Normando Ismay was born in the city of All the Saints of the New Rioja in northwest Argentina. As a young adult, he came to the United States, settling in Atlanta to pursue a career as a visual artist. Since then he has worked in a variety of media including metal, painting, sculpture and installation art.
He built a barn-like structure in his backyard and began the operation of the Little Beirut Art Space, a gallery/performance venue for visual art exhibits, poetry readings, storytelling, film, music and dance.
At this time he also began an integration of visual and performing art, combining Andean flutes, drums and stories of magical realism into large and small scale performances and performance installations. Normando creates work in Spanish, English and in a bilingual blending. Some of his works include “The Last Inca”, about Pedro de Bohorquez who passes as an Inca and controls northwest Argentina; “Contralabias”, about a North American smuggler, the invention of lipstick and the birth of Argentina.
Normando’s large-scale performance installations accommodate other performing artists and combine paintings, signage, sculptures, video projections, masks, seating, lighting and a stage. Café Bizzoso, Café Cultural de Chamblee, The Condor’s Next Hotel, Bannaland, The Mattress Factory Lounge and Dumpsite, to name a few.
Normando’s work has been presented throughout Atlanta and the southeast, as well as in New York, Argentina and Europe. The New York Times, High Performance, the Atlanta Constitution, Art Papers, Mundo Hispanico, and other publications have written about his work. He has received grants from the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Fulton County Arts Council, Georgia Council for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1991 he received the Paul Robeson award in Cultural Democracy.