Robert Ponzio  - Artist / Educator/ Citizen Diplomat

Chair, Fine Arts, Oak Hall School 

8009 SW 14th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32607   (352) 332 – 5760

PONZ@HardcorePainting.com     

        Former Artist's Blog: http://hardcorepainting.blogspot.com     Websites: School- http://www.oakhall.org    

I am currently seeking gallery representation.             _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Ponz head shot.jpg

As an Artist and Educator I have had the good fortune to be allowed the opportunity to utilize my Art as a powerful instrument for global outreach.  My school's mission statement reads: "Preparing students for ethical leadership in a diverse and global society," and I strive to live up to this guiding educational principle.  I view my classroom as a bridge to the world; my art and gallery as a window; and my curriculum as a vehicle to help my students explore the varied cultures of the world.

As a Citizen Diplomat I maintain an active involvement in several international cultural exchange projects.  Our city of Gainesville, Florida is a leader in  official international Sister City relationships as we enjoy strong relations with Novorossiisk, Russia, Rzeszow, Poland, Jacmel, Haiti, Kfar Saba, Israel and Qalqilya, Palestine.  Additionally, Oak Hall School maintains productive Sister School relationships with schools in Changzhou, China and Andros Island the Bahamas. Throughout my career I have also maintained creative projects and built personal relationships with artists, teachers and students from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan. 

 Through these various creative outreach activities I am motivated to diplomatically lead by example so my students and community can gain a deeper understanding that we truly are all brothers and sisters around the globe.  My art and diplomatic activities are meant to celebrate our various cultures and reflect upon my own experiences. I also hope my art may inform, remind and inspire my viewers to realize that despite our seeming cultural differences, people all around the world really are all the same.

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Employment:          8/95 - Present     Chair, Fine Arts Department, Oak Hall School, Gainesville, FL

         1/95 - 5/96         Adjunct Professor of Painting, University of Florida (UF), Gainesville, FL

Select Academic and Global Outreach Activities

11/14                  Citizen Diplomacy – Leading  delegation to Changzhou, China for ongoing cultural exchange. 

11/14                  Guest Speaker –"Gainesville Connected: Raising Global Awareness in North Central Florida Classrooms",  Workshop for educators.

11/14                  Citizen Diplomacy – Welcoming members of Sister Cities Delegation from Jacmel Haiti. With public painting performances at "Club 1982" and the Downtown Fine Arts Festival.

9/14                  Citizen Diplomacy – Welcomed  Delegation of Artists from San Juan, Puerto Rico for ¡Celebrate the Santeros! public exhibition at the Cofrin Gallery at Oak Hall School,   https://www.facebook.com/Mr.PONZ/media_set?set=a.10151921490051377.1073741856.518731376&type=3

6/14                 Lecture / Presentation –  “Bridging Cultures: Perspectives on Chinese Art and Culture in the classroom” teacher workshop – sponsored by The Confucius Institute, the University of Florida International Center, the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. http://www.ufic.ufl.edu/pd/downloads/outreach/2014HarnTeacherInst-flyer.pdf

4/14                  Citizen Diplomacy – Welcomed members of Sister Cities Delegation from Qalqilya, Palestine. Created Peace Mural.  https://www.facebook.com/Mr.PONZ/media_set?set=a.10151921490051377.1073741856.518731376&type=3

9/13                  Citizen Diplomacy – Welcomed members of Sister Cities Delegation from Jacmel Haiti and Changzhou China. Celebrated with Global Painting Party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mejmG2DCs8E

4/13                  Citizen Diplomacy – Welcomed members of Sister Cities Delegation from Kfar Saba, Israel as part of official Sister City program. Painting Performance and Blues Jam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNIyG7nGcd4

1/13                  Citizen Diplomat Member of Sister Cities Delegation to Jacmel, Haiti as part of official Sister City program. http://projecthopeart.org/from-gainsville-with-love/

5/12                  Lecture / Presentation –  “Crossing Paths: Teaching Chinese History, Art, and Culture” teacher workshop sponsored by The Confucius Institute, the University of Florida International Center, the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, and the School Board of Alachua County. http://www.ufic.ufl.edu/news/2012CrossingPaths.html

10/11                Citizen Diplomat Member of Sister Cities Delegation to Kfar, Saba Israel, and Qalqilya, Palestine as part of official Three-way Sister Cities program. http://www.gnvsistercities.org/page5.html and http://citizendiplomacyinitiatives.org/

Ongoing        Sister School Program – Changzhou #2 Senior Middle School, Changzhou, China. Art / student exchanges. http://www.oakhall.org/RelId/607882/ISvars/default/Changzhou_visit_in_2007.htm

11/10                Hosted Guest Teacher from Kyrgyzstan – sponsored by the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) and the Global Connections and Exchange Program http://hardcorepainting.blogspot.com/2010/11/nuris-last-days-in-gainesville-part-1.html

7/09                  Visiting Art Teacher at Sangmyung University in Cheonan, South Korea http://hardcorepainting.blogspot.com/2009/08/scenes-from-korean-workshop.html

8/09 – 5/11        Kyrgyzstan Online Art Exchange – sponsored by the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) and the Global Connections and Exchange Program http://www.oakhall.org/RelId/607975/ISvars/default/Kyrgyzstan_Art_Project.htm

8/08 – 5/09        Turkmenistan Online Art Exchange – sponsored by the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) and the Global Connections and Exchange Program  http://www.oakhall.org/RelId/607966/ISvars/default/Turkmenistan_Art_Project.htm

11/08                Lecture / Presentation – “Rethinking the Art, History, Economics, and Culture of Qing Dynasty China in Relation to the Rise of Europe after 1500”, with Konstantine Georgiadis, Canterbury School, 2008 Florida Council of Independent Schools State Conference, Orlando, FL

3/08                  Published Lesson Plan – “A Journey Through Space: What the Kangxi and Qianlong Southern Inspection Tour Scrolls Reveal about Western and Chinese Conceptions of Space in Art”.  Examined the influence of Western perspective on Qing Dynasty, Chinese hand scroll painting. Featured by Asia for Educators and Columbia University http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/neh/course2/index.html

11/05                Lecture / Presentation – “Benefits of International Enrichment to Community, School, Curriculum, and Students”, 2005 Florida Council of Independent Schools State Conference, Orlando, Florida.

5/05-08              Uzbekistan Online Art Exchange – sponsored by the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) and the Global Connections and Exchange Program –Uzbekistan. 06/07 Collaborative Art Exhibition project continues: http://www.connectuz.net/

7/04                  Research: China and Japan  http://localweb.oakhall.org/ponz/china/japan.html created in response to a research trip to East Asia, sponsored by National Consortium for Teaching on Asia, UF Asian Studies, and The Freeman Foundation.

5/04                  Published Lesson Plan – created in response to a research trip to East Asia, sponsored by National Consortium for Teaching on Asia, UF Asian Studies, and The Freeman Foundation. http://localweb.oakhall.org/ponz/china/resources.htm

10/03                Research: Japan http://localweb.oakhall.org/artdept/japan/index.html created in response to a research trip to the Japanese mainland and Okinawa, sponsored by the Fulbright Memorial Fund and the Japanese Government.

Ongoing            Sister School Program – Central Andros High School, Andros Island, the Bahamas, Service projects and Artist/student exchanges initiated by the fine arts department faculty at Oak Hall School. http://www.oakhall.org/RelId/607945/ISvars/default/Andros_Exchange_Program.htm

Select Exhibitions and Painting Performances

7/13                  Permanent Installation – Blues-themed wood carving/installation on permanent display at  the BB King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, Mississippi  http://bluesartbyponz.blogspot.com/2013/02/ponz-now-at-bb-king-museum.html

5/13                  Permanent Installation – Blues-themed wood carving on permanent display at "Lucille's",  the Red Rock Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada  

1/13                  Exhibition/Public Painting Performance - Fosaj Art Gallery, Jacmel, Haiti

10/11                Exhibition/Public Painting Performance - Gallery 29, Kfar Saba, Israel

10/11                Exhibition/Public Drawing Performance - Qalqilya Municipality Building, Qalqilya, Palestine

10/11                Public Peace Mural - Created with official permission from Qalqilya Municipality on the  Security wall that surrounds the West Bank city of Qalqilya, Palestine.

10/11                Public Peace Mural - Created at Qalqilya Women’s Center, Qalqilya, Palestine.  

3/11                  Exhibition/Painting Performance - Changzhou #2 Middle School, Changzhou China

12/08              Zero Gravity Drawing - Created aboard “G-Force 1”, parabolic aircraft during training flight sponsored by NASA, Space Florida, Northrop Grumman, SpaceTec, Zero Gravity Corp. and the Stephen Hawking Microgravity Education and Research Center. http://hardcorepainting.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post.htmlStory also picked up by Climate Progress http://climateprogress.org/2008/12/08/right-brain-alert-can-teaching-art-to-future-scientists-help-save-the-planet/

Personal: Everyone calls me PONZ, (which is humorous in China as it sounds like “Mr. Fat” when spoken)!

I’m also a skilled Footbagger, (Hacky Sack), http://www.freedomfootbags.com/blog/peace-through-footbag/ and avid Ultimate player: http://gvilleultimate.com/?page_id=30&album=10&gallery=17