MARIA TUMA: Born in Habana, Cuba 1948

    My father a giving medical Doctor: Dr. Tomás Tuma Iza. My grandparents went to Cuba from Lebanon over 135 years ago. Mother a teacher: Adelaida del Campo, my grandparents on my mother's side were born in Cuba, but my great grandparents were from Spain. Dad passed away in 1952, I  was four years of age, my brother Tomás was 8 years old.

Won my first contest with a drawing of Porky Pig. Appeared in television with Gaspar Pumarejo, in Havana, Cuba; he interviewed me at 9 years of age.

  I was always wondering: why the wait. Why the long rides to go to school. Oftenly I got dizzy with all the turns. Went to Instituto Edison a private School in Havana, where I began to show talent in drawing. I loved the PRISMACOLOR pencils.

  In 1961 my mother and I fled Cuba, because of communism, and arrived in Miami, Florida. Completed High School; graduated from Barry University as an ART Teacher, with a minor in Philosophy...Always thinking and wondering...

  Taught ART in Miami Dade Public Schools for 22 years. Was dismissed from my job because I discovered that the Holy Bible is a GOOD BOOK and in a few ocassions, shared it   with some fellow workers and gave 6 Bibles to some students at Palm Lakes Elementary. I had two posters in my classroom which mentioned GOD and those were confiscated as if we were in communist Russia or China, or Cuba...Those were used against me.

   The process was unfair: unethical. I was not a member of the Union, I hired attorney Anthony  Dieguez and he was not allowed to be with me in a certain Conference for the Record with  Dr. Annunziata in the Office of "Professional" Standards.

   They ordered me to go to a psychologist, (as if my freedom of speech and of religion), was a  psychological demeanor or illness. They hate christians that much!...

   Began to take graphic lessons at Miami Dade College North Campus. Learned to make this wesite. See my RESUME in these pages.

   But have returned to my kolinsky brushes and I'm painting in oils and teaching painting at my gallery - atelier: 11320 N.W. 58 Place Hialeah, Florida and Miami Dade College Community Education. 

I'm a homemaker, taking care of mother who is 97. I paint some during the day, some nights up to 3 AM.
Inspite all the odds and obstacles of many sorts, I dream as all artists do, to sell my work and see them in Art Museums...much I have to paint.

M.TUMA 22 months old 1949

MARIA TUMA 5 years old 1953

MARIA 10 years old in Havana, Cuba
in 1958

Mother and I in my 15th birthday March 22, 1963 in Miami, Fla.
   MARIA TUMA in 1999

In 2005, taken by my artist friend J. Toplak

In 2011 J. Toplak took this photo in her home after we returned from NY after a workshop with Joshua LaRock

Self portrait:(Camera on tripod self timer): at Words of Life Fellowship Churc on
Dec. 31, 2017

See my list of ART EXHIBITS and my RESUME which is part of my biography
Vea la lista de exhibiciones de arte( ART EXHIBITS ) y mi RESUME que son parte de mi biografía.

The following are links to these pages.
Los siguientes son enlaces a otras de mis páginas...

María Tuma in Instituto Edison Elementary School, Cuba. 

Monument to my father: Dr. Tomás Tuma

Our Arrival to USA

San Antonio de Areco, Buenos Aires, Argentina



Mamá, photo I restored

Beba Gallardo in Rosario, Argentina

Me in Patagonia, Argentina - Perito Moreno Glacier, Bariloche
and Colorado: snow..

Perito Moreno Larger Photos


Mom and I and my dog "Goldie"

Honoring my cousin César del Campo; Actor of TV and Cinema

These are only a few autobiographical pages...


I always wanted to be an artist, but my mother told me: do something else, "all artists starve to death", so I taught art in the public schools for 22 years.

In 2004 I began to paint again after many years of depression. As you can see by my list of art shows I painted and exhibited prior to 2004, but because I was a fulltime teacher I could not devote much time to my art.

I thought of going to Florence, Italy to learn classical realism at least for a summer workshop. All my prevoius life I wanted to go to France, Italy, Spain, or attend some good art school in the United States, but didn't. My responsibility to be with my mother and certain fears to be away, kept me home.

Somewhat late now at age 59, I still struggle to better my painting technique, style and body of work. In May 2005 I discovered an excellent REALIST artist in Miami: Alberto Pancorbo, from whom I have taken some lessons. I really can not afford financially to be in his art school full time as I desire, so my progress is slow. I also have responsibility to take care of my mother who just turned 97 and being a homemaker limits my time to paint, however some times I stay up untill 3 AM. painting.

Searching, what to paint. A great desire to paint or "illustrate" stories in the Holy Bible, and without live models, is very difficult. That was the complaint Vincent Van Gogh always had: "no live models to paint from". People are my preference, one second of an expression of a person, tells so much... but I also like the landscapes GOD created, the animal kingdom all those things that are full of beauty such as HIS flowers.

At times I thought of suicide and painted a self portrait in 1975 as such after being heart broken or misundertood by someone I had erroneously considered a friend. It was displayed at Barry University in 1976 and my teacher Florinda Alzaga asked me: "why that María"?

I gently explained part of my sad feeling... later I destroyed with fire many autocricifiction paintings, one that was even displayed at the LOWE MUSEUM at the University of Miami years ago, I also burned some nude studies done at F.I.U. Florida International Univ. an that self portrait in suicide. I stopped painting for about 20 years...I looked at my brushes drying: waiting for me.

Naturally I had to buy new brushes since 2005 and all I wish is that I could paint daily without interruptions, and that my paintings be sold, so I can fullfill my dream even late in life.

I received today an email answer from a prominent american artist: Daniel Gerhartz, a master artist who encouraged me to paint from life: people, stillives, landscapes...he told me he liked my expressive work or "expressionistic" ones.VISIT HIS SITE. I will continue to learn, express and enjoy every brushstroke, I do not worry much about what galleries want anymore: (all the same look). As my friend Gema Gomez told me: just paint, eventually the style will be visible...I'm getting there...one brushstroke at a time.

I used to shy away from painting "religious themes", after all I was fired as teacher for giving Holy Bibles to some 6 of my students, but now, I declare myself a CHRISTIAN ARTIST or simply an artist who likes what GOD the Creator made for us to enjoy. He is amazing, everyday day He paints the most incredible skies, he does it in 24 hours, what will take me weeks or months to do... I just LOVE the Guy!

November 3, 2007

Maria Tuma painting her cockatiel

WORKSHOP with Jushua LaRock at Grand Central Academy:
August 15-27th, 2011 N.Y.

Jennyfer and other Joshua LaRock students at GCA August 2011

Joshua La Rock's palette

Maria and Joshua La Rock in the Grand Central Academy of Arts NYC

Joshua La Rock invited the students to visit his studio on August 22, 2011
there are some of his paintings: "Woe", Joshua's Self Portrait and his Wife's Portrait. I'm very happy to have taken this class with him. Maria Tuma

Joshua to the left as he showed us his studio and some other students that took the workshop in August 2011 at the Grand Central Academy of Arts in NY.

Due to hurricane Irene in 2011 we did not attend the last class, Jennyfer's husband came piloting his plane to pick us up to take us to N.Carolina to be away from the storm.

In Ashville, NC we met Jonas Gerard in his studio on 8/27/2011; it was a very artistic
summer and joyfull to have had the experience of having met so many good artists


Workshop with Douglas Flynt in Ft. Meyers, Fla. March 2012

Photo of me on my bithday.



Governor Haydon Burns Scholarship; Florida - 1967.

National Scholastics; gold key in oil painting; National Competition; 1966.

Silver Knight Award; Miami Herald; 1966.

WQBA Honorable Mention on the opening of my art show at the
Bacardi Art Gallery; 1975.

NIKON Award of Excellence in Nature Photography; NY. City; NY. 1976.

Certificate of Appreciation for the contibution to the community from Dade County Mayor Steve Clark in 1997.

Certficate of Appreciation from Julio Martinez; Mayor of Hialeah; Fla. for the
Advisory Board Care for the Soldiers in the Gulf War, 1991.

Maria and her students received many Art Awards and commendations

Keep Alachua County Beautiful, plaque Silver Award for Outstanding Achievement by Media and Public Relations. 2004

Merit Award for "PARROT", an Oil Painting at Rossetti Art Gallery,
Pompano Beach Florida August 7, 2010

Second Place and People's Choice on my painting self portrait "Marie d' Art" oil on linen 24" x 30" at the Broward Art Guild, Summer 2011. Click here to see this painting.

2011 The Richeson Painting Competition: Animals, birds and wildlife. Finalist on "Parrot" oil 36"x 36". Click here to see "Parrot".

2014 The Richeson Figure Portrait Competition Meritorious Award on "Grand Christmas" oil 40"x30.
Click here to see the painting: "Grand Christmas"

 On 9/23/08 I received this email from one of my former Art Students:

   Miss Tuma...
   I was a student of yours MANY years ago at Westview. I did a Google
   search and found your page.
   Iam so sorry to hear of the issue that led to you leaving MDPS...

   I did the search because you and John Doyle were two of the greatest
   educators I had ever met in the public school forum.

   Rick Bergquist
   Westview Junior High

It was an honor to receive this email from Rick. I did not know I impacted
this student and perhaps others is such a positive manner. I only tried to do
the best I knew to give to others. The sad story is that my believes and my love for others was seen by the Miami Dade Public Schools administrators as a bad thing and I was dismissed from the Public Schools, inspite having many students win Art Contests and was nominated by my good peers as Teacher of the Year in Ojus Elementary...

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter."

                                                                             Isaiah 5:20

January 12, 2019 Saturday 3:26 PM

This year I plan to complete 16 oil paintings that I started a few years ago; may

GOD ALMIGHTY give me the power todo it; in Jesus Name I pray amen..

Piano: Raul di Blasio

Maria Tuma
11320 N.W. 58 Place
Hialeah, Fla. 33012



Art & Web design by: M. Tuma © 2004  PHONE: (305) 822-2799  EMAIL:  mariatuma@bellsouth.net