About the Artist
Born to an Italian mother and an Italian-American father, Oakland native Mario Chiodo’s artistic tenacity and desire to create was readily apparent by the innocent age of two, when he would draw on any surface he could reach, including his bedroom walls, and dig up clay from the backyard to sculpt faces. By age 12, his teachers recognized his creative prowess and placed him in an innovative art school for young students, where Mario’s imagination was peaked by Classical masters like Michelangelo and Rodin. His leap as a young adult into the professional art world took place in the Halloween industry where he found tremendous success and unwittingly developed a business. When the consumer product schedule allowed, Mario began sculpting the likenesses of extraordinary individuals who had inspired him throughout his life, such as Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa, with breathtaking detail and gesture. Shortly thereafter, he received several fine art commissions: the visual depiction of the history of Jazz through relief panels and feature sculpture in Harrah’s New Orleans, and artwork to commemorate three different Native American tribes. Mario became captivated by the power of transmitting history to sculpture. When the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened on U.S. soil, Mario yearned to use his creative ability to convey the innate unity of all human beings, inspire our compassion, and shed light on the truth of our shared histories. He decided to let go of the consumer products industry entirely so that he could focus his attention on creating vivid, soulful, educational, and accessible works of art. From this desire, Remember Them was born. Ten years later, Mario remains steadfastly committed to creating works of art that transcend the physical impact of sculpture and provoke the viewer on a deeply intimate level. Mario won the commission to sculpt a tribute to Harriet Tubman, abolitionist Thomas Garrett and the Underground Railroad in Wilmington, Delaware in 2012. Unveiling in June 2013, Mario is creating a passionate tribute to the heroism of the African Americans escaping slavery during the Civil War for a recently unearthed cemetery in Alexandria, VA. Mario believes that the quest for freedom, equality and peace is universal. Remember Them and the Tubman/Garrett monument are only the beginning of Mario’s vision for a Freedom March of Art: a series of monuments that ignite hope and inspiration across the globe implemented in cities or communities in most need of healing.