On September 29th, we hosted the launch party for Latin Colors Edition 22! Latin Colors is a bilingual magazine of inspiring stories by people from all cultures. Edition 22 features the story of Irene Blum, a childhood cancer survivor and advocate of the Amputee Coalition.
To honor and celebrate individuals who are doing extraordinary things in, for, and through the arts, the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) established the Connecticut Arts Hero Awards in 2016.
This year, nine artists were honored with this prestigious award, including our very own Rene Soto. The awards were presented as part of COA’s annual Connecticut Arts Day, an annual event designed to inform, inspire and celebrate Connecticut’s investment in the arts.
All Connecticut Arts Heroes were presented with a framed print of the original art — Small State, Big Heart, Great Art —which was created by Hartford Prints! for the Connecticut Office of the Arts. See Rene posing with his print in the image gallery below.
“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.”
– Maya Angelou
For several months, Rene worked with the Arts and Ministry Committee of Saugatuck Congregational Church to create an art exhibit to celebrate and welcome the immigrants in our local community. “Art Across Borders” includes visual art by 18 artists, from 6 countries, including RSG artists Rene Soto, Cesar Ovidio Alvarez, Benjamin Casiano, José Miguel Muñoz, and more!
The opening reception featured art, music, fashion, food, and happy faces. Thank you to performers Ariel Cardenas, D’Prana, Yaguarandi Guate, and Santiago Cabrera. The show will remain hanging in Hoskins Hall at Saugatuck Church until March 18, 2019. Please contact the church office at 203.227.1261 for more information.
“Rene Soto is an amazing man. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much soul in a person, except for maybe in a 90 year old, and he’s a whole lot younger than that!” – Priscilla Laine Long.
Thank you to Lidia Monrroy Photography for preserving this beautiful night on film!
On Saturday, September 1st, Rene celebrated his birthday with a party in the gallery, which had so many parts to oversee that we wonder if he got a chance to sit down! Rene thrives on his feet, making steps to build community through art, and to create art as a community. Getting closer to this mission must have been his birthday wish, because the party turned out a great success, in terms of the size and diversity of the crowd, and their engagement with the art, artists, and art-making itself. There were several opportunities for guests to “see how the magic happens” in person, including live body painting by GDM, painting on canvas by Jen Williams, and blind contour drawing by Skye Riss.
“You can’t really appreciate a work of art until you can understand how difficult it was to create. And that’s probably true of any work of art – a rock, a tree, a bird, a fish, a sunrise made of light and air.” — Laurence Overmire