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Lorain Arts Council will spotlight a Latino artist

By Ingrid Marie Rivera, La Prensa Correspondent

The Lorain Arts Council is more than an art gallery.

It plans to beautify Lorain, spotlight talented artists, and bring exciting shows to town.

Its upcoming event will soon spotlight a Latino artist.

The council will present “Layers of Light” by Artist Phillipe Jacinto Velasquez, July 16, 2011, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the gallery, 737 Broadway Avenue, Lorain.

LAC President Antonio Barrios said Jacinto Velasquez’s work will be in display throughout the entire gallery for  a “one-man show.”

The event will honor the local Hispanic artist of Mexican and Cuban descent. He is related to Frank Jacinto, of Lorain, the first Latino principal in Ohio, Barrios said. 

Currently living in Pittsburgh but born and raised in Lorain, Jacinto Velasquez is a self-taught painter that has created oil paintings on canvas or on wood, acrylic paintings on canvas, and Impressionist style paintings.

He began painting murals at an early age on the interior walls of his parents' home. He taught himself how to paint by studying the history and paint techniques of Mexican and Italian artists. He was able to further learn art techniques when he traveled to Italy.

Jacinto Velasquez has been drawing and painting for as long as he can remember, he writes on his web site. The exhibit will include his new work, all inspired by light.

His “Layers of Light” series is based on “light, color and the effects of shape. The world around us is shaped by light; color is the result of the light and air; Shape is the result of that light. Applying paint to a canvas allows me to combine the three elements together, and hold them within the shape of the canvas for your eyes to wander about in that light. Abstract shapes and ideas, with content, form,” he wrote on his web site.

For Jacinto Velasquez, like many artists could agree, a painting is intended to provoke a feeling.

“The roads and direction I have taken and the mediums I have utilized to create with, over my lifetime, have never been motivated by money, but by the desire to gain an understanding as to how color, light, and movement work together,” Jacinto Velasquez writes on his web site “I have always felt moved by color, inside. To provoke a smile, to raise an eyebrow. To make one feel-how is paint transformed into feeling.”

Jacinto Velasquez works with Home Run Pictures, a Pittsburgh-based 3D animation studio.

Along with Jacinto Velasquez's art work, attendees will be entertained by Youngstown singing talent Karen Labra, of Mexican descent, and who has appeared on the Latino show Sábado Gigante.

Through its events, LAC plans to locally promote growth of the arts.

“One of the goals for the arts council is to bring back successful people of Lorain,” Barrios said “Have them come back and be a role model for the young,” he said.

And these live performances make their art gallery unique.

“This is what sets us apart from other art galleries,” Barrios said “We combine live performances with the visual show,” he said.

And the Lorain Arts Council is growing.

The Lorain Arts Council's history goes back many years but it existed only as a committee.

Today, Barrios can happily announce LAC has its own space.

After seeking Rey Carrion's help (from the city's community development office), Barrios and his team were able to secure a building for the council in October 2010, and were open by Christmas, Barrios said.

“I proposed we create a group to be there on a regular basis. A physical focal point where people can see artwork” Barrios said “We started doing shows in November and we've just been continuously doing things every month. We are working to have it a permanent arts center for the city and county,” he said.

The Lorain Arts Council is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 4 to 7 p.m.

The gallery, run mostly by volunteers, promotes Lorain County artists by showcasing their work. Art pieces include sculptures, pencil and oil drawings, acrylic paintings, abstract pictures and more.

“People can expect a great variety of art; they can expect a professional art display,” Barrios said.

They plan to have the art gallery open more days a week once they gain a bigger staff.

LAC also will open its Garden Patio Bistro where serving food and wine will be available.

Barrios said he has helped to bring more Latino artists to LAC because he was the only minority when he joined the organization four years ago.

LAC’s Mural project and Art Walk.

But one of their most ambitious projects yet – they plan to give a facelift to downtown Lorain by painting murals on as many buildings as possible along Black River Lane, (adjacent to Broadway Avenue and Black River Landing). The five-year plan will begin from the corner of 8th Street and follow to the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge. So far, they hope to complete their own building's mural in a few weeks. Two other building owners have agreed to the project and they hope to have those murals done by the end of this year.

Lorain Arts Council mural

Barrios said Manager Eduardo Ayala helped to get his Home Depot store, on Route 58, Lorain, to donate over $300 worth of paint and supplies for the mural project, and roughly 30 store employees have volunteered to paint and clean up Black River Lane.

LAC will also host a fashion show for the Je’von Terance line, July 29, 2011, with doors opening at 7 p.m., show starting at 8p.m. Admission cost is $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Though the date is not confirmed yet, LAC is planning to host an Art Walk on the Black River Lane this August or by the end of Fall 2011 to display the murals. The art walk will also be an opportunity for local and visiting artists to display and sell their artwork.

“We're creating a mural to help beautify Lorain and bring tourists,” Barrios said “And use arts to make an economic growth in Lorain,” he said.

See the Lorain Arts Council online: http://www.lorainartscouncil.com/index.php

See  Phillipe Jacinto Velasquez's paintings online at his web site: http://www.velazquezart.com/index.html



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Revised: 07/12/11 12:59:17 -0700.





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