art Altos de Chavon

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A new and exceptional art exhibit is about to open at The Gallery in Altos de Chavón. SYNERGY is a collection of former artists in residence and student works from the Altos de Chavón School of Design, curated by dean of studies, Stephen Kaplan in honor of the Davidoff Art Weekend being celebrated this weekend in Altos de Chavón. This remarkable exhibit is not only a superb collection of artworks, but also represents the more than 30 year history of the Altos de Chavón School of Design, with works dating back to the early 1980’s when the school first opened, to fascinating creations by current students, recent graduates and even the teachers. The exhibit will be open for the public to view all day (10.30am to 4pm) during the “Davidoff Art Day” (more details below) which is the Saturday February 14th, and after that will be open in The Gallery for one week. The Gallery in Altos de Chavón is open daily (closed Wednesdays) from 9am to 5pm. The following is a text prepared by Stephen Kaplan about the show:


A retrospective exhibition of the work of selected former Altos de Chavón artists in residence and the students and graduates who have been influenced by them. The artwork currently on display at the Chavón Gallery is a celebration of the arrival of the first five Davidoff Art Initiative artists in residence. It also documents some of the history with Chavón’s own long-established Artist in Residence Program (AIR), and underscores the influence of AIRs on the students of The Altos de Chavón School of Design. The exhibition marks the first time that the work of Altos de Chavón graduates and current students will be displayed in the context of works from the 34 years of Chavón’s AIR program. The concept behind Altos de Chavón’s AIR program is to foster the synergy that occurs when The School’s young, aspiring artists come into contact with established artists. The resultant mentoring and exchange of textual content, messages, skill sets, and historic information is the very essence of the program. The Gallery exhibition includes the poster for the first AIR show at Altos de Chavón, in 1981. Its type plus imprinted leaves and collage was by Sari Dienes, who was 83 years old when she lived and worked here for three months. Born in Hungary, Dienes often proudly spoke of her youth in Paris and her romance with Spanish art icon Joan Miró. The centerpiece of the exhibition is undeniably a painting by German Expressionist Thomas Hornemann, who, along with four other Berlin “Bad Boys,” were in residence in 1983. Their dramatic, chaotic, and flamboyant vision of Dominican life had reverberations throughout the island’s artist community. Titled Cabaret La Marina, Hornemann’s powerful diptych references the demimonde of La Romana at that time and has never before been shown to the general public.

Cabaret La Marina by German Expressionist Thomas Hornemann

Figurative work has traditionally been at the heart of The School of Design’s first-year syllabus. In this rigorous Foundation Year, Altos de Chavón students learn drawing and composition, two-dimensional design, art history, three-dimensional design, figure study, and digital design. In the Second Year, students are encouraged to find their artistic style, their voice. In this show self-portraits and figure study predominate, but still lifes and landscapes are also included. Since 1980, The School has been affiliated with Parsons The New School for Design, allowing for the transfer of our graduates to that New York institution. While more than 300 artists have participated in Chavón’s AIR program, Davidoff’s sponsorship of five artists in residence annually, and the construction of the new Davidoff artist’s studios, represent a leap forward for the Chavón program. This generous contribution puts Altos de Chavón students in close contact with the forefront of contemporary art and art makers worldwide. The following collection of images gives you an idea of what to expect of SYNERGY:

Davidoff Art Day, Saturday February 14th

Guided Tour of the Altos de Chavón School of Design, La Romana What: Take a tour around the Altos de Chavñon School of Design. When: 10:30am, Saturday February 14th RSVP required: Davidoff Open Art Studios What: Feel free to visit, meet and greet with the 5 artists of the Davidoff Art Residency When: Noon to 4pm, Saturday February 14th Where: At the Altos de Chavón Art Residency Studios Davidoff Cigar Lounge at Café Marietta What: Your chance to enjoy a Davidoff cigar in a refreshing and laid back atmosphere. A cigar roller will be there and you are welcome to buy your own refreshments. When: Noon to 4pm, Saturday February 14th Where: Café Marietta Davidoff Art Dialogue “Caribbean Art: Present and Future” What: Art dialogue, discussing “Caribbean Art: Present and Future”, led by speakers Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Associate Curator of El Museo del Barrio in New York, Holly Bynoe Visual artist, curator and writer from St.Vincent and the Grenadines.  Raul Miyar Born in Cuba and raised in the United States, Raúl Miyar has been a professor and the Chair of the Fine Arts/Illustration Department at the Altos de Chavón School of Design in the Dominican Republic for the past fifteen years, and András Szántó, New York-based, Budapest-born writer. When: 3pm to 4pm, Saturday February 14th Where: The Student Center, The Altos de Chavón School of Design RSVP required: Exhibition “SYNERGY: ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE AND STUDENTS” What: An exhibition showcasing the work of the Davidoff Artists in Residence so far, as well as a spectacular collection of work by the students of the Altos de Chavón School of Design. Curated by Dean of Studies at the Altos de Chavón School of Design, Stephen Kaplan. When: 10.30am to 4pm, Saturday February 14th Where: The Gallery, Altos de Chavón Davidoff Ladies Masterclass What: “The pleasures of a good cigar is no longer a privilege for men. More and more women feel attracted to them. The “Ladies’ Masterclasses” introduce our guests to the art of choosing, cutting, lighting and enjoying.” When: 7.30pm to 11:30pm, Monday February 23rd Where: Café Marietta, Altos de Chavón