Honoring Latin American artists in LIC


One of Long Island City’s newest art spaces, the Diego Salazar Gallery, is honoring local Latin American artists in its second exhibit, Vision & Emotion: Latin American Art Salon.

Gallery owner Diego Salazar, who is from Colombia, is showcasing both emerging and established artists from New York City.

To emphasize the ethnic background of the artists, Salazar chose to open the month-long show on September 20 to tie it into National Hispanic Heritage month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.

Among Salazar’s many favorites, he cited Colombian sculptor Adolfo Caldas.“The composition of color in his sculptures is really gorgeous,” he said.

Other artists in the exhibit include German Baron, Orestes Gonzalez, Rafael O. Gonzalez, Christian Brandner, Shaun El C. Leonardo, Ragner Lagerblad, Sandra Llano-Mejia, Oscar Maxera, Luis Monje, Dulcy Molina, Pietrapiana, Jorge Posada and Carlos Yanguas.

In addition to having a shared heritage, about half the artists in the exhibit work in Long Island City.

A few of those artists rent space in the same building that houses the Diego Salazar Gallery.

After selling antique frames for 47 years, Salazar decided to open the 44th Avenue gallery this May. He moved the frame business to another building he owns, and put the gallery in its place.

Its opening exhibit was comprised of 30 artists who rent studios in Salazar’s gallery.
The Latin American show features 14 artists who live throughout the city, but hail from countries such as Colombia, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

Along with the gallery’s owner and the artists, the show’s curator also comes from Latin America.

The Colombian Edelmira Ruiz has spent the last 30 years working as an art dealer, and also owned a gallery for a few years in the 1980s.

Though she hasn’t curated a show in about a decade, it isn’t the first one that she’s done.

“I chose the quality of the pieces, not of the artist,” said Ruiz, explaining how she went about putting together the exhibit.

“I was amazed by the art techniques,” she continued.

Ruiz, who lives in Woodside, said that she hopes the show brings more exposure to the artists and helps the local art scene evolve at a faster pace.