Mafalda Cento’s love of art started when she was only 5 years old. She was born in Italy. In kindergarten her teacher sketched the face of a woman with beads around her neck. Mafalda was so mesmerized by lines and shadowing that fell in love with art. From that day forward Mafalda Cento decided that she wanted to be an artist. She started sketching all the time and would get into trouble for it in school. Mafalda had an aunt that lived in America that would send her catalogs and Mafalda would love to cut and paste the pictures. She enjoyed making collages as a young girl and still loves doing that today.
Teachers never encouraged Mafalda to create art and it wasn’t until she came to America at age 14 that she felt encouraged and appreciated and recognized for her artistic ability. She was so touched by all the encouragement that she left school at 16 to attend an art school in the city. Mafalda started working during the day and attended an art school on 56th street in Manhattan twice a week for 8 months.
At age 18 Mafalda and her family moved to Long Island and she started working in a bank in New York City. It was there that she met a co-worker named John who would later become the love of her life and her husband. They have three children Adriana, Johanna and John Paul.
Mafalda continued her love affair with art but life seemed to take a priority. Her neighbor and friend Jean (also a member of SSAG) encouraged Mafalda to make time and a new commitment to art. She then enrolled in some art classes at Snug Harbor Art Lab. It was her passion for art that kept her going through the tough times in her life especially when her mother was very ill.
Mafalda is an emotional artist and channels her love and life experience into her art. Watercolor was Mafalda’s greatest challenge. She always pushed herself to succeed and try different mediums.
She feels one of her greatest accomplishments is to be able to use her eyes and hands with such precision. Mafalda feels that art has been in her heart and soul since that day in her kindergarten class but she also feels that technically she is still learning.
Her first love was art. The beautiful view of sky and clouds from her home in Italy was her canvas. Mafalda Cento is a confident beautiful woman who loves challenges, people and natural poses of the world of art. She has the ability to focus on shapes and color and transmit them to canvas.
Mafalda feels her artistic voice inspires her to create. Art fuels her soul.
During our interview I found myself so inspired by what Mafalda has accomplished through her years. I am in awe of the woman and the artist. Her love of art overflows.
Her grandchildren call her Una (meaning one) and she is truly the one.
What makes Mafalda Cento one of the most talented, inspiring, remarkable and coolest artist I have ever met is the fact that she is unaware of the impact that she makes through her art. She is very humble. "Una" considers herself ALWAYS a student of art.
by June Palo