About Us: Art Zoller Wagner, Admin
My Asturian grandparents, Emilio Antonio Fernández and Aurora Menéndez, grew up in and near Avilés, Spain. They emigrated from the port city of Gijón on January 7, 1914. After a couple of years in Havana, Cuba, they completed their migration by settling in Anmoore, West Virginia, although they also spent time in Bayonne, New Jersey.
The woman surrounded by five kids in the image above is my grandmother; Grandpop is third from the right. The man next to my Grandpop is my Grandpop's brother César.
Winter in Anmoore
Emilio Fernández Alvarez
oil on canvas, 1929
My Grandpop was a painter, which explains his nickname, "El Pintor." Grandpop is mentioned in Gavin Gonzalez's book on the Asturian-American immigrant experience, Pinnick Kinnick Hill. Although Grandpop did interior decoration to support his family, his true vocation was painting. You can learn more about his life story and see more of his works at www.ArteAsturias.com. The winter scene above is a painting he did of Anmoore, WV in 1929.
My mom is also an artist. Since she's already told her tale elsewhere, I won't steal her fire here. You can visit www.ArteAsturias.com to read her story and view many of her paintings.
Cedar Creek Mudflat
Art Zoller Wagner
oil on canvas
My uncle Chris once told me that I'm a lot like my Grandpop. That could be. I'm an artist, too: a realist painter of landscapes and figures. One of my landscapes, Cedar Creek Mud Flat, is above. You can see more of my works at www.RealistPainting.com. I have a Master of Fine Art-Visual Art, and have taught college and adult classes, such as painting, drawing, art appreciation.
In the 1980s my mom and I, with my dad's help, restored El Pintor's rendition of Christ Knocking at Heart's Door. This is one of his larger paintings, an altarpiece at Trinity United Methodist Church at Brushy Fork, which is southeast of Anmoore and Clarksburg, West Virginia. It was poignant having all three generations working together (my Grandpop in absentia but present through his brushstrokes). To the right is a photo of the "three" generations working on the painting.
Honnie Amor Wagner & Art Zoller Wagner in 1993, restoring Christ Knocking at Heart's Door, an altarpiece originally painted by Emilio Fernández Alvarez in 1945
For years, I've been especially interested in the prehistoric art of the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Ages. The cave paintings, dolmens, carvings, are often stunningly beautiful. These works fascinate me because we don't--and probably never will--know much about their original meanings and uses.
A few years ago, it dawned on me that the Cantabrian region (Asturias and Santander, in particular) is the home of some of the most exquisite findings to date, including the caves of Tito Bustillo and Altamira. During the last visit my wife, JoAnne, and I made to Spain, we focused on the prehistoric art of the Cantabrian region. Below is a photo of JoAnne next to a dolmen in Asturias.
JoAnne Zoller Wagner standing next to a dolmen on Monte Areo, Asturias, May 2000
I hope to return soon. This time I'd also like to complete a set of paintings of the magnificent Asturian sea and mountain scape.
I work as a web designer and web application programmer. The site you're viewing now is one of my creations. Another site, ArteAsturias.com, showcases the paintings and life stories of three generations of Asturian-American painters: my grandfather, my mother, and me. I also design and manage sites for other organizations, professionals, & businesses. I currently live in Maryland between Baltimore and Annapolis, but my clients are literally all over the Internet. I'd be happy to create a custom web site for you, too.
When I'm not working on web sites, making art, or fixing up the house, I enjoy traditional music. I've played guitar in Celtic bands. A long-term goal is to learn to play the gaita, which is the Spanish bagpipe.
And you? Please submit your photo or whatever you want to share with us so we can add it to this section. Your participation helps build community!
For info on how to submit a photo, please contact us using the email address below. We can give you instructions for scanning or briefly loaning us the print or negative. You can send your bio text to this email address, too.