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For the seventh consecutive year, the Altos de Chavón Cultural Center Foundation presents ”Art Chavón 2017”: a charitable event whose main objective is to raise financial resources for the scholarship fund of the Altos de Chavón School of Design, offering the public the opportunity to acquire the artistic work developed by students and other local and international artists. Stephen Kaplan, rector of the school, invites us to go “Back to the Future” in a wonderful activity that will take place here in our very own “Artist’s Village” of Altos de Chavón, the 29th of March at 6:30 p.m.
Back to the Future
Ann Parker’s iconic, hand-printed photographic images of exotic locales, including her and Avon Neal’s adventures in and around the Dominican Republic, are just the beginning. There’s a multitude of students’ precisely detailed geometric color studies in gouache and tempera. You’ll find shimmering portraits, as well as Gaspar Mario Cruz’s legendary twin folk-figure totems carved in the 1950s from two massive Dominican mahogany trees, a bequest of Francine Parnes, whose father purchased them after the artist stunned the Santo Domingo art world with these works at the 1963 Biennial.
And that’s just the beginning of this year’s Art Chavón—the ultimate potpourri and a bit of back to the future. Not merely something for everyone, there’s everything for everyone: whatever your predilection, the taste level is undisputable. Figure studies from the 1930s retrieved from archives of studio work are here, as are Roberto Copa’s idiosyncratic drawings of fanciful butterflies and sea creatures, and recent student works—many of them figurative, as in years past, but so charmingly fresh, so full of youthful energy that they seem to dance in their frames before our eyes.
This year, Art Chavón includes works from previous years’ exhibitions that miraculously went unbought, so strong that they begged for a new audience. There are the leaf mosaics and petal paintings of Frank Lara, who took this year’s first-prize in Diario Libre’s best contemporary artist competition, an accolade that now includes an invitation to show his work in a New York gallery. You’ll discover playful work by Cuban artist Wilfredo Torres; decorative, color-drenched paintings and sculptures by Fernando Tamburini; silk-screen works by a Danish artist in residence; and ceramic heads, torsos, and figures that recall the rich history of figurative sculpture from Giacometti to Lachaise. In contrast, there are nonobjective three-dimensional pieces, works of German and Caribbean expressionism, and objects, antiquities, folk art, and more. There are landscapes, seascapes, “skyscapes,” and views of Chavón. The work is often derivative of great art and equally often unexpectedly frank and new. Some of the visual, conceptual text of the artists’ messages can be read in an instant, while others are full of ambiguity and mystery, drawing you into their worlds of color and texture.
The 2017 Art Chavón exhibition opens March 29th. and is a show not to be missed. Bring your checkbook or credit card, because proceeds from the sale of these works go to support this year’s Fine Arts students who are unable to pay tuition and who need the vote of approval your purchase of an Art Chavón piece confers. And beyond that good deed is the serendipity of having, here in your own picturesque “back yard,” an art institution and an art bazaar like no other.
*Featured image from last years collection.
ART CHAVÓN 2017
Where: The Gallery, Altos de Chavón
When: Wednesday March 29th, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
Open to the public until April 30th
Tel: (809) 523-8011