Around May there was an open call for a special show at @rockefellercenter and I decided to send a design to represent the Bronx. I took out flag and gave it a spin... They were asking about a representation of what NY is for you...
I was selected from over a thousand submissions and some great artists are part of it. The flags will be up until August 16 at Rockefeller plaza.
I consider The Bronx my home, and since I arrived from Spain in 2009, I've been part of this multicultural community. I got inspired by the Bronx flag, where a wreath encircles the Bronck family arms (founders of The Bronx). The shield of the family arms shows the face of the sun with rays displayed rising from the sea, signifying peace, liberty, and commerce.
I transformed the rays into The BX, a familiar way Bronxites call their beloved borough.
Last week through a chain of I know someone that knows someone, I got a text message if I knew anyone to paint a community fridge in The Bronx. As I am feeling better and now I can walk almost normal, I immediately volunteered.
Sara and Selma have been providing free food to their community for two months already. They saw what other communities were accomplishing by having a fridge in the street, asking local businesses to donate food at the end of the day, coordinating with community gardens to get fresh produce and checking on the fridge every day a couple of times a day to make sure it is clean and working.
While painting it I was impressed by the number of people that used it, to bring and to get food from it. We don't really know how people are struggling until you offer help.
This is a mutual aid initiative that has been pretty successful in different parts of the city and I see it is being done in other cities.
I will be hopefully painting a few more soon... This one is located at 242 Street and Broadway Ave. In the North Bronx.
We had a couple of technical difficulties to paint the fridge. The first day it was so humid that the paint I brought to paint didn't dry, so I had to come back a second time. All worth!!
This summer our outdoor plans for BxArts Factory are complicated, so we started several initiatives. One of them is a series of short weekly videos. This summer video-series is all about easy & family friendly creative activities using simple materials. Learning while having fun together!
We will be releasing new episodes every week, Mondays and Wednesdays so far.
On Monday our talented Mr. Ruddy will be teaching how to draw different shapes and things. On Wednesdays I will be using old magazines to create works of art!
There is no excuse to start creating!!
"Black Lives Matter" is a statement about police brutality against Black People, it is a statement about how after years the slavery was abolished, they still have to fight for their right to be innocent until proven guilty, they still have to go to the street to fight because the Police, the ones that should be defending them, are killing them without being punished.
It is NOT an opportunity for anyone else that is not black to bring to our attention how much that one time they suffered for whatever reason. Police brutality is happening DAILY to black people. There is no way to hide your color.
The only way to fix this is to recognize what is happening and changing behaviours. Please, and thank you.
This last months have been pretty emotional for me. Not only because of the pandemic, but because I had to move out of what was my studio for the last year and a half. This experience made me grow as an artist tremendously, it expanded my possibilities of creating and finding that space for me to think and just stare to the wall until the ideas come.
During this time of packing up the studio and weird isolation I became part of a Social Distance Bike Club on FB. Looking at all those people sharing their bike rides made me think of my own bike rides, social rides, Nature rides... and how fun is to ride with friends, how much I like to ride on my own, and how biking has been a big part of my life, since I was little until now.
Here I leave you with the last series of paintings I've done and the playlist of videos I created while painting them.
Most of the paintings are available to purchase, you can contact me if you are interested. Prices and sizes here.
The Stay at Home order started a couple of weeks earlier in Spain. All my family is there while I do my thing an ocean apart in New York. Worrying about my family and friends, I started drawing a coloring page a day to download for free on my website. That made me feel good for a little bit, but after I felt I wanted to do something else, create something for myself.
That following week I thought, maybe a diary would be a good idea, but since I am not very fond of sitting down anr write about my feelings, I decided to go back to the image. I love creating images that tell stories, so that's what I was going to do. With that idea in mind, I started creating early morning self portraits, like a meditation system to put my mind in something else than what we are going through.
I get up, I get dressed, I make coffee and prepare the ink I am going to use that morning. I set up my cell phone to record the time lapse and I draw. A quick sketch on pencil some ink to capture the light and shadows of my face. I look in the mirror and for those 5 minutes I only think on shapes, and even though I am sitting at the same desk every day, looking at the same mirror and the same face, it is different every time. The skin tone, the darker sharper shades if it is sunny, silkier if it is cloudy.
It is a diary in images, that despite they are the same they are different. They reflect how I feel that morning, the news I listened to the day before, the number of people we have lost and the ones we will have to say goodbye. The tough times many people is going through due to the lack of employment and money, the ones that are now richer than before thanks to this pandemic. Less than five minutes a day is a long time when you stop thinking and just look seeing.
I have edited a couple of videos already and I used Lara Bello's music, singer and songwriter from Spain that lives in NY and with her sweet melodies moves my brush.
WHEDco is partnering with the BxArts Factory to host a free series of online career development webinars to help Bronx artists transition to new employment opportunities or launch and grow their businesses during COVID-19. Join our interactive session on Zoom Thursday's in May at 5pm to get real time feedback from the teaching artist. Sign up for one or all three events in this FREE Professional Development Series below:
How to Brand Your Art
Date: Thursday, May 7, 2020
How to Budget Your Project
Date: Thursday, May 14, 2020
How to Create a Web Comic
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2020
Register to join interactive session on Zoom or watch on Facebook Live
My seminar will be focused on giving artists the fundamentals to create (or develop) their own brand. As an artist you have to become the perfect seller, not only by creating the perfect piece, but by letting everyone know you did it.
La cuarentena empezó en España un par de semanas antes que en Nueva York. Toda mi familia sigue en la península, mientras yo me defiendo como puedo al otro lado del océano. Con la preocupación de si la familia estará bien y los amigos, y sus hijos… empecé dibujando una hoja para colorear al día y a colgarla en mi web. Esto funcionó de momento para ayudarme a lidiar con la preocupación y sentirme que estaba haciendo algo útil con mi arte.
A la semana siguiente me sentía con ganas de llevar un diario además de ofrecer mis ilustraciones de manera gratuita. Yo no soy muy de escribir, pero si de producir imágenes que cuentan historias. Con este precepto empecé a crear autorretratos nada más levantarme como sistema de meditación, de poner mi mente en algo diferente a lo que estamos viviendo.
Me levanto, me visto, preparo la tinta que voy a usar ese día y pongo el teléfono a grabar. Durante esos minutos no pienso, sólo miro el reflejo de la imagen que veo en el espejo y la plasmo en un papel. Miro los claroscuros que proyectan mis facciones en mi cara que, aunque sentada en el mismo escritorio, mirando a la misma ventana, cada día son diferentes. Los tonos de la piel, las sombras más agudas cuando hace sol, más aterciopeladas cuando está nublado.
Es un diario de imágenes que a pesar de ser la misma, son diferentes. Reflejan los acontecimientos, las noticias, los que nos han dejado para pasar a engrosar los números de las gráficas de los telediarios. Proyectan las penurias que pasan algunas familias debido a las pérdidas de empleo y sueldo, los que en cambio se han hecho ricos a costa de las desgracias ajenas. Menos de cinco minutos al día dan mucho de si cuando hacemos un autorretrato. Cuando dejamos de pensar por un rato y sólo miramos viendo.
Ya he editado dos videos con dos semanas de retratos cada uno, con música de Lara Bello, cantante granadina afincada en Nueva York, que con su voz dulce y melodías suaves acompañan mi pincel.
I am losing my studio, yes. A couple of weeks ago we got an email letting us know that Spaceworks (the organization I was renting my studio from) is going out of business. That means that the facilities I had my studio at are closing May 25. Interesting times to have to move out all my things out of the studio.
During the past year I was able to create in a space that was not a corner in my apartment or the kitchen or a space that wasn't inviting to be bold and big. I created a few large scale pieces that I have nowhere to store now and I am not quite sure what to do with them. For now I listed them on my website, together with a few other pieces, and they are for sale. I am flexible with the prices and with installment payments if you are interested in one of the big pieces. I would like to give them a nice home.
In less than a month I have to clean that studio and move everything out. So if you feel like purchasing some art to make your lockdown a little brighter, check the following links:
Acrylic & Mixed Media
I have other block prints and older artwork that I also need to start letting go. If you are interested, let me know and I can send you a link.
I can deliver in NYC and places relatively close.
From Studio Q I decided to create a quick self portrait a day. Using mostly ink or watercolor I'll be sketching myself in less than 5 min.
Many years ago, when I was a college student I used to paint many self portraits, This is an extended practice between artists because you always have yourself as a model, You don't complain or move and it's an easy way to practice your skills.
I am not looking for perfect portraits or beautiful faces, just a couple of minutes of letting my hand go and try to replicate how I feel each day.
Here you go!
I am a...
Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Educator, Community Activist... ARTIST!
All Images COPYRIGHT © 2008-2019, are property of Laura Alvarez Fernandez. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED