A few years back we started a series called “Chavoneros Stories,” its been a while since we’ve given the series some TLC and we’re planning on revitalizing that now. Recently, the Altos de Chavón School of Design celebrated its 33rd graduation, adding a total of 68 graduates to what Stephen Kaplan referred to as “the brotherhood/sisterhood that binds all Chavón graduates – Chavoneros – together.” Today, we will share with you another talented Chavonero and emerging artist, Edward Salcedo.
Edward Salcedo graduated in 2011 from Fine Arts, and as he describes took away “the great experience of exploring, developing ideas, and demanding more of myself than ever before.” Since 2013, he’s been working closely with two themes: landscapes and fisherman. Drawn to the captivating colors and lifelike portrayal of Dominican life, we met up with Edward to learn more about his inspiration and work:
When did you realize you wanted to dedicate yourself to art?
As a child, I always felt curious about art every time I walked by the Fine Arts school with my mother. At the age of six, I started drawing my little sister’s shoes, various household items, and even my own designs for cars. My mother saw how interested I was and enrolled me in the school of Fine Arts; it was there that I started my first drawing studies. When I was fourteen, I made the decision to want to experience art full-time.
When did you start to paint?
I started experimenting with color as an assistant to two outstanding national artists, Julio César Polanco and Cristóbal Rodríguez. They taught me a lot about color and how to use materials. Thanks to Cristóbal, I was able to study art in Chavón.
Who would you say has influenced you the most in your art career?
I have been meeting many great painting masters who’ve opened the path for me in terms of techniques to focus on and how to work with light and color. I remember the first work of art that caught my attention, El Desesperado by Gustave Courbet. Joaquín Sorolla also stands out to me with how he manages light. They inspired me to define my artistic style in Realism. As a young artist, I am still exploring, and perhaps over time my technique will vary, but it will always follow the basis of a good drawing.
What do you want to convey in your artwork?
I am interested in nature and how it is a part of me. I use my paintings to attract attention to everyday situations that surround me. My intention is to develop images that speak of marginality, beauty in nature, and people who are close to them. For the past four years, I have been working mainly on the themes of landscapes and fishermen.
I decided to do landscapes inspired by my childhood since every Sunday I went to the countryside to visit my grandmother and great grandparents. It is a beautiful place, full of peace and silence. There are rivers and all kinds of fruit, which have always attracted my attention due to their tranquility. Also, for the kindness of the people who live there, who are not selfish despite having nothing.
What art piece that you’ve produced has been the most significant to you?
So far, there are two that have impacted me the most for the messages they transmit; “Niña San Juanera” which was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and “A la luz de la sombra” which won an award at the Eduardo León Jiménez Center.
Where all have you exhibited your work?
Museum of Modern Dominican Art, Eduardo León Jiménez Center, La Altagracia Museum, and Casa de Teatro among others.
Is there a particular phrase or style that inspires you?
I say everyday, “The frame costs more than the art.” It is a personal criticism, but it reminds me that the piece itself must be interesting and carrying a great message with a good technique. It’s not painting just to paint. I believe a good drawing is the basis for a work of art.
How do you see art in the contemporary world? And what makes your work stand out among the rest?
I think that everyone does art in his or her own way, but I like to take into account good structures; good drawing should not be neglected. For some, the more abstract an art piece, the more they think it is art. For me, colors splattered across a canvas are hard to relate to; I think a young artist must discover his soul first and polish his work. My work stands out for their themes and technique; the way I paint has helped me identify myself.
The following photo gallery features more of Edward Salcedo’s work. If you are interested in any of his works you can contact him by calling the number: 809-386-9542, or
[nggallery id =2895]
CHAVÓN | SCHOOL OF DESIGN
Founded in 1983, The Altos de Chavón School of Design offers careers in applied arts in the areas of Fine Arts, Visual Communication and Fashion. This type of intensive two-year program provides the graduates with an associate degree at a technical level, which provides them with a solid education that enables participants to compete as professionals in the field of design and arts both locally and internationally.
Graduates of the School of Design are eligible to transfer directly to Parsons School of Design in New York. More than 2,000 Dominicans and students from around the world have graduated from the School of Design, demonstrating that a solid background in design, parallel to an emphasis on the development of the industry is the best formula for a successful career.
The highly practical and market-oriented curriculum, provides students with a unique set of skills that allows them to be easily inserted into the work environment.