ArtSouth, in partnership with the Village of Palmetto Bay, opened a new exhibit of art by local artist Ursula Fernandez with an evening reception at Perrine Community House on Nov. 16.
Featuring 49 examples of her work in portraiture style, the art is done mostly in oil paints with a few acrylic paintings and several charcoal sketches.
“I started enjoying art when I was about 16 years old,” Fernandez said. “I had a neighbor across the street who was one of the most considered portrait painters in the island of Cuba. I would go watch him work, and that is what started my interest in art. Then I studied in high school and started sketching, sending my art to a university and I saw that
I was getting good grades, so I decided to get more serious about it.”
Then she got married and began having children. She left Cuba in 1960 with three children. Her fourth child was born here, and she could not continue practicing her art.
“But one day, I think it was about 1981, I did my first portrait, based also on classes that I took with my friend and neighbor, Mr. Cossio, who was giving his last lessons of art here before retiring, and that helped me even more to use some of his ways in art, as far as techniques and so forth,” Fernandez said.
Portraiture and figure painting are her favorite subjects. She also has done ink drawings, murals and paintings on fabric. Most of her art has dark backgrounds because she admires Renaissance paintings— the work of the Old Masters.
She likes the venue of the Perrine Community House for exhibitions.
“I think this is fantastic,” Fernandez said. “What they are offering the artist here is great. I have never found a place so comfortable to show my art as here.”
She said that regular galleries usually charge 50 percent commission, which makes it difficult on the artists.
“I very much appreciate everything that ArtSouth and Palmetto Bay did to make this possible,” Fernandez said. “It is a wonderful opportunity for an artist and the people who set everything up did a great job.”
There will be no exhibit for December due to the holidays, but the next showing will feature the work of Maximo Caminero in a presentation called “The New Transitions.” The opening reception will be on Jan. 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Perrine Community House, 900 Perrine Ave. in Palmetto Bay.