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NCCU Art Museum Celebrates Hispanic Heritage in Opening Exhibit

Musas Del Caribe by Oscar Ortiz

The North Carolina Central University Art Museum will host the first exhibition of the fall 2012 season, Colores, from Aug. 25 through Sept. 21. The exhibit, which runs during part of Hispanic Heritage month, will feature critically acclaimed North Carolina-based Latino artists Eduardo Lapetina, Gustavo De Los Rios, Jose Manuel Cruz, Luis Ardila, Olid Garcia, Roberto Negret, David Sovero, Jorge Gonzalez  and Oscar Ortiz. The exhibition recognizes the contributions of Hispanic populations in enriching the state and strengthening cultural and economic ties to Latin America and beyond.

The artists hail from Puerto Rico and several South American countries, including Argentina and Colombia.

Chapel Hill-based painter Eduardo Lapetina is largely self-taught and has developed a technique that involves pouring, splashing, dripping and scratching. Applying layer upon layer, he creates sensuous and turbulent surface textures that have been shown regionally.

Gustavo De Los Rios uses the human figure as a point of departure to explore how bodies intertwine, forming complex relationships. His work was juried at Raleigh’s Artspace.

Jose Manuel Cruz says there are times when his art shifts at different levels. Some works are culturally implemented, while at other times the process of improvisation overwhelms with the intricacies of paint application.

Mint Hill artist Luis Ardila produces paintings that use symbolism as a key aspect of his iconography. Divine inspiration is the only means to decode the multi-faceted symbols that, for Ardila, hold the real key to interpretation.

Sculptor Olid Garcia creates female shapes by molding, twisting and carving pieces of clay. Primarily interested in capturing a woman’s energy, grace and complexity, she creates forms that are abstractions of the female human figure, containing hollow spaces and often depicting a single image.

Roberto Negret’s large scale oil paintings place small animals such as fish and birds, and occasionally the human figure in indeterminate, surreal spaces. Main elements in his compositions are often asymmetrically situated and are deceptively unassuming.

David Sovero produces works with layers of rich colors that offer new forms, concepts and elements of art reflecting many generations of his culture. His Inca ancestral roots are saturated with thousands of years of Andean stylized figures.

Jorge Gonzalez is self-taught and his inspiration comes from the love and nostalgia that he has for his beloved island. His three-dimensional creations engage the viewer in a surreal world of urban neighborhoods and cottages native to the Caribbean islands.

The work of Monroe-based artist Oscar Ortiz has graced calendars, greeting cards, CDs, magazines and posters. His most recent project was illustrating the children’s book The Poet Upstairs, by Judith Ortiz Cofer.

Rafael A. Osuba of Artist Studio Project is curator of the exhibition.

The NCCU Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call the museum at 919-530-6211.

Founded in 1910, North Carolina Central University was the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African-Americans. Today, this dynamic campus has a diverse student body of 8,300 enrolled in academic programs including law, biotechnology, library science, business, nursing, education and the arts.

Published: Thursday, August 09, 2012
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