Published on July 11, 2012 by Amy
My name is Michael Angelo Cruz, born the fourth child out of six brothers and sisters, my father is Spanish and my mother is full blooded Native American from the Six Nations reservation, Cayuga, Turtle clan. My mother use to tell me from the day I was born, she had a strong intuition, that someday I would be an artist, that’s where the name Michael Angelo comes from.
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I have always felt a strong passion for art, I had no idea how it would change my life for the better. I’m 43 years old (in 2008) but when I was a small child growing up in a bad part of upstate New York, with drugs and weekly shootings, I told myself that’s not where I want to bring up a family. Art always seemed to put me in a different place, not to say I also had to deal with social anxiety. With the strong influence from the art teachers I had in high school and the encouragement from my mother to stay out of trouble, stay focused and stay in school. Easier said then done, but with hard work and a whole lot of luck, I did just that. As for now I live in a suburban neighborhood in Spencerport N.Y. with my wife Tammy of 23 years and two boys, Anthony and Michael Jr. I’ve tried everything in art there is, from soap stone carvings to watercolor, pencil, ink, clay, air brush, acrylics, oils and pastels. I can say the greatest spirtual experience I had is when I visited a powwow called Gathering of Nations, every kind of native people you could think of was there. I also had the opportunity of meeting one of the original Navajo code talkers. It was at that moment I would start painting all natives not just Iroquois people.
I’m very proud to be who and what I am and I will always treasure the moments when my parents would take my brothers & sisters and I to the reservation in Canada, Hagersvill, Ontario. We would sit around a big camp fire and just joke around with each other because my grandfather had a house with no electricity, only well water and an outhouse. A nightmare for a city boy like myself, but with such a BIG, loving, strong family, who needed the material things…