Bernard Mangiaracina

Interviewee:  Bernard Mangiaracina
Date of birth:  Estimate 1947
Interviewer:  Ivy Silver
Interview date:  July 28, 1978
Interview location:  Guttman Center for the Fine Arts
Interview length:  35 minutes
Time span discussed:  1970s

Summary: The artist at the beginning of his career gives firm insights into his beliefs and many lessons learned in Bucks County. He is about to begin teaching at Bucks County Community College.


Time markers:
00:10 – faith and luck brought him to Bucks County, from my graduate work at Penn, living rent-free at Penn’s Guttman Center for the Fine Arts in exchange for looking after the property
02:30 – the story of the estate’s transfer from Mr. Guttman’s estate to the University
04:25 – great living at center, making many contacts, students stay in fall and spring
05:34 – would love a position at the Center, if it survives, or at a college
06:16 – joining the Bucks County Arts Alliance, initially for the insurance, has allowed me interaction Bucks County artists; local galleries mostly for weekend artists and tourists
08:34 – has one year contract to teach at Bucks County Community College; would love a commission in Bucks County
10:14 – applying for a commission in Ohio, gathering necessary information good for his future
10:46 – discussion of Doylestown plans to improve image and possibly incorporate arts; politicians need to understand what the arts do for a town and community; old New Hope reputation for arts fading, new focus needed
13:30 – artists must work hard, takes 8 to 16 hour days to focus and work; can only promote self one day a week
15:01 – shows are good, makes him work to show new stuff
15:48 – schools well equipped with equipment and materials; harder after graduation, takes more time; takes longer time because of lack of necessary equipment
16:40 – the emphasis should be on the form, not the materials; new materials do not equate with great art; he mainly uses plaster, clay, wood
18:00 – good stone in the USA in Vermont, Tennessee, and Colorado, but necessary to pick pieces yourself; foundries plentiful but casting cost high
19:50 – a co-op foundry difficult as different artists want different levels of quality
20:45 – only upper class accepts art and can afford to support art; media instills fear about what art is; supporting art a leisure-time activity; hard to talk about and educate people to love art
24:55 – art everywhere in Brooklyn; Bucks County needs this to expose artists and everyone to art; need criteria to judge by
25:30 – ideas about teaching at Bucks County Community college; one-year job he secured (and where we know he stayed for a long teaching career); making art is not about the history of art
26:48 to 30:55 – sound becomes muffled, and the evidently funny story he tells is completely lost
30:55 – criticism not easy to take unless critic is respected by artist
33:03 – wife and son very supportive of his returning to school at 25 for 5 years, mother at first not supportive of him becoming fine artist

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