Art Across Borders Highlights Immigrant Artists

Art Across Borders Highlights Immigrant Artists

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! 

Cesar Alvarez Commissioned for “Traffic Graphic” Project

Cesar Alvarez Commissioned for “Traffic Graphic” Project

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.

August ’18 Featured Artist: Cesar Alvarez

August ’18 Featured Artist: Cesar Alvarez

César Alvarez has been with us from the beginning, with his painting Pure Love showing up in the background of almost all of our photos. This month, we were so happy to welcome him into the club of featured artists, who are given a solo exhibition and their own opening and closing receptions. His opening reception was last Saturday, and we are still smiling on such a special time. It was particularly special for Mayor Harry W. Rilling, and his wife Lucia, who were also celebrating his birthday. Watch Rene lead guests in singing “Happy Birthday!” in the video below. The closing reception, which is your last chance to see the exhibition in person, is scheduled for Saturday, August 25th.

Happy Birthday to our greatest mayor Harry W. Rilling God bless him. Cheers

Posted by Rene Soto on Monday, August 6, 2018
Noche de Poesía y Más Returns in August

Noche de Poesía y Más Returns in August

Noche de Poesía y Más returned to the gallery on Sunday, August 5th, bringing new faces along with it. We were excited to attract poets and poetry fans, and hope that this will become a standing event, so that literary artists know we have space for them, too! The events are free, open to the public, and welcome readings from members of the audience.

If you would like to sharpen your skills before sharing your writing, or just want to be a part of a community of writers, consider joining the Poesía y Más meetup group. They meet once per month on Sundays. Contact arsbitacora@gmail.com or find them on Facebook here.

“Our goal is to bring together artists of all genres, especially new ones, to share their work with each other and build community. Opportunities to exhibit are the key to artists’ achievement.”

Noche de Poesía y Más

Noche de Poesía y Más

The Event

Noche de Poesía y Más
Date: Saturday, July 7th
Time: 6:30-9:30pm
RSVP on Facebook!

Rene Soto Gallery is proud to host Noche de Poesía y Más, a night of open mic poetry and music! The event is presented by Carlos Mavila as part of his Ars Bitácora initiative, which develops Latino poets through opportunities and education. Contact arsbitacora@gmail.com to learn more.

“Our goal is to bring together artists of all genres, especially new ones, to share their work with each other and build community. Opportunities to exhibit are the key to artists’ achievement.”

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