Mastrangelo’s triptych: “Da Gracias Por Agua” Celebrates Water and Cinco De Mayo 2016

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Bobbi Mastrangelo’s Triptych “Da Gracias Por Agua” will be exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art’s 1st Thursday in May: CINCO DE MAY-OMA!   Ole!  Reception 6-9 PM

Member Artists of celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 5th with their own interpretations of Mexican life, through the mediums of paintings, drawings, photography or sculpture.

Da Gracias Por Agua (triptych 21" x 48")

Da Gracias Por Agua (triptych 21″ x 48″)

Bobbi Mastrangelo is internationally known for her unique wall relief city-scape interpretations of water covers and manhole covers. Her Triptych created just for this Mexican Themed Event is collectively titled: “Da Gracias Por Agua.” (Give Thanks for Water)

The first sculpture relief, entitled “Agua Sagrada,” pays homage to Jorge Argueta’s Poems in “Hablando con Madre Tierra.” (“Talking with Mother Earth” illustrated by Lucia Angela Pérez) His powerful, inspirational bi-lingual poems explore a young native Salvadoran boy’s connection to Mother Earth. Tetl’s Grandmother taught him about the spirituality of his Nahuatl Ancestors viewing the Earth as being alive with sacred meaning.

Aqua Sagrada (Sacred Water)

Aqua Sagrada (Sacred Water)

The text inscribed around the simulated water fount is “El Agua Es Sagrada.”  (Water is sacred)  “Es La Sangre de La Madre Tierra. (It is the blood of Mother Earth.) Jorge Argueta graciously gave permission for me to use these words from his poem “El Agua.”


Los Cuatro Elementos (relief 21" diameter x 6") and El Agua Es Una Bendición

Los Cuatro Elementos (21″ dia. x 6″) & El Agua Es Una Bendición

With water conservation and protection as a recurrent theme, Bobbi envisioned the center piece with “Covers” representing The Four Elements “Los Cuatro Elements:” Tierra, Aire, Agua y Fuego. The four covers float above metallic colored concave wells.


El Agua Es Una Bendición

El Agua Es Una Bendición

Bobbi enjoyed researching the ancient Aztec, Mayan and Nahuatl Cultures for the borders and designs of the two outside pieces. Atl, the Aztec symbol for water is located in the center of the starburst design.

But it was the contemporary Water Researcher, Masaru Emoto, author of The True Power of Water who influenced  the text of the above piece.  “Water is a Blessing, Give Thanks for Water,” Bobbi inscribed the Spanish Translation around the water fount: “El Agua Es Una Bendición.  Da Gracias Por Agua.”

Emoto believes that: “It is our individual responsibility to learn all we can about water, the most precious resource on the planet and to help shift the consciousness through our thoughts, words and prayers.  May our understanding of water help to bring peace to all mankind.”

Bobbi felt Spiritually Blessed as she created this triptych and hoped that Argueta’s philosophy about honoring Mother Earth and Emoto’s revelations about water would resonate to the viewers.


1st Thursdays

Orlando Museum of Art

2416 North Mills Ave.

Orlando FL 32803

1 (407) 896 4231

“Turning Manhole Covers into Art” by Barbara Sieminski for, highlights Bobbi Mastrangelo’s Manhole Art

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Barbara Sieminski, author of “Turning Manhole Covers into Art” discovered Bobbi Mastrangelo’s manhole art on the web while researching foundries and manhole covers.  This abridged Blog version, includes Bobbi’s Manhole Art.

Some cities hold occasional “Art in the Street” competitions during long summer days, where boulevards are closed off and chalk artists of all ages come out to play. Functional and longer-lasting heavy metal art doesn’t usually share the same space in the streets, unless at some time a street department employee felt strongly about the benefits of creatively designed manhole covers.

Surprised? More and more municipalities are choosing to beautify their streets by using decorative manhole covers, grates and rings to draw attention to their infrastructure and highlight local artists’ designs.  According to Adam San Solo, PE, director of sales at US Foundry in Medley, Fla., often wastewater, stormwater, utility, meter covers, etc., will have different designs, all within the same city.

This manhole cover was produced for the city of Miami, Fla. (Photo provided by US Foundry)

This manhole cover was produced for the city of Miami, Fla. (Photo % US Foundry)

“The City Beautiful” is the first manhole cover relief done in color by artist Bobbi Mastrangelo. It is a detail from her 47" x 32" relief which was exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art's 1st Thursday: Oct.2014.

“The City Beautiful” is the first manhole cover relief done in color by artist Bobbi Mastrangelo. It is a detail from her 47″ x 32″x 3″  relief which was exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art’s 1st Thursday in Oct. 2014: “What’s Urban Art?”

Engineers are not the only ones interested in manhole covers. Bobbi Mastrangelo of Poinciana, Fla., is a retired schoolteacher who has gained international recognition for unusual art projects. She has exhibited  in  prestigious art shows and museums globally and is listed in “Who’s Who in American Art.” One of her mixed media specialties is decorative manhole and water covers in urban settings. “It is  a way of appreciating the technology and maintenance of our public utilities and roads. This art helps to promote conservation and protection of our environment,” Mastrangelo said.

Artist Bobbi Mastrangelo holds one of her decorative manhole covers titled “Freedom Grate.” (Photo provided by Mastrangelo, from her Grate American Art portfolio)

Artist Bobbi Mastrangelo holds one of her decorative manhole covers titled “Freedom Grate.” (Photo % Mastrangelo, from her Grate American Art portfolio)

Metropolises  considering having their own attractive grates may wish to encourage local artists to compete with unique cover art. There could even be citywide contests for elementary and high school students to have their art displayed on the lids. The field is wide open for designs of local landscapes, abstracts, legends, the seasons or municipal symbols. On the production end, runs as small as 20 pieces are possible and prototypes can be provided.

Cities considering updating their plain manhole covers to spiffier ones might keep in mind a fun bonus: Maybe these new pieces of heavy metal art will even show up in the local chamber of commerce’s tourism guides as part of its sightseeing attractions.

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