direction and the ability to create a beautiful painting from a white canvas. That makes me feel very happy,” expressed Azucena.
Another thing that excites Teresa de Azucena is her students’ desire to help others. One of my 9 year old students, Sophia Miller, sold some of her paintings to help her autistic cousin,” said Azucena.” If you learn the art of giving that early in life, you will become a great human being in the future.”
The students are only an extension of Teresa de Azucena, who donates paintings to organizations who are in need, such as the Children’s Cancer Foundation, Friends of Orphans, Salvadoran Humanitarian Foundation (SAHF), and Alianza Salvadorian En Miami.
“Being an artist is one of the best therapies, you can fill your soul with. It is satisfying! It is a true blessing,” Teresa de Azucena surmised!