João Magalhães, (Portuguese for John Magellan), was born in Jacutinga, a tiny town in the southern part of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, the oldest of three siblings. As a young child, one of João's favorite interests was drawing. With a dream of learning how to paint with oils, in a little town where such oppertunities were non-existent. Fortunately, when at fifteen, João's family reloated to Pouso Alegre, where there was access to better education. Immersing himself in extracurricular activities, João enrolled in and attended oil painting classes.
However, as time passed, other responsibilities took precedence: military service and then college, graduating in 1987 with a degree in law. In the summer of 1989 João was in California, back in school studying techniques for teaching English as a second language (ESL), followed by a trip to Oklahoma in the fall, where time with friends helped with my language skills and understanding of American culture. Upon returning to Brazil, João started opened a school offering classes in English, Spanish, and art. Establishing this school opened the door to acceptance in a prestigious two-year educational program in small business administration, run by the government agency SEBRAE. While operating the business for ten years, João became increasingly compelled to continuing education. In 2000, João was accepted into the master’s program in Teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Central Oklahoma, in the quaint town of Edmond.
Leaving Brazil was a painful and difficult decision, but determination and faith in God won out. After much preparation, João landed in Oklahoma City on May 11, 2001 to start summer school.
Soon after graduation in 2003, The Language Company sponsored a work visa and in January of 2004 sent João to Pennsylvania to work in one of their branches as the Director of Admissions and as an ESL instructor where João stayed until October 2018.
By that time, it had become clear that art should finally be a primary focus and take center stage. For João, this was the beginning of a new chapter as a full-time artist.
On April 22, 2016, João was sworn in as an American citizen. Counting all the blessings along the way would be impossible, but the journey goes on.