Your hosts, Robert Masla & Monica Levine
Monica Levine and Robert Masla have three children, Aiyana, Narieka and Brahm. They live in Western Massachusetts and have been visiting Puerto Vallarta for over thirty years. They found the community of Boca de Tomatlan, 10 miles south of P.V. warm and friendly and a perfect place to nurture the “Casa vision”. Monica is a Clinical Social Worker who has worked with the local middle school to establish an ecological group in Boca. She has a private practice working with couples and individuals, specializing in relationship issues. She has an office in Northampton, MA, (MonicaLevineLICSW.com). Bob is an Artist. You can see his work at www.MaslaFineArt.com or in Northampton, MA at the R. Michelson Gallery, (see Bob’s work at RMichelson.com). When you are in Puerto Vallarta his work is on exhibit at Gallery Alpacora in “Old Town”. If you come to the Boca, drop by the Casa and visit the “Patio Gallery” (best to call to see if we are in). You can also see photos from the 2007 opening reception of his 30 year retrospective celebrating his 50th birthday at the R. Michelson Gallery – Near and Far, A Retrospective. You can also see works from his 2013 exhibition R. Michelson Gallery – Seeing the Beauty. view work from the exhibition, “Around the Corner and Beyond”, opened at the R. Michelson Gallery on December 8, 2017 . The exhibition that was scheduled for September 2020, “Then and There, Here and Now”, was changed radically due to the outbreak of Covid 19, what opened at the R. Michelson Galleries in Oct., 2020 was Gratitude – The Unrecognized Essential Workers Series. You can see some of that work clicking that link. The exhibit “Then and There, Here and Now” is in planning stage and will be announced soon.
Masla also teaches painting and drawing and demos in the U.S. at his Studios North in rural Ashfield, MA as well as by invitation at other locations. In 2005 out of their love for this region, as well as their commitment to individuals creative, personal and spiritual growth, they created Casa de los Artistas, Inc. First, offering art workshops that Bob facilitated along with some nationally and internationally renown artist friends, (Jane Lund, Peter Kitchell to name a few), it soon grew to regularly incorporate internationally recognized master artists as visiting facilitators. Later, expanding further, (with Monica’a influence from the Therapy world), including seminars by internationally acclaimed therapists and authors. Continuing our commitment to creativity and personal growth we have also conducted workshops incorporating dance and yoga. Though our main focus is the visual arts, we look forward to future workshops on many expanding subjects, (creative writing, performance…).
To see a list and find links to descriptions of current workshops offered by Masla at the Casa and his Studios North, please scroll to the bottom
is an award wining internationally exhibited artist whose canvases, murals and portraits can be found in galleries, private residencies, corporations, the hospitality and health care industries, restaurants and on film. His work has appeared in various books and publications such as: The Artist and the American Landscape, Changing Prospects, The Artists Magazine, Art New England, PleinAir Today & Outdoor Painter. His work can be found in numerous public and private collections throughout the United States and in Mexico and has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions in both countries. With over a 40 year professional exhibition history, Masla brings immense talent, technical expertise, imagination and masterful craftsmanship in whatever he puts his hand to.
Masla began his studies at age 11 in the studio of 20th century realist master and former president of the National Society of Mural Painters, Alton S. Tobey. Now, more than 50 years later, Masla continues his mentors commitment to excellence in art with a mastery of both traditional and contemporary technique along with exploring creativity and expression through a versatility of style.
Through out his career he has been, and continues to be, a committed painter of landscape, finding nature to be a constant guide, teacher and healer. He did his first plein air painting, (on location painting), with his mentor Alton Tobey when he was about 12 or 13 years old. This ignited an already spiritual kinship he felt when being in nature and he was hooked on the landscape as a vehicle for expressing his “connection to the Universe”. This passion still moves him today. One of the joys he has found in painting the landscape around him is to, -“take things that we might pass by every day and bring them into focus. To see them again as if for the first time. Art affords us the unique opportunity to see the world afresh, with wonder, as with the eyes of a child.”
Fluid in all painting media, Masla switches between working in oil/alkyd, water mixable oil, watercolor and acrylic as the circumstances and the creative muse moves him. As a lifelong dedicated fine artist he has also always remained committed to pushing his creative edge and expanding his expressive boundaries. During the first decade of this millennium Masla spent 8 years working to develop a technique and new body of work comprised of unique mixed media digital collage paintings, (see: Maslas’ Digital Collage Here ) . These works combined Masla’s life long passion for both traditional and contemporary painting techniques along with his longtime involvement with photography, creating what is distinctly an original and innovative expression. This culminated in his 2009 Exhibition, “Mixing It Up”, at the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA.
Masla Fine Art Studios, aside from being a traditional painting studio, is a fully equipped digital print shop, capable of customizing commissions for color, texture, size and image personalization. The artist has also created hand painted wall and canvas murals as well as mixed media custom made digital collage paintings and prints.
Working to uncover the universal language contained within the natural world, Masla fills the common daily setting with an aura of mystical divinity and the suggestion of other worldly experiences. In the 1970’s Masla coined the term Spiritrealism to describe how the spiritual can manifest in the so-called mundane realities of every day life. “We’re given the opportunity to participate in creation every day of our lives. Creating art is a form of worship, a form of spirituality born through creative living that connects us to the cultivation of humanity. A process that has been going on since the dawn of civilization”, says the artist.
Paintings such as Feel the Earth Move or those at the Falls of Niagara, is from what Masla calls his Grand Landscape series- images of recognizable monumental landscapes. Masla believes in the power of Nature as healing and that these landscapes contain archetypal imagery that both relaxes and empowers the viewer, reconnecting them to the sense of oneness and harmony with nature and creation. His success in achieving this goal is attested by the fact that his work is collected not just for private homes and offices, but for corporate conference rooms and hospital lobbies for it’s healing and peaceful qualities. The artist typically works on location, painting in plein air, or sketching in watercolor or alkyd/oil and then completing the work in his studio, the very large works being referenced from sketches and numerous photographs. He also works on still life, portraiture and other subjects, all in a variety of media, (see his website for more info: www.MaslaFineArt.com )
Masla has lectured and taught painting, drawing and art history at several colleges and institutions. He conducts workshops from his home/studio in rural Ashfield, Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and their three children and also offers workshops from their home/studio South – Casa de los Artistas, in Boca de Tomatlan, Mexico. His teaching experience is extensive, from pre -k through college, as well as private workshops. He has been a products demonstrator and tester for various artists materials manufacturers. During the early 90’s Masla was the Artist in Residence for the city of Springfield, MA, where, for 4 years, he was the creator and artistic director of the A4E program (Art for Everyone) which had been awarded 3 consecutive grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for bringing art into the inner city schools.
Graduated with a Masters in Social Work from NYU School of Social Work in 1983. After getting her LICSW in 1983 (Licensed Clinical Social Worker certification), she became a devoted student of Psychodrama for the next 12 years while working in a variety of settings, from hospitals to schools to crisis intervention centers. For a number of years she concentrated her studies on Sex Therapy and is board certified as a Sex Therapist from AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists).
She is committed to helping persons in their personal growth and connecting with their passionate self, feeling honored to participate with them in this courageous process. Monica’s website : www.MonicaLevineLICSW.com
Spend a week in paradise
Experience Casa Co-Founder, Artist Robert Masla’s Award Winning Teaching Style
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