Viva America!: Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Culture Month Exhibit Opens at Metro Featuring Student, Alumni and Guest Art

By Hope Ferguson, Senior Writer

November 22, 2011

Hanging Around, Hispanic Heritage MonthIn celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, SUNY Empire State College’s Metropolitan Center will host “Viva America!,” an exhibition by current students, alumni and guest artists.

The show is at the Livingston Gallery, 177 Livingston St., sixth floor, in downtown Brooklyn. Raul Manzano, college faculty mentor, is the curator of the exhibition, which will be on display through Dec. 20, Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.

“With the exhibition ‘Viva America!,’ SUNY Empire State College proudly celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and at the same time showcases the artistic and creative talent of the college community,” said college President Alan R. Davis. “Sharing diversity of artistic expression, ethnicity and culture goes to the heart of academic excellence and well reflects the college as an institution that is open to creative learning and expression.”

Genetically Modified, Hispanic Heritage MonthSUNY Empire State College presents:
- airbrush artist Randall Barquero, who embeds his classical training with unconventional technology and trompe-l’oeil technique to create a highly realistic self-portrait that can fool even the most discriminating art authority.

- printmaker and activist Alejandra Delfin, who, through her work, brings awareness about life in the communities and the educational system. In her print “Genetically Modified,” she raises consciousness about the alteration of food production.

- Ana Garces Kiley, who responds to the traditionally opaque canvas, as well as the predominantly male depiction of form and experience throughout the history of Western art, by transforming the human body into a magical realist vessel for embodying the archetypes of death, desire and the collective unconscious – those very things that make humans most enigmatic.

- Cristina Guzman, whose pencil drawing depicts reflections of past and present memories. In delicate shading and forms, she invites the viewer to channel their own experiences.

- Richard Garet’s SONOCROME 1, SRN 4054, a digital print that emerged from the exploration of optics and light in a moving image setting; although the print belongs to a larger body of work and is part of an installation, it also can be appreciated and considered as an autonomous and independent piece.

- sculptor Antonia A. Perez, whose meticulous process of sorting, cutting and crocheting plastic bags creates a wall sculpture that functions as a stand-alone piece as well as site-specific work, giving a new life to recycled material.

- collage artist Dora Riomayor, whose work is often mistaken for photographs. However, upon closer inspection, the viewer discovers that the image is made up of magazine pages cut, torn and glued onto the page. Her work conveys a sense of serenity, tranquility and peace along with an element of surprise.

- self-taught artist Jose Rios, who conveys in his paintings multifaceted aspects of his life, from being a homeless person to a contemporary storyteller.

- painter Valentina Suarez, whose canvas painted with bold colors and forms depicts images of a pre- and post-Columbian conquest of the New World.

Hispanic Heritage Month Student Art“The artists hail from diverse regions of the Americas, bringing together a coalition of emerging and established artists. Having worked with some of them, it is gratifying to see their progress and their contributions to the art world,” says Manzano, who has been a member of the faculty since 2006. “This exhibition is part of the visual arts program of the Metropolitan Center.”

The college also is celebrating Hispanic culture by participating in the sixth annual Latin American Cultural Week in New York City by working with participating institutions promoting the arts and bringing together the community-at-large.

The Latin American Cultural Week is an annual festival that showcases music, dance, visual arts, theater, film, literature and auctions to people throughout the New York City area. The LACW is supported by Mayor Bloomberg’s Latin Media and Entertainment Commission, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and other government, institutions and corporations. For a full schedule of events, go to www.lacw.net.

The LACW is a program of Pan American Musical Art Research, founded and directed by Uruguayan pianist Polly Ferman.
For more information about Ferman, visit www.pamar.org or www.pollyferman.net.