Meet Richard and Cami Mazzola

by Lydia Linton Pontius

Many of you already know this creative couple, Richardand Cami Mazzola.

They own the Ak Nah Galeria in Akumal (House of the Turtle). If you think you don't know them and don't think you are familiar with Richard's work you will be surprised by the fact that many of the murals in and around Akumal are his. Probably the most famous is the turtle on the Akumal Arch. This mural was completed in one day. Richard and David Wolfe designed the scaffolding and he climbed up and painted the turtle. If you are amazed that it was done in one day you only have to talk to Richard to learn why - “the elevation!” It is to many the symbol of Akumal and a sign that says home to many of us. Apparently some cars may very well still have a token splatter or two from when Richard created it.

Arch photo by Judy Withington

Super Chomak Mural photo by Laura Bush Wolfe

Other murals we all know well are the market scene at Super Chomak, The CEA Turtle, Arturo's Dive Shop, and the two murals near his galeria. Richards work is everywhere. Many private homes have commissioned him to do murals on their walls, and if not murals you will often times see his paintings in private condos and villas. And the work is not limited to walls, if you step inside Turtle Bay Cafe and Bakery and look up, his work is on their ceiling.

What sets Richard apart from many other artists is that he is equally comfortable and creative in a number of media. Next month we will explore the history of The Mask and we'll learn about the many media that he used in that series - from canvas to ceramic and three dimensional use of Styrofoam.

Smaller pieces of art and jewelry represent another realm for Richard. He carves the molds in wax and they are caste by a silversmith. He also carves amber. Richard recreated crosses from the wreck of the Mantancero and embedded them with stones that came from the ship. Cami's jewelry is also available at the Galeria. Though she is humble and low-key about her artistry, it is simply exquisite.

Cami and Richard first came to Akumal about 25 years ago. They were planning on going to Jamaica, looking for a warm Caribbean place and at the time Jamaica was dangerous. A friend told them about Akumal so they decided to check it out for their vacation.

Around 1990 they purchased a condo at The Reef and started spending a week each year. As their children got older they found they were spending more and more time in Akumal and purchased their current condo at La Sirena. They currently split their time between Akumal and Colorado.

The Galeria opened about 5 years ago, during the winter months from November through spring. You can also see Richard's work on-line at

Be sure to visit Ak Nah Galeria in Ukana Akumal and mention you saw his ads in Sac-Be and you will receive a discount on your purchase.

Akumal Villas

Cabanas Tulum