Don Ajello

Artist Website

Intimacy Series

4" x 3" x 14"


I was born in New York City at the close of WWII. My ancestry was of both Sicilian Catholic and Russian Jewish descent. My father was an inventor of scale model toys and trains as well as a hobby store owner in Manhattan. As a child, I was fascinated by the images and objects I grew up with. This early influence of model making and the use of my hands to build sparked the desire to create. Drawing and sculpture seemed like the obvious progression and I completed my education at California Institute of the Arts, California State University, Longbeach and California State University, Fresno ending with a Masters Degree in Sculpture. My current studio is in Santa Rosa, California.

My work embodies whimsy, fantasy, and surreal symbols. I feel equally satisfied by working in a range of materials: bronze, wood or ceramics. I choose to create functional and non-functional sculpture with some works embracing a certain seriousness, and others containing humor. As a Vietnam veteran, I was strongly affected by war and its disturbing effect on humanity and the consequences to the planet. After the war I embarked on a series of sculptures relating to this topic. On the humorous side, I have produced a well-received series entitled "The Petaluma Peckers." I am represented by a number of galleries both in California, Oregon.

Artist Statement

It is my intent within a mixed media format to sculpturally take a tongue in cheek, jaundice eye investigation of my life and yours. To take an object's visual definition out of context and to juxtapose items against each other. With some skill and luck, I can take you into my vision.