Beacon exhibit looks at Latino-American art
By Scott Cornell • Poughkeepsie Journal • December 26, 2008
BEACON - The Howland Cultural Center is hosting its annual exhibit featuring works by local Latino-American artists.
The 14th annual Latino-American art exhibition, "Changing Expressions," is on through Sunday at the center on Main Street.
Normally held in September to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, the exhibit was delayed this year because it would have clashed with the International Peace Festival held in the city, according to Florence Northcutt, organizer of the art exhibit.
More than 20 artists are displaying their work at the exhibition. Art on display includes patriotic paintings, watercolors, metal sculptures and mixed media with photography.
"The art exhibition itself is eclectic, and it's just a wonderful display of the Latino-American talent we have in the valley," Northcutt said.
Elisa Pritzker, one of the featured artists, will show some of her work, including mixed media with photography. Pritzker, a native of Argentina, owns Casa Del Arte studio and gallery in Highland.
"I've seen more people take an interest in Latin-American art and I've seen a big boom of Latin-American influence in the area, and the Howland Center was at the beginning, now bringing new artists in every year," Pritzker said.
A professional artist for more than 30 years, Pritzker portrays a mix between life in the Hudson Valley and life in the big city, and her themes focus on such issues as the environment, global warming and finances. She said she uses a minimalist approach to her art, using few objects in each piece to convey a message.
"Like any artist, I have different periods, but I mainly deal with the environment and everyday, contemporary life," Pritzker said. "My work has Latin-American influences but it really talks about the daily lives of every human being in any part of the world."
While Pritzker has been part of the exhibit since its start, Poughkeepsie resident Jose Acosta tried to get his work shown for several years before finally being invited.
"This is my third year showing, but it was hard for me to get in there in the beginning," Acosta said. "I kept going to the shows and showing my face, and I sent a letter for three years before finally getting invited to the exhibit."
Acosta, a Cuban-American, creates what he calls expressionistic paintings, ones that are very colorful and energetic. An engineer in New York City, Acosta has shown his work all over the county, with some being featured at the University of Pennsylvania's library.
"I've shown with a lot of other artists in various different shows, but I love the Howland center," Acosta said. "And this year is going to be really amazing because after looking at the list of artists invited, they have some of the top Latin-American artists in this show."