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Updated: October 26, 2022 @ 5:36 am
From left, are Chairwoman of the Advisory Commission on Arts and Culture Miriam Plitt, Pawtucket Director of Commerce Sandra Cano, and Diana Figueroa, a senior planner for the city who led planning of the Latino Roots exhibit.
Front row, from left, Pawtucket Director of Commerce Sandra Cano, participating artist and curator Nilton Cardenos, and Diana Figueroa, a senior planner for the city, cut the ribbon on the Latino Roots Pawtucket City Hall Arts Gallery exhibit Thursday, Sept. 15.
Elvin Toro, a local painter of Dominican Republic descent, submitted portraits of his nieces and nephews for the “Latino Roots” exhibit. The portraits are representative of family photos that hung on the walls of his relatives throughout childhood, and these memories drove him to paint the newest generation of his family “to continue that tradition in a brand new way.”
Artists and residents mingle during the opening celebration of “Latino Roots” at the Pawtucket City Hall Gallery on Sept. 15. Hosted by the City of Pawtucket and the Advisory Commission on Arts and Culture, the exhibit highlights the work of Latino artists in Pawtucket and the Blackstone Valley.
From left, are Chairwoman of the Advisory Commission on Arts and Culture Miriam Plitt, Pawtucket Director of Commerce Sandra Cano, and Diana Figueroa, a senior planner for the city who led planning of the Latino Roots exhibit.
Front row, from left, Pawtucket Director of Commerce Sandra Cano, participating artist and curator Nilton Cardenos, and Diana Figueroa, a senior planner for the city, cut the ribbon on the Latino Roots Pawtucket City Hall Arts Gallery exhibit Thursday, Sept. 15.
Elvin Toro, a local painter of Dominican Republic descent, submitted portraits of his nieces and nephews for the “Latino Roots” exhibit. The portraits are representative of family photos that hung on the walls of his relatives throughout childhood, and these memories drove him to paint the newest generation of his family “to continue that tradition in a brand new way.”
Artists and residents mingle during the opening celebration of “Latino Roots” at the Pawtucket City Hall Gallery on Sept. 15. Hosted by the City of Pawtucket and the Advisory Commission on Arts and Culture, the exhibit highlights the work of Latino artists in Pawtucket and the Blackstone Valley.
PAWTUCKET – On the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15, the Pawtucket City Hall Gallery opened its first Latino Artist Exhibit, called “Latino Roots.”
Hosted by the city of Pawtucket and the Advisory Commission on Arts and Culture, the exhibit highlights the work of Latino artists in Pawtucket and the Blackstone Valley. “Latino Roots” will remain up on the second floor of City Hall, 137 Roosevelt Ave., until Nov. 30, and is open to the public during regular hours.
Diana Figueroa, senior planner for the city, said she was inspired to host the exhibit because she wanted to represent the diversity of the local community. Artists showcased in the exhibit live or work in Pawtucket, and come from or have familial backgrounds in different countries and nationalities. Each artist’s unique style and medium, including tropi-pop, photography, stylized realism, Andean mysticism, and abstract painting, depicts a myriad of expressions and emotions.
“Through the arts we can connect and learn about other cultures, their traditions, and customs, which takes us on a magical journey into the past, so we can understand our present and our future,” said Nilton Cardenas, a participating local artist and curator for the exhibit.
“In this exhibition, we are allowed to find each artist’s cultural and personal language where they evoke a pure feeling of their memories and traditions through strokes, figures, and colors,” Figueroa said. “The artists take us on a warm and romantic journey of a fascinating encounter with their land, or perhaps a personal experience, through a paint brush – allowing us to continue to affirm who we are, where we come from, and where we are going as a Latino community living and working in the United States of America.”
An opening reception was held on Sept. 15 in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Afro-Cuban artist Evans Molina-Fernandez, in collaboration with Puerto Rican artist Jose “Facce” Maldonado from Project 401, gave a music and dance performance. Catering was provided by local Venezuelan restaurant La Arepa.
Fernandez, a Cuban-born artist, moved to the U.S. in 2004. He said he has remained connected to his cultural roots with love and nostalgia, and his paintings are “reflections of this, transformed into abstract forms.” Inspired by heritage, immigration, family, folklore, and legend, he said he “strives to create a cultural exchange to destroy prejudice and political blockages.”
Cardenas, who was born in Lima, Peru, said his family moved to Miami before finding their way to Providence in 1999. His work, which is included in private and corporate collections, “reflects an inward search for his native origin as it releases his creativity.”
Pablo Mijares, a Venezuelan photographer, said the art form is a passion that reflects other aspects of his personality. Through his work, he said, he is able to “see reality differently, whether in nature or in abstraction.”
Tamara Diaz is a visual artist from Cuba who uses art “for self-expression and healing.” Her colorful tropi-pop style demonstrates emotional themes of love, community and painful life experiences or moments. In her own words, “the images tell the viewer a story through symbols in a narrative form,” and while the original feelings of the piece may include pain, “the emotional process is transformed through the colors and lines, often leaving the viewer with a happy or curious feeling.”
The work of Carlos Ochoa, from Colombia, “is a representation especially for the explosive strong colors” that capture the viewer’s attention. He said he enjoys the option of showing his own intentions for the spectator to identify his own instincts and thoughts.
Elvin Toro, a local painter of Dominican Republic descent, submitted portraits of his nieces and nephews for the exhibit. He said these portraits are representative of family photos that hung on the walls of his relatives throughout childhood, and these memories drove him to paint the newest generation of his family “to continue that tradition in a brand new way.”
Fernando Pezzino, an abstract artist from Argentina, said his recent work evaluates “how we collectively and individually navigate the physical and virtual landscapes of modern society.” He focuses on themes related to interpersonal connectivity, the fluidity of identity, and the inescapable role of language. By interweaving figuration and abstraction, as well as elements of jigsaw and crossword puzzles, he aims “to reflect how human behavior responds to hyper modern life,” in an age in which information and means of communication “can overwhelm our sense of reality.”
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