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leonor_top How about ceramic shoes? Having been to many art shows and exhibitions, the work of Dominican Artists does not cease to interest and amuse me. This week the Altos de Chavon main art gallery showcased an exhibition by Thelma Leonor Espinal, and within it’s 23 pieces; to me, the most attention grabbing were the interesting mountings of really shiny ceramic shoes. I, as well as many people, have no idea of what theses pieces represented, any interpretation given could very well typify contemporary life. These molten wax looking wall mountings, sculptures and their photos were the center of attention of this particular exhibit, even though they were located at the back of the gallery, they gave the spaces covered an abandoned doll house effect. Taken together, the works in the exhibition (illustrations, paintings and installations) compose an interesting proposal that I understand derives more from the budgetary than the conceptual, since you cannot evidence a theme or focus.

Born in 1976 in the city of Santiago, Dominican Republic, Ms. Leonor became a prominent  artist during the 90’s with her active participation in the most important competitions, biennales and expositions of contemporary art locally, where she received many awards and accolades.  With over 50 expositions in Dominican Republic, her work has also been displayed internationally as well, in countries such as Spain, Argentina, Chile and Switzerland.

Important publications like “Woman and Dominican Art, 1844-2000” and “Dominican art in historical context”, written by Jeannette Miller, “The XX Century in Dominican Visual Arts”, volume III, by Cándido Gerón and “Not Convencional Art Contemporary in Dominican Republic 1844- 2002”, written by the art critics: Jeannette Millar and María Urgarte have featured and reviewed Thelma Leonor’s works and presentations.

With an Bachelors Degree in Marketing from PUCMM University and post graduate studies  in Cultural Management by The Ministry of Cuba and the University of Santo Domingo (UASD), she also coursed visual arts classes with several internationally renowed artists where she was trained in drawing, ceramic sculpting, and engraving at The School of Design Altos de Chavon, The “Escuela de Bellas Artes”, awing and ceramic with famous professionals and teachers of art from her country.

She worked for 3 years as a Director of the Visual Arts Department of Centro de la Cultura de Santiago, where she organized several activities related with this institution. At the moment and since 2007, Thelma Leonor Espinal is the General Director of La Escuela de Bellas Artes de Santiago, Dominican Republic.