Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Bob’s Art Blog: Stars Shining Bright

“Buscando Agua Después de María” (“Fetching Water after [Hurricane] María”) by Lucy Giboyeaux

If you venture out on a clear night and look up at the sky, you will see a cluster of stars above 1301 Derry St. in Harrisburg.

The Latino Hispanic American Community Center (LHACC) is housed at this address and Executive Director Gloria Vasquez Merrick recently shared her discovery of a new galaxy of artists coming into their own, who will shine in the local art scene and beyond. My good fortune was in learning this before the upcoming citywide Gallery Walk, which takes place this weekend. Please consider this your spoiler alert as you will want to meet this quartet of artists on Sunday in what may be a one-day show—to be determined. These artists synchronistically came together for this exhibit.

A Bronx-born import to New Cumberland, mixed media artist Lucy Giboyeaux has been featured in Fine Art America, a platform that sells her images. Her work can be found adorning stationery, phone cases, beach towels, posters and home goods. She is a sculptress who pays tribute to the people of her homeland of Puerto Rico, including an image that stuck in her mind of a homeless man with his head down.

“I continuously explore human resiliency and what makes us drive forward–hope, faith and love,” Giboyeaux said. “I create art because I love it. I get in the zone and wonderfully get lost in the process.”

Giboyeaux paints with acrylics and alcohol paint, “representing diversity of the cultural enclave I grew up in.” Mixing colors with alcohol ink creates vibrant variations resulting in a marbled effect with the possibilities only limited by what the artist is willing to try. Artistically, she uses drip techniques when turning the canvas, which creates unique drip marks resulting in frames forming windows and grids. Her work, “Rising Waters,” is so exquisite that the “frames” exceed the beauty of the most faceted stained glass windows. In addition, she employs simple materials, such as egg cartons and the plates she used in her mixed media piece, “Little Marilyn,” as well as the red fragments for the Flamboyan petals in another sculpture.

Peruvian painter Claudia Salazar, currently living in York, pays tribute to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in a series of portraits. They offer homage to a female artist of Hispanic heritage who pioneered the way for future women artists. Today, Salazar does the same, inspiring younger artists through community workshops.

Raul Cruz survived Hurricane Maria, which leveled Puerto Rico two years ago, and he resurfaced in Harrisburg to continue his art. Working with packing materials, Cruz often incorporates recycled matter into quirky and distinctive creations. Expect the unexpected as his art defies being pigeonholed.

San Juan native Nora Carreras, artist and Harrisburg school board member, resides in Midtown. Her day duty is special advisor to the secretary of the state Department of Human Services. A classically trained musician in voice and piano, she moved to Pennsylvania in 2000 to attend graduate school at Penn State. She is a self-taught artist who started to explore mixed media after a mission trip to Honduras. She was inspired to raise funds to help start a school to support the children she met there and began collecting metal and trash on her exploratory walks. They become the totems, tipping the art from the literal everyday to become otherworldly.

Carreras took classes at the Art Association of Harrisburg, which emboldened her to create art out of her found treasures. A local coffee house afforded her an opportunity to show and sell her work. The mediums used include painting and sculpting with found objects. As a full-time advocate for all walks of life, Carreras believes that art is transformative as it can change lives. She gifts all proceeds to worthy causes like the Honduran school and the Alzheimer’s Association. For now, abstracts, portraits and fluid art occupy her spare time.

 A coterie of talented artists for your consideration—able to stand on their own, uniquely individual in their approaches. However, when assembled under one roof at the LHACC for Gallery Walk, their sparkling presentation forms a new constellation to behold.

Gallery Walk takes place on Sunday, Sept. 13, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit our September magazine story.

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