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Al Sprague was born in Colon, Panama. His parents had immigrated to Panama from New York City where Al's father had been hired as a manager for Texaco Oil Company in 1938. Al spent most of his life in Panama, but he returned to the United States to study. He received a bachelor's and master's degree in Fine Arts at American University. He returned to Panama and taught high school and college art to the dependents of U.S. military and civilian workers for 15 years. During that time, he began to paint the country and people of Panama, one of the first artists to really define the Panamanian culture through the arts. His most noted works are of the Panamanian native dancing women in the traditional "pollera" and "montuna" as well as the fisherman who troll the seas of the Pacific Ocean for snapper, grouper, and dolphin fish. Al, an avid fisherman himself, creates fishing lures that are also works of art.Throughout his teaching career, Al painted the Panama Canal and the men who keep it running. A number of his paintings were purchased by the Panama Canal Commission, and presently hang in the Panama Canal Administration Building. Four of his paintings were made into postal stamps, two for the now defunct Panama Canal post office, and two for the Republic of Panama.In 2000, Al's one man show of Panama Canal artwork opened the new Panama Canal Museum. Many of his paintings hang in banks and museums throughout Panama, and have been purchased as gifts of state for the presidents of Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil and the United States. Al Sprague paintings are included in the Presidential Libraries of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Al was chosen as the official combat artist for "Operation Just Cause" and created a series of paintings which form part of the Army art collection in the Pentagon and were featured on CNN.In addition to oil and watercolor paintings, Al taught himself the art of bronze casting. In 1992, he moved to Virginia, where he built a small foundry and produces his own bronze pieces, using typical Panamanian subjects. Al summarizes his feelings about his work in this way: "I have never overcome enjoying what I see. Therefore, in my painting and sculpture I attempt to portray the literal: a visual world made up of patterns of abstract shapes, planes and colors that stimulate our senses."


Titles illustrated
ver libro
Windswept
Vendaval
Award Mom's Choice 

ver libro
The Mahogany Tree
El árbol de caoba
International Books Award Finalist

 
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