Tony Longo creator of “ Art That Heals Through Laughter ”
Mr. Longo has been sculpting in clay, metal and wood for over 33 years. With 8 years of college, two degrees, great experiences being self employed, working in corporate America, and traveling, Mr. Longo has learned life is short and you have to make the time you have here count! He strives to Act Locally &Think Globally making our world a little bit better, and improving the lives of those around him and the world through creations that encourage laughter!
When did he start doing these whimsical creations? At 8 he was looking at trading cards from one of the worlds greatest artists, Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth. It was the monsters in cars and dragsters printed on baseball trading cards in the 1960's that inspired Tony to paint, sculpt, and draw, after not having much success with 2-D art (at 8 years old), Tony took to working in clay like a fish to water. He was awarded in school at age 14, for being a young talented artist, and went on to work at The Clay works and Toasted Earth and Tumble Weed Studios in Los Angeles in the 1970's. That's where he learned production pottery and firing techniques. Then after his loving father passed away, he returned to college where he broadened his foundation of knowledge. He took a job in Alaska and on his return trip he stopped off in Tahoe, where he bought a ski shop at age 21. Now, this is where he took a break from sculpting and painted and played music in clubs at night, running his ski shop during the day, and learning sound business practices. After embarking on many different successful summer ventures, fighting fire for the forest service, cutting fire word, managing a moped rental and creating burl wood furniture, he sold his ski shop and left Tahoe to be closer to his family in the Southland. After an accident on a construction site, Tony went into the family business of Mortgage Brokering, and there he was a fish out of water, he wanted to give back to his community and needed to get back to creating art, so from 1991 to 1995 he volunteered to teach for Free Arts For Abused Children in Los Angles, and stayed with the Eric Erickson Center arts program for years. He made a few pieces he kept, but soon (after the first week) he found out just what a difference he could make by giving away all his art to his students and staff. That's where he discovered how to change people's lives by combining art with laughter, it helped people heal, and was a catalyst for positive changes. One day while teaching a group of new students, he asked, who wants to try throwing clay? Most people would know that meant on a potters wheel, but in no time at all there was clay all over the walls! After holding a empty picture frame up showing his students that the clay splattered on the wall was art, he cleaned up the mess and used the same clay to make little funny sculptures. The students and staff loved them, and soon there were more requests for fish and critters! These whimsical creations helped those students learn that 'Fine Art' is more than just abstract clay splattered and framed on the wall. Fine art is also moving, positive, and can be very funny. After taking advantage of a opportunity to travel for two years as a tour director (that's a book right there), Tony looked for a place to rest. The road was long and Tony wanted to settle down and become a teacher, so he adopted Santa Barbara as his resting place, while working 2 jobs he went to College, and joined the local Cabrillo Beach art show in 1997.
Mr. Longo became an active volunteer at the Braille Institute in Santa Barbara in 2000, and he was teaching those who have seeing impairments the joy of pottery and sculpture. Today, he continues on his artist's path to create and distribute his fun and wild caricatures. People from all over the world that have seen his work at art festivals, stores and galleries, have had a change in their attitudes and gotten a new connection with their funny bone, laughing and smiling.
For the past 11years Tony has been a full time artist creating art that has helped make people smile all over the world. You can see him at art festivals and in Santa Barbara at a local art beach weekly when he is not out of town. He learns from everyone he meets and tries to put the best he has out there for your enjoyment.
Many artists try to make their audience feel something, anything, even uncomfortable! This world has so may things in it to make us feel anxious, irritated and uneasy that Tony concentrates on making his art evoke warmth, smiles and laughter. His goal is to bring light into the rooms and lives of those who adopt a Time Out Studio creation. Mr. Longo would like to be remembered as making 'art that heals through laughter'. An artist who made people feel something, not just anything, something good and happy!
Tony Longo joined Fine Art America on February 2nd, 2009.