"As a painter I have the rare privilege to observe, study and intimately know my subjects, their beauty, strength and essence. I seek their elevated dimension, their aura of the sublime. It is a marvelous, thrilling and humbling experience that enlivens and enhances my life."
A native of Santa Barbara, California, Yaco has spent most of his life drawing and painting. Since 1965 he has been exhibiting his watercolors and oils in fine art galleries. He studied fine arts at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His studies were interrupted by the Vietnam War. He was assigned the unique role of combat artist for the U. S. Marine Corps. After returning to civilian life, Yaco won a scholarship that afforded him the freedom to travel around the United States for two years meeting and drawing portraits of Americans. During his forty-five-year painting career he periodically accepted portrait and conceptual design commissions. Yaco has taught life drawing, painting and perspective theory at college and university campuses.
His works have been featured at the American Gallery (Santa Barbara, CA), San Luis Obispo Art Center (San Luis Obispo, CA), Smithsonian, U.S. Pentagon, Naval Museum and U. S. Marine Corps Headquarters (Washington, D. C.), CBS Television Documentary (New York, NY), Cal Poly University (San Luis Obispo, CA), Santa Barbara Public Library (Santa Barbara, CA), Zantman's Gallery (Carmel, CA), Pepper Tree Ranch Gallery (Santa Ynez, CA), Cody Gallery (Los Olivos, CA), Arlington Gallery (Santa Barbara, CA), Young Gallery (Los Olivos, CA), Jones Gallery (La Jolla, CA), Waterhouse Gallery (Solvang, CA), Gallery 53 (Cooperstown, NY), Walker Gallery (Cooperstown, NY), Albany Gallery (Albany, NY), New York State Vietnam Memorial Gallery (Albany, NY), Johnson Art Gallery (San Luis Obispo, CA), and Legends Gallery (Saratoga Springs, NY).
Recognition has come from a variety of fields for Yaco. He was the recipient of the Stacey Art Scholarship Award in '71 and '72 (with cash prizes); the Bronze Star and meritorious citations for action on the battlefield and an offered commission from the Marine Corps, selected "Combat Artist of the Year" by the Combat Correspondents Club in 1968; given architectural beautification honors for his commercial designs; received architectural design commissions in the United States, Southeast Asia and South America; secured a two-year mural award with the New York State Bar Association and reproduction contracts with the national greeting card company, Leanin' Tree. He has been featured in several publications and has obtained a book advance from Little, Brown and Company, NY, for "Strangering" and is seeking another for his Aquarius (water) project.
Yaco is now living in upstate New York. His subjects are as diverse as his medium mercurial. His paintings include his family, neighborhood animals, friends, hills, sea, sky, garden, and "found" objects. His paintings are swathed with confident passes of rich color that lift his subjects from the ordinary to the sublime.
"I came into a beautiful vision when I was born and raised in the harbor town of Santa Barbara, California. My parents have always supported my search to interpret life's beauty with pen, pencil, aquacolor and oil. The first artist to come into my life was my father, who, with his successors, gave me the desire to question and speak a vocabulary of marks and stains. Both "plein air" and "life" painting give me the greatest enjoyment."