COMMUNITY EXHIBITION OPENING RECEPTION: REFUGEE CENTER
Open to the public: November 2-25, 2018
Opening reception: November 8, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Halycon Westmaas is a multimedia artist who practices painting and fashion design. Art holds deep connections to a culture’s appetite and history. One aspect of the artwork is representative of the preservation of Guyanese cultural history and another is representative of pop culture. The native of Guyana also enjoys a life-long love connection with textile threads, which she deploys and constructs with the merge of different mediums and techniques to create amazing mixed media art and unique clothing. Halycon has a BA in Fine Arts with a Major in Painting and a Minor in textiles (University of Guyana); MA in Pan-African Studies, arts culture and literature with a focus on gender studies (Syracuse University)
This collection is part of a series depicting some of the main national buildings in Guyana (the artist’s homeland) and it’s distinctive historical architecture.
The wooden buildings in the series, the Stabroek Market, City Hall, St Georges Cathedral, and the High Court were all constructed in 19th century British Guiana. This colonial period reflects the influences of colonial Dutch, French and English (Victorian) architecture combined with local modifications, all produced in a tropical climate. Over time these buildings have gone through different modifications to their architectural template.
These buildings were highly functional and remain central common places where many generations of Guyanese would enter and/or pass on a daily basis. The repetitive shape of arches and windows are especially distinctive elements of this architecture associated with the necessity of ventilation in a tropical climate.
Specifically, this series is intended to represent the historical significance of buildings through the artist’s eye. I employ a semi-abstract cubist expressionist technique with the use of strong lines for this series. In essence, these paintings serve the additional function of memorializing the building heritage of Guyana.
Patrick Fiore received his BFA from Syracuse University and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Mr. Fiore is Faculty Emeritus, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida where he taught for 29 years. Patrick has been awarded for his illustrations which have been published nationally, including; The Washington Post, New York Times, Viking Penguin and Dell Books. His art exists in site-specific installations in New York, Utah, and Florida and his paintings have been exhibited throughout the U.S.
Patrick’s work is informed by the Social Realists (Ben Shahn, Kathe Kollwitz, Jose Clemente Orozco, Charles White, Jacob Lawrence, Otto Dix, Paul Cadmus, George Tooker). Presenting historical and contemporary human rights issues challenges our assumptions about equality. His work is specific at times, denoting time, place and culture, however, universal emotions are portrayed through pose and gesture.
Examining American history through the experiences of indigenous people, immigrants and refugees, Patrick states, “We continue to weave a resilient community that has proven, caring yields growth, adding new fibers creates strength and preserving our long-treasured heritage ensures our longevity as quality is passed down from our ancestral families to a new generation.”