The Vaugel Sculpture Studio first started in 1976, in Venice, California. Figure sculptors and painters from all over the world who found themselves lost in the "contemporary" art world of Los Angeles would find themselves a home in Martine’s studio.
Musicians, actors, writers and dancers found their way to the studio as well, and it became a creative Mecca for many artists whose lives were forever touched. Many international artists came to the studio to draw, talk, paint, talk, sculpt, argue and drink coffee. It became a hub of intellectual stimulation for the then growing counter culture that figurative artists, and students of the figure, represented. It was also a place of passionate Interaction between the arts, where the “Passionist Movement “ was born, the goal of which was “to put the heart back in art”. Martine opened this movement to the world at the Sundance Ranch in 1980 at an international Creative Coalition Conference. (Pictured left to right: Alan Katz, Martine Vaugel & Jan Sather)
Martine used her time in NYC to sculpt 2 projects which won prizes in the Rodin Grand Prize Monumental Figure Competition in Japan, in 1990 and 1992. She was the only woman to win these prizes two times consecutively. One for her monument to Mahatma Gandhi and one for her monumental portrait sculpture of Sylvester Stallone, both testaments to personal power and intention. One for the power of the steel age to produce an American icon for body building and creative inspiration, and the other to create a world of peace through personal responsibility while inspiring our using the responsibility to be personal.
As well as having many shows in NYC, in 1980 she opened the “Passionist Movement” in a Creative Coalition Forum at Robert Redford’s Sundance Ranch. In 1994 spoke about her work at the United Nations, as well as being invited to be one of 4 artists at the first Kyoto Protocols in Japan. She was also nominated for Woman of the Year by the British Royal Society, in 2000. Her last studio in NYC was on 5th avenue and 16th st, where many world leaders would stop by to see her new work. It was also the studio where she was commissioned by James B Murphy to sculpt Lucia the Goddess of Light. (Pictured here)
Martine Vaugel lived for 7 years (1994-2001) in North Carolina where she met and married musician James Vaccarella. She became step mother to his two sons and enjoyed a sense of family that she had never experienced up to that point. She and Jim moved to France in 2001 where they still enjoy creating their life together. ( picture of Jim and Martine )
Being a first generation American, raised speaking French, and with the French figurative sculptors being her personal favorites, it was only natural that Martine found a venue for a life in France. This came in 1988 when her contemporary, Ted Seth Jacobs, offered her an opportunity to teach in a small town in the Loire Valley. She began to teach an intensive course in France. For seven years, each July it was held in a beautiful chateau, formerly the home of Louis XIV’s finance minister, The Chateau Colbert. Her home, a presbytere in the Loire Valley, was completed in 1825 and is attached to the original church of “les Cerqueux Sous Passavant”. The original church completed in 1664 is her studio and classroom. Martine lives full-time in France where she continues to teach and sculpt. She travels and teaches at various locations in the world; most recently Portugal, in addition to Southern California.
Thanks needs to be given to my late mother Simone Vaugel who supported me with love and understanding from my early beginnings to the end of her life. A very special thanks needs to be given to my beautiful sister Monique Levy for her love and continued support throughout my life. I have been truly blessed and am forever grateful. I am also truly grateful to Monique’s husband, Dr Lawrence Levy and son, Peter Levy for their support throughout the years.
I can never thank my husband Jim Vaccarella enough for the years of love we have shared. His endless emotional, spiritual, intellectual, financial and physical support, have been the stable data that have helped me to evolve on my journey in this life with clarity, faith and joy.
I also want to thank my dear friends Alex de Rafols and Robin Miller, the beauty and brains of “InCreation” for their tireless love, faith, endless fun, and the creation of this beautiful website.