Angela Pasquale invited me to her home in Beechview hoping I would be delighted by her latest art project, and she hoped right.
Renowned for her needlework sculpture and her blue-ribbon-winning jars of peaches, pears, hot peppers and tomato sauce, the native of Avellino, Italy delights in layers.
First she showed me her yard, where since last summer she has been placing tinted glass jars no longer safe for canning, 250 so far. A sunny day or a moonlit night sets off reflections that resemble a field of twinkling lights.
“Neighbors say, ‘Why don’t you put those jars in a yard sale?’ and I don’t want to tell them, ‘Don’t you get it?’” she said with playful exasperation.
That’s the thing about very creative people who do unconventional things; most people think it’s eccentric or at least amusing and the rest do get it. It’s delightfulness.
When she was winning blue ribbons galore at fairs and exhibitions, she decided she wanted to win a red and a white ribbon for the color variety, so she put up a less perfect product and won less perfect prizes. To her delight but to her husband’s consternation.
“He said, ‘My wife doesn’t win white ribbons,’” she said, laughing.
Angela Cavaliere came to this country in 1957 to marry Edward Pasquale, who was an American citizen from her village. His construction company was the only team in the bowling league whose shirts were embroidered, not to mention by a woman whose stitch is copyrighted.
She was the American Biographical Institute’s Artist of the year in 2005 and is in the book “Great Women of the 21st Century,” and it does a heart good to know that these lofty recognitions go to a woman who has a stone picnic table sitting on a bed of broken pieces of ceramic — a mosaicist’s fantasy.
“I like to walk on them,” she said, stepping onto the shards, smiling impishly. “I like how they sound.”
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