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At an early age, Chris Barela showed a strong attraction to the water. For family vacations the Barela family would travel the United States fishing most lakes and rivers. Chris would always be the first and last to be fishing. As Barela grew, his love for the water became a passion.

Chris started a surfing career, and with hard work and determination Chris took on the number one rating in the US Pro Surfing tour. At the peak of his career Barela was a finalist, surfing waves that were 12 to 15 feet in the "Banzai Pipeline Masters" in Hawaii (Internationally televised). Chris was known for his versatile style and could adapt to any style of wave, big or small left or right.

Barela spent most of his teen years on the Hawaiian Islands. Growing up on the Islands Chris would scuba dive the lava tubes, diving the reef was a magical experience, almost surreal. There were long hot days spent waiting for the surf to pick up and when it didn't Chris spent time fishing the exotic waters. Memories of fish striking and boiling on bait are those that are inspiring.

As an adult and reflecting on his past, Chris wanted to bring back some of those exciting moments, but in a different way. He wanted more than a photo or a painting. He wanted to create dimension, to feel the amazing strength and beauty these fish had. Chris then began to study and train with sculptress Terri Bennett until finally he produced his life like sculpture of a fish. Chris's sculpture are a reflection of his of his surfing maneuvers, he feels he owes his sculpture designs to surfing.

Chris then wanted to learn to color his bronzes. He studied with master patiner Michael Edge for the coloration of Bronze. In order to successfully produce the color on bronze he uses an extremely heated torch at 350-500 and carefully measured chemicals, the two applied together create the brilliant blues, greens and golds which enable Barela Sculpture to come alive. Chris is educated to build steel armatures, sculpture, make molds, fine finishing of metal and patina. Most of Barela's works have been commissioned and he most enjoys the challenge of a monument sculpture or fountain.

At this time Barela lives in Hawaii with his wife and business partner Phoebe & their two children Shane and Sage. Chris and Shane now, 13 surf and fish local waters off the big Island. Barela feels very fortunate to be able to share the wonderful life experiences and knowledge of marine life with his children. He is a firm believer in catch and release, it is the enlighten awareness that brings together life & Sculpture.

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