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March 17, 2010 > Phantom Art Gallery presents 'Versatility is Trump'

Phantom Art Gallery presents 'Versatility is Trump'

Submitted By Peggy Horyza

Milpitas-based artist Mareile Angy Ogle was born in Berlin, Germany, in February 1931. Her mother, Ellen Beck, was a Danish socialite and her father, Dr. Franz-Josef Huber, came from humble ancestry in Bavaria. Ambitious, he gained two doctorates, one in jurisprudence and the other in political science.

Having hoped for a son, Huber brought up his daughter as a boy, calling her "Emil" until his dying day. Self-pity and regret were infra dig. Calmness under pressure, graciousness, genuine character and empathy were de rigueur so that she, just like him, would have abilities and qualities to share with any community. Logic, loyalty and athletics were emphasized and vanity discouraged. A Super Boy!

Stoicism and good grace proved more useful than her first eight years of luxury and foreign travel. Her idyllic childhood ended abruptly with the outbreak of WWII. Allied bombs devastated Berlin and, in November 1943, Huber's law practice, their adjacent flat, hung mainly with French Impressionist paintings, his collection of 1st edition books and his wife's beloved tropical-plant atrium burned to the ground. The family led a much simpler life at their rustic second home in the ancient forests of the Mark Brandenburg. Mareile/Emil and her father quickly adapted, diligently building two extra rooms and an air-raid shelter.

Mareile studied Art History and Commercial Design in post-war Germany. She developed a life-long self-reliance and has retained the values her father instilled in her. Huber, who passed away aged 59, also taught her to balance ambition and strenuous work with leisure and relaxation.

On completing her master's thesis, she sought freelance assignments throughout Europe and found time to hike, indulge in white-water rafting, shoot and ski. She toured the Alpine region, where she found an ideal life-work balance, on a BMW motorcycle.

Mareile immigrated to California in 1954 hoping to continue in commercial design but major department stores were already using canned ads. There was little demand for lay-out designs. She began creating giant murals, many in downtown San Jose, depicting a jazz quartet, a Paris boulevard for a beauty parlor and under-ocean scenes for a restaurant. Adaptability and versatility were her forte.

She and her late, first husband, realtor Al Russo, resided in Saratoga where they raised their three children. During this time Mareile enjoyed teaching various Adult Education courses in poster design, layout and basic sketching.

Her passion for the written word landed jobs penning a weekly column for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, then the Santa Clara Journal and, later, for the chic Palo Alto-based magazine "Les Gals," where she quickly became editor-in-chief. In 1965, she was selected for inclusion in the International Reference to Outstanding Young Women of America.

In 1970, Mareile married electronics engineer John Seldon Ogle, moved to Milpitas and were soon blessed with a son.

Mrs. Ogle has served the Milpitas community for 39 years with many fund-raising events and photography of civic events.

She has belonged to MENSA (the international high I.Q. Society) for 45 years, has written many articles, presented programs and donated numerous title covers and illustration-vignettes.

Mareile has served twice as president of the Milpitas Green Thumb Garden Club in the past 20 years and remains an active member. She has been a board member of the Milpitas Historical Society several times in the last 19 years and is still involved. In the late 1990s, she helped revive the Golden Hills Art Association which had been dormant for several years.

She was instrumental in helping create and run the Milpitas Community Museum, featuring not just artists but also Sunday concerts and fashion shows. She has served on the Parks and Recreation and the Arts Commissions in the past nine years. Every year she donates a painting to the PBS channel KTEH TV art auction.

There is still time for hobbies. Mareile has a flair for penmanship and calligraphy. Fascinated by the written word, she enjoys difficult crossword puzzles and the challenge of word games. She has a keen interest in politics and enjoys political debate nearly as much as writing thought-provoking, pithy essays. Her love of photography ensures her camera is ever-ready for snapshots of nature, civic events, her family and cherished friends.

Mareile has finally found the time for a belated one-woman show, a retrospective. Fifty years of her artwork, including unique jewelry, wall hangings and terracotta sculptures were destroyed by fire started by sparks from a fireplace at home.

The exhibition "Versatility is Trump" opens with a reception on Monday, March 22 at 6 p.m. at the Phantom Art Gallery, Milpitas Community Center, 475 East Calaveras Boulevard, Milpitas.

Versatility is Trump
Monday, March 22 - Friday, May 14
Mon-Thurs: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phantom Art Gallery
Milpitas Community Center
475 East Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas
(408) 586-3231

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