Sunday, May 7, 2017

Orgullo at the Albin Polasek Museum

Orgullo, oil on aluminum panel, 28" x 24", 2016

Orgullo has been selected to exhibit at the Summer of Love: Reflections on Pulse exhibition at the Albin Polasek Museum in Orlando, Florida. This show acknowledges the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting and honors the victims with its theme based on the concept of art transcending hate.   This show aims to explore what moves and uplifts.

The exhibit will run from May 9 – September 3, 2017.
For purchase inquiries please contact Rachel Frisby at
Albin Polasek Museum
633 Osceola Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: 407-647-6294

Tue – Sat: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sun: 1 – 4 p.m.
Mon: Closed

Orgullo was originally shown at Sirona Fine Art in Halendale Beach, FL in December for the PoetsArtists exhibition titled Chevere

When I first chose my friend Steven as the subject for my painting for this exhibition it was for two reasons.  The first being, as a native Puerto Rican, he has a better understanding of the word Chevere, the theme and title of this PoetsArtists exhibion.  I felt Steven’s cool style and colorful personality also seemed a natural fit.  However, mid-painting Steven took a trip to Orlando which would forever change his life and my understanding of Chevere.

He was visiting Orlando for the World Ballet Competition as a coach and choreographer to several young participants.  While there, he had arranged an evening out to meet fellow Puerto Rican friends, but at the last minute he decided he would need his rest.  He did not go to the club that night, which he found out the next morning had been the place of a horrific hate crime which claimed the lives of 49 people, 23 of whom were Puerto Rican, several who Steven had known since youth. 

The recovery from such a great loss and the guilt of surviving was eased a bit for Steven by returning to Puerto Rico for that year’s Gay Pride Parade.  There he saw people of all walks of life come together to honor those lost at Pulse.  He said seeing so many people from outside the LGBTQ community share their support and love made it easier for him to heal, to trust again in the good of the world, in the good within each of us.

Cut and folded paper has been creeping into my work for a few years now.  In this painting, I am allowing myself for the first time to use colored paper.  The linked, fragile paper hearts in Orgullo represent the coming together of all people.  Sometimes it takes a tragedy for us to reach beyond our familiar groups.  Sometimes, pieces of us need to be broken for that communion to happen.  Without bitterness or anger, Steven has shown me that the word Chevere can also mean to bring out the best in one another. 

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