Congratulations to Cesar Alvarez, our August featured artist, on his recent commission from the Norwalk Arts Commission, to paint an electric box outside of the Wall Street Theater, as part of their public art initiative.
REPOST from The Hour — Cesar and Milena Alvarez stood on opposite sides of a traffic box in an alley beside the Wall Street Theater on Thursday. Painting within the lines of figures sketched the day prior, the husband and wife were meticulously putting the finishing touches on a large-scale representation of one of Cesar Alvarez’s works.
The scale of the project is larger than most of Alvarez’s work, but the quick-drying acrylic paint he was using allowed for speedy work. Though he had moved to Connecticut from his native Colombia in 1999, this was the first public artwork he’d been asked to do in his new home.
“I’ve never done this kind of thing in this country. But in my country I’ve done many things,” Cesar Alvarez said. “And they want to do more here.”
The work of Alvarez is part of an initiative to beautify the Wall Street neighborhood, championed both by Marc Alan (a member of the Wall Street Neighborhood Association and the Arts Commission) and Rene Soto, at whose eponymous gallery Alvarez’s work is displayed.
The traffic box near the theater is the first in what Alan hopes will be a series on the street, following the model of the Norwalk Public Library and the St. Philip Artists’ Guild, each of which did similar beautification of traffic boxes near their buildings.
“It was a multistep process. I put together an assortment of local artists and reviewed their work. The theme was always music and the arts. We wanted to reflect the multicultural diversity of Norwalk,” Alan said.
There are two more traffic boxes that Alan hopes to have painted sometime in early 2019, though artists need to be found and the right approvals need to be secured.
The theme of the box near the theater is, fittingly, music and art.
For it, Alvarez is enlarging two works inspired by nieces of his, one a ballerina, and the other a singer, that are part of a larger series of paintings called “Playfulness & Tenderness.’
“The playfulness comes from the children. And the tenderness, we wanted to involve these things you do for love and passion,” Milena Alvarez explained.
The idea behind the series is depicting children in environments where technology is not present, in situations that remind Alvarez of his own childhood.
“We want to call the attention of the people to try to give education to the children to do something creative,” Cesar Alvarez said.