Béla Bácsi was born in 1950 in Gyor, Hungary. At age six, he and his family moved to the United States. Continuing the family’s long tradition as stone carvers, Bácsi took an interest in carving at an early age. Essentially self-taught, in 1987, Bácsi gained employment at the Studio Ferdinando Palla in Pietrasanta, Italy, where he became an “ornamentista” or fine detail carver. Returning to the U.S. and settling in Cleveland, Ohio, he then worked as an architectural ornamental master designer at Fischer and Jirouch Architectural Ornamentation and as a bronze foundryman at the nationally acclaimed Studio Foundry. Eventually, Bácsi opened his own sculpture studio and now lives and works in Santa Barbara, California.
In 1999, Bácsi was awarded both the Gold Medal and Maurice B. Hexter Prize at the National Sculpture Society Members’ Exhibition in New York City. He received the California Art Club Gold Medal for Best Sculpture at the 91st Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition in 2001. He won the California Art Club Gold Medal for best Sculpture again at the 96th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition in 2007.
Bácsi holds a California Community Colleges teaching certificate for adult education programs and has taught at Santa Barbara City College and offers private classes. In addition, he serves as an adviser to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Docents’ Council.
Béla Bácsi is a Professional Sculptor Member of the National Sculpture Society and a Signature Artist Member of the California Art Club.