Oranjestad — For the month of March, Maria Onni presents her collection at the Caribbean Queen store at the Palm Beach Plaza Mall. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Maria started art classes when she was 8 years old. As a kid, it was already evident that Maria was going to be a free spirit artist, so family members always involved her in a variety of artistic expressions, including guitar lessons, sculpting, dance classes…but painting was her thing, she says.
Maria found Aruba when she was 20 years old following her heart and a love story! At the end of five years of experimentation, working in different areas on the Island she found the way to express all of the emotions she felt here, by means of a creative process which was unique to the island.
Her intensions to create a special and authentic souvenir that visitors could take home, made her think about driftwood and the idea of recycling. It felt like magic when one day on the beach looking for driftwood, one piece in particular spoke to her, she saw a face there, as if the wood was in possession of a spirit. She couldn’t stop creating thereafter.
Inspired to make different masks of diverse ethnicities she started painting African, Asian, Indian and Mayan masks. She felt that the mix of cultures here invited a fresh approach and she started working on “masks from Aruba”
Overtime she began to incorporate clay to give the masks dimension, she also decorates them with sea glass, shells, seeds, and stones.
The masks are one of a kind , the authentic shapes and the combination of colors make them all unique and special, as if they each have a story to tell…
Maria reports that as a muralist, sculptor and stage makeup artist, she found Aruba a great place to work, with her creativity free-flowing and uninhibited.
In 2012 she started travelling , learning different techniques and finding more inspiration, as she looks forward to keep growing on her amazing personal journey.
Come view Maria’s collection through the month of March at Caribbean Queen. The store earmarks a percentage of all sales to the repair of the world, Tikkun Olam, an age-old Kabalah concept. The funds collected are given quarterly to not-for-profit local organizations, an ongoing effort to do good and serve the community. All the foundations served with donations from the Caribbean Queen Boutique are dedicated to the promotion of art on the island and artisan education.