Tamara Diaz Art, Featured in The PAUL REVIEW (2017)
This year the Latinx Heritage Series at Brown will be presenting the Latinx Art Exhibition. For this year’s art exhibition, the theme will be centered on women. The art pieces or performances displayed should represent in one way or another the injustices that women face in the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Our event is on Saturday, October 7th from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Brown University. The address is 75 Waterman Street, Providence RI 02912. There will be light food and performances!
Cuba: Inside and Out, September 2017
URI Providence, RI
Posted on September 4, 2017 by Gallery Night: URI Providence Campus Urban Arts and Culture Program and EcoArts USA presentCUBA INSIDE AND OUT September 1-29Gallery Night Reception September 21 5-9 pm with musical performances.September 28th 7:00pm Film Screening Socialism or Death (1996) and Return to Cuba (2016) with Vladimir Ceballos Filmmaker. After years of strained diplomacy and fractured relationships, gradually there is a stronger relationship being forged between the USA and our neighboring Southern island of Cuba. Science, Technology, scholarship and rich cultural exchanges are possible. This exhibit brings the work of Cuban Artists to Rhode Island as well as local artists with Cuban roots going back to their homeland to nurture new growth reflected in painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture by Astrid, Ana Flores, Evans Molina Fernandez, Felix Diclo, Raphael Diaz, Tamara Diaz and photos from Cesar Augusto, Tamara Diaz, A. David Guerra, Christopher Johnson and Tom Morrissey, along with films by Vladimir Ceballos.As we celebrate Cuban culture through this exhibit, we learn more about the culture, the history, the people, the politics, and the rich natural resources in this exchange.
(Link to the post): https://gallerynightprovidence.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/september-2017-at-the-uri-feinstein-campus-gallery/
Gallery Z to Host Latino Artists Exhibit Beginning Sept. 7, 2017
Gallery Z on Federal Hill is set to open a Latino Artists exhibit featuring local, regional and internationally known Latino artists.
The exhibit will run from Thursday, September 7 through Sunday, October 1, 201.
There will be a live musical performance and opening reception on Thursday, September 14 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Artists included in the exhibit are Nilton Cardenas (Peru), Virginia Delgado (Uruguay), Tamara Diaz (Cuba), Liliana Fijman (Argentina), Evans Molina (Cuba), Julian Penrose (Brazil) and Sidney Tillett (Guatemala).
Nilton Cardenas is a painter born in Lima, Peru, who immigrated with his family to Miami and later moved to Providence. His paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibits in the U.S. and Spain and are in private and corporate collections.
Virginia Delgado is a photographer specializing in creating black-and-white photographs of people and their lives. Virginia now lives in Bristol, RI, where she teaches English as a Second Language at Roger Williams University, while continuing to document the lives of people through her photography and to travel in pursuit of furthering her art.
Tamara Díaz is a Providence child-and-family therapist and visual artist who works primarily with RI’s Latino community. Diaz considers her Pop Art to contain strong emotional content, expressing “an underlying concern for the human condition and its tension with spirituality”. Using markers, acrylics, pencil, pen and ink, photography, collage and computer illustration, Tamar’s bold colors and strong visual imagery convey energy and optimism.
Liliana Fijman is a Providence artist from Cordoba, Argentina, where she attended film school. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1971, Liliana graduated from RIC and furthered her art studies in RISD continuing education courses. Her lifelong love of nature and plants in their multiple transformations informs her art, as Liliana has embraced paper arts as her medium – Roots, Fibers, and Soul.
Evans Molina was born in Cuba in 1976 and raised in an artistic milieu of visual and performing artists. vans immigrated to the US in 2004, but Cuba continues to inform his creative endeavors. Heritage, ritual, immigration, family, folklore, and legend are incorporated in his art and performances, with a goal to “bridge cultures and break down the barriers and prejudices that separate us as people.
Julian Penrose, born in Brazil in 1961, is a Providence artist who grew up in Philadelphia. He transforms found and recycled objects – natural materials, small manufactured items, printed images and other miniature discoveries – into three-dimensional assemblages.
Sidney Tillett, born in Livingston, Guatemala, immigrated to the United States in 1986. He has been painting since he was six years old and has been an educator at the Met High School in Providence, RI since September 2003. For the last several years Sidney has explored portraiture as his primary focus. In his art, he observes the connection between Central America cultures, particularly the Garifuna and African cultures, and combines the imagery with his own memories, creating dreamlike portraits.
Established in 2001, Gallery Z is in its 17th year of providing a center for experiencing fine art on Federal Hill.
The Gallery hosts a free opening reception for the current exhibit every third Thursday of the month, 12 months a year.
Gallery Z Hours: Wed. 12-6pm, Thurs-Sat 12-8pm, Sun. 12-6pm and by appt. or chance.
Link to the Go Local article: http://www.golocalprov.com/lifestyle/gallery-z-to-host-latino-artists-exhibit-beginning-sept.-7
Bella and the Doggie Pillow (2017)
Pillows and other items available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TamaraDiazArt
Thanks to JWU for referencing me (July 2017):
R.I.’s Latino artists get a place of their own
(Above: Artists: Attabey Sanchez from Giraffes and Robots, Tamara Diaz, Marta Martinez, Cranston’s Mayor Allan Fung and Felix Diclo (2016)
Here is the link to the Providence Journal article (December 15, 2016):
Thanks to Carrie at CrazyOverArt.com for this interview! (November 2016):
Medium: Painter, Colored Pencils, Watercolors, Mixed Media
There is much more that life represented here. Tamara’s art encompasses emotions brought on by stories, human forms and images through the viewer. I am moved every time I view one of her pieces… With each work of art the use of Art Therapy is incorporated as a tool and visually takes us through communities, families, genre and history. The colors are exuberant and the placement is spot on to reflect true form in a most expressive style.
I love your work! How long have you been creating?
I have been creating since I was small. I always enjoyed art as a child and saved many of my drawings from when I was young. Some of these include portfolios from art class in school or series of designs that I created on my own. Looking back, you can see the same bright color scheme in my work. My first exhibit was at Tenafly High School when I was in the 11th grade.
Your color pallet has been compared to ‘pop’ art, do you agree?
My work has been comported to Pop Art because of the colors and bold black lines that I use. While it can have a Pop feel to it, the content is usually more emotional than typical Pop Art. My art has been described as a visual narrative that presents itself in symbols; like a journal, with a tropical feeling. Typically, my work shows reoccurring themes that pertain to Love, Identity, Cultural Pride, Loss/Grief and everyday life. Many of my pieces include some sad content however these feelings can be transformed thought the colors and the process in general, leaving the viewer feeling “happy” at the end, despite symbols of obvious turmoil. I have sometimes described my art “Tropical Pop.”
Does your work cross over into your day job?
Yes, in the day and evenings, I work as a school social worker and clinical therapist who providers home or office based visits. Most of my client’s are Spanish speaking. I use art therapy as a tool to help children and their families express themselves and as means to provide a visual language to foster self expression and communication. Working at an elementary school, I am blessed to be surrounded by art activities and supplies as well as the support and understanding of how therapeutic art can be for any age group. Because I meet with so many children and teens, over the years, I have created hundreds of pieces of different mediums. Colored pencil and watercolor paint among others.
Is there one particular artist, mentor you are inspired by?
It is so hard to name only a few inspirations since I am connected to so many talented artists. I guess one story I can tell is that while I always loved art, when i was in the 9th grade, my friend dated a 12th grader named Evan Klanfer, who is a writer, (former) graffiti artist, photographer and skater from the Bronx. He loved hip hop and this was during the golden era of hip hop, a magical prime time in NYC. He encouraged my art and always had new paint pens and other supplies for us to use. I began to go to art and hip hop shows in NYC as well as experimenting with graffiti and learning about black and Latino history. Keith Haring was also present in the NYC art scene around this time and is definitely an inspiration.
Current projects or work?
I have a high volume of projects and exhibits which are in progress or on the way. One project I am excited about is the “Tapitas Project” which consists of 75 round Ice Cream tops with a symbol painted on each one. So far, one design has been edited and printed on magnets, stickers, t shits and other items. Some of my clients love the project (some of the Tapitas are hung up in my office) and they design their own Tapitas symbols. I have also started creating clothing designs with a company based in NYC called Print All Over Me. One other project which takes place in November 2016 is the Autism Project Runway (fundraiser for Autism Project of RI). I am one of the artists who has been asked to design a model with a creating that includes their puzzle piece logo. In March 2017, I am planning an exhibit with Johnson and Whales Bridge Center. Currently my work can be seen at the State of RI Administration building (“Origins and Identities”) and at the Center for Study and Practice of Non-Violence (“Cortado Por La Misma Tijera/Cut from the same cloth.”) Both are Latino Heritage Exhibits.
Latinx Heritage Month Art Exhibit, Cortado Por La Misma Tijera/Cut From the Same Cloth featured @ Brown University’s Leung Gallery/Brown Center for Students of Color (October 15, 2016)
Come by and experience the Latino culture in a new light. We have artwork from local Latino artist as well as traditional Latino costumes. These costumes crossed many cultural borders and tell the tale of the diversity of the Latino culture.
above By Eliesel Morales (Curator of Cortado Por La Misma Tijera, October 2016)
(Below) By Olga Hawwa (posted October 2016) Event will take place Nov 3, 2016
Shout out to Visual Artist and Painter Tamara Diaz! .. She will be donating her one-of-a-kind “Puzzle Piece” creation on November 3 as part of The Autism Project Runway raffle! (Check out and like her page at Tamara Diaz Art to see her fantastical work)
Of course, we won’t know exactly what the piece is until that night when 10 local designers compete for title of The Autism Project Runway Winner! What I do know about Tamara is that her work expresses optimism through color and is always meaningful!
Don’t miss this charity fashion event that supports The Autism Project, November 3, 2016!
(Below: Design created by Tamara Diaz (2016) 4th Place Winner in the Autism Project Runway Event)
Below: PRINT ALL OVER ME: AN ONLINE PLATFORM FOR THE REAL WORLD (2016)
Hi everyone! I have recently started creating clothing and other items through a company in NYC called Print All Over Me. I have been experimenting by putting my photography and original designs on different items such as Polo Shirts and Hoodies.
Go to: https://paom.com/designer/tamaradiazart to see or purchase these designs! You can also private message or email me with any questions.
Below: Origins and Identity, an art exhibit curated by Liliana Fijman, Gallery Night Providence Sept 12 to October 28, 2016
(Below from Left to Right: Victor Mendoza, Elena Calderon Patiño, Liliana Fijman (curator), Carmen Oliveto (visual artist from Argentina), Evans Molina (visual artist from Cuba), Tamara Diaz (visual artist de USA/Cuba) Cheryl Burrell (RI Dept of Administration) and Nilton Cardenas (visual artist from Peru) at the opening reception of Origins and Identities exhibit. (Photo by Reza Clifton)
By LIiana Fijman (curator):
As an artist and as an immigrant I focused on how origins and culture influence the visual Art form; how do intangible feelings, language and traditions become tangible through the “magic” of creative hands? How does an artist become an artist by simply doing? I invite you to ponder these Questions as you focus your eye on each one of these dedicated artist’s, works, and think about each artist’s roots and their choice of visual language
There is a guest artist from Argentina Carmen Oliveto. Carmen’s work was done especially for this exhibition. She was inspired by Italo Calvino ‘s book: INVISIBLE CITIES. Each work is named after one of the cities Calvino created in his book. As well as local Latino artists Evans Molina, Tamara Diaz, and Nilton Cardenas.
Carmen Beatriz Oliveto is an Argentine artist living in the province of Neuquen, she studied at the prestigious National Art school Pridiliano Pueyrredon. She specialized in the areas of drawing, composition, and painting. She has been an active professional at the Art School Manuel Belgrano for 22 years.
Evans Molina: With an outstanding knowledge of his roots, Molina takes you to the magical world of Afro Cuban folklore and shows you the serene and proud beauty of the Cuban people.
Nilton Cardenas: Pictorial images polarized by the feelings, memories and nostalgia of identity: He has a passion for his country and it’s original aesthetic, folkloric and mythological, paintings, drawings and murals offer us a pictorial language popularized by the feelings, his memories and nostalgia of identity.
Tamara Diaz: This selection of art examines the constant changes of roles that one plays in their life and what it takes to maintain it. Some of the works depict healers and/or those who may be suffering. The Virgincita, the patron saint of Mexico, often appears to provide guidance and comfort. The tropical colors often helps to transform the difficult subject matter.
Sept 15 – Oct 15, 2016 Cut From the Same Cloth
@ Center for Study and Practice of Non Violence (Providence RI)
Sliding scale donations $5-40. All proceeds gained from the exhibit will go directly to Project Christmas, which buys Christmas gifts of $40 for children of incarcerated/deported parents. Our goal is to give 100 gifts to kids across the state of RI. The result of the event: (posted by Emily Gonzalez: “Muchisimas gracias/big thank you to all who came thru last night! We raised $200 towards gifts to children of incarcerated/deported parents so far!”
To celebrate the beginning of Latino Heritage Month, CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH: Embracing the Beauty in Our Diversity, is an exhibit highlighting the various forms of art within Latino culture. Local artwork and traditional costumes will be on display.
(Above: Visual Art by Tamara Diaz, Below: Multiple artists)
(Photos posted by Center for Practice and Study of Non Violence)
There will be appetizers from Caprichos Antioqueños! We hope to see you there. Thank you for your support! Brought to you by: Listamundial.com and The Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-violence
Para celebrar el inicio del Mes de la Herencia Latina, CORTADO POR LA MISMA TIJERA: Celebrando La Belleza de la Cultura Latina, es una exposición destacando las diversas formas de arte dentro de la cultura Latina. Art y trajes tradicionales locales estarán en exhibición.
Deslizando la donación escala de $ 5-$ 40. Todos los ingresos irán a Project Christmas, quienes regalan a los niños que tienen padres que están en la cárcel /deportados. El objetivo es conseguir 100 regalos de Navidad por valor de $ 40 por niño. Habrá aperitivos de Caprichos Antioqueños! Esperamos verlos ahí. ¡Gracias por su apoyo!
(Below): “Gifts of Diversity” is this year’s exhibition theme as we feature members of Rhode Island’s vibrant artistic community, featuring local artists who represent a range of visible and nonvisible diversity.
August 22 to Sept 9, 2016
Join Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, Welcoming Rhode Island, and RISCA – Rhode Island State Council on the Arts for 2016’s Annual State Diversity Art Exhibition.
Bring your friends and family together for an evening of beautiful art, great food, and musical and dance performances to celebrate and honor Rhode Island’s rich diversity of cultures and creativity.
MY STORY, OUR COMMUNITY
Additionally, this evening is the KICK OFF of the Welcoming RI traveling exhibit! Immigrant stories that have been shared through the “My Story, Our Community” project in conjunction with Providence College’s Global Studies program!
WHAT IS WELCOMING RHODE ISLAND?
Welcoming Rhode Island’s mission is to bridge the divide between foreign-born newcomers and native-born Rhode Islanders to foster a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. Hosted by the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, Welcoming Rhode Island is a community-based initiative that seeks to affirm our state as a welcoming place for all and continues to build strong, vibrant, and more cohesive communities across the state.
#MyGalleryNight! Gallery Night Providence
July 5 – August 3, 2016
The #My Gallery Night! 20th Anniversary Exhibit is hung and stunning! It is up through August 3rd with Gallery Night Reception July 21 from 5-9 and the Birthday Party August 2 from 5-9 pm. It includes over 100 works of art form more than 60 artists, 15 Galleries, 5 Associate Galleries, many Guides Celebrity Guides and Practicing Arts Board/Staff Members. URI Providence Campus (80 Washington Street) is proud to host this exhibit!! Hours: M-TH 9-9, F 9-5 (closed weekends).
In celebration of Gallery Night’s 20th Anniversary URI Providence Campus hosts an exhibit representing all of Gallery Night Providence – its member galleries, associate member galleries, tour guides, celebrity guides and producing artist staff members.
Photo (below) by Tamara Diaz of cake at the #MyGalleryNight Exhibit at URI (2016)
(Below): THE STATE OF THE ARTS EXHIBIT June 1-29, 2016
(Below): Women Artists Having Their Say March 1-21, 2016
The subjects of “Women Artists Having Their Say,” at URI’s downtown campus, are mostly female, but much of the art is gender-neutral.
By Channing Gray
Special to The Journal
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Just because you have a cause doesn’t mean you can come up with a great art exhibit. But the show celebrating Women’s History Month at the University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence campus is pretty strong, with an arresting group of oils from Madolin Maxey and some brushy nudes by Cynthia Packard that are stunning.
This is a show of local professionals who happen to be women, says a statement posted on the wall of the gallery. And that attitude is what has probably saved this show, up through the end of the month, from seeming forced or contrived.
Yes, there are afghans, photographs of dolls, and an intriguing conceptual installation about body image. And the subjects are for the most part female. But much of this art is gender-neutral, work that could have been made by anyone.
It’s also not such a big show that you can’t spend a little time savoring each artist.
Below: RACE MATTERS January 25-February 26, 2016
ART UNITES COMMUNITIES: VISUAL EXPRESSONS SIDE BY SIDE
(at Attleboro Art Museum April 11-May 9, 2015)
It has long been understood that visual art can transcend cultural boundaries and is in fact a universal form of human expression. From April 11th – May 9th the Attleboro Arts Museum, in partnership with The Art League of Rhode Island (ALRI) and The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), presents Art Unites Communities. Seventy works created by over thirty juried artists from all corners present their work side-by-side in this exhibition – honoring the unifying force of visual creativity.
“Art Unites Communities is a lively tribute to art and culture,” states Mim Fawcett, Executive Director of the Attleboro Arts Museum. Fawcett continues, “Exhibiting artists vividly celebrate heritage, cultural experience, native language and points of view in this show. The selected work will be displayed as one blended community of visual expressions.”
Full Article: http://attleboroartsmuseum.org/index.php/art-unites-communities
“This is why RI Latino Arts exists. These artists are the heart and soul of our mission” – RI Latino Arts, Providence RI (September 2014 @ City Arts)
Newsletter/E-Boletín & article of the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC) February 2015
Full Article: http://nalac.org/communications/newsroom/1412-21st-century-arts-activism-and-cultural-advocacy
(Below: “Balance” Painting by Tamara Diaz (2011) Acrylic Paint on Canvas (11 x 14)
RI MONTHLY Oct 2-8, 2014
The Weekly Round-up: Five Can’t-Miss Events
BY LILLI PAKNIS AND CASEY NILSSON
Published: 2014.10.01 01:47 PM
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at a folk art exhibition by local Latina painter, Tamara Diaz. The artist, a social worker by trade, uses art therapy as a means of self-expression; her subjects often reflect her own personal experiences and her work in the community. In addition to large-scale murals in Providence and the Dominican Republic, Diaz’s body of work includes colorful pencil works, watercolors, paint on canvas paper, black ink drawings, photography and mixed media projects. Her celebratory collection, “Colorful Soul,” deals with a range of emotions yet exudes joy, leaving the viewer with a sense of hopefulness in the face of everyday obstacles.
The Details: Through Oct. 31. Gallery Night reception Oct. 16. Mon.–Thurs. 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. URI Feinstein Providence Campus, 80 Washington St., Providence, 401-277-5000, uri.edu/prov.
The Providence Journal (October 2014)
“Solamente Tamara: Colorful Soul”
Tamara Diaz’s bright, Pop Artsy work on exhibit at URI Feinstein gallery
24 0 +10 0 0 3
BY BILL VAN SICLEN
Journal Arts Writer
The news release for Tamara Diaz’s new show at URI’s Feinstein Campus gallery describes her as a “local Latina painter, muralist and social worker.” And while that’s fine as far as it goes, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. In fact, Diaz, who’s known for her bright, Pop Artsy paintings and drawings, has an infectious energy and joie de vivre that can brighten just about anyone’s mood — even those who typically shudder at any mention of contemporary art. At the same time, Diaz’s work is deeper and more complex than it might appear at first glance. The many images of women in her work, for example, attest to her interest in issues of gender equality and empowerment. But these female figures, which include an array of neon-hued angels and madonnas, also allude to something more personal — namely, that Diaz is descended from Holocaust survivors on her mother’s side. Some art-savvy viewers may also be reminded of another artist who combined a playful Pop-tinged style with an interest in social and cultural issues: the late, great graffiti artist Keith Haring.
Through Oct. 31 2014 at the URI-Feinstein Campus gallery:
Where: 80 Washington St. Providence.
The Providence Phoenix
By Greg Cook – September 10, 2014
Fall Arts Preview | Art: Bodies of work
Human forms and alternative figures
“Solamente Tamara: Colorful Soul” | A social worker and artist, Tamara Diaz’s rainbow bright, graffiti-style paintings are populated with people and hearts and flowers as a bulwark against sorrows all around us. | October 1-31 | University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein Campus Gallery, 80 Washington St, Providence
AMSTERDAM WHITNEY GALLERY, International Fine Art, New York City
NAMED “ONE OF THE TOP 10 GALLERIES IN CHELSEA”
Art is often revelatory of the identity of the artist who creates it. The paintings of Rhode Island artist, Tamara Diaz, display in a visual format, Ms. Diaz’s extraordinary concern for people, especially children. As a social worker, Ms. Diaz has dedicated herself to improving other’s lives. That same attitude is observable in Ms. Diaz’s art, where a shining enthusiasm for life emerges. Ms. Diaz’s art expresses love and joyousness. Though these emotions might be far less frequently incorporated in contemporary art, Ms. Diaz makes it clear that fine, interesting art can be created from a positive mindset. Ms. Diaz’s body of work is not static, however. She deals with pain and sadness in her paintings, yet she does not revel in these emotions or exploit them for artistic cache. Rather, she handles the feelings honestly, offering a full range of art chronicling the human condition.
Throughout her paintings, Ms. Diaz has developed an absorbing narrative-representation. The artistic style of Ms. Diaz’s paintings is quite consistent with the care for humanity evident in the work’s thematic development. Usually at the center of Ms. Diaz’s art is a person offering themselves and their spirit. Ms. Diaz’s style is likewise rather different from other artists: her forms are soft and rounded, her colors bright and buoyant. The scenes are mostly fantastical and metaphoric. The work is realistic in that the emotions introduced are some of the most frequent that any person will experience. However, the paintings themselves expand beyond realism into a type of visual dream-world that synthesizes many art traditions, yet emerges with an original style all Ms. Diaz’s own. Surrealism and children’s art seem equally inspiring to Ms. Diaz and her work pays homage to both styles.
Ms. Diaz was born in New York City and now lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Her family is immensely important personally as well as artistically. Her father’s Cuban heritage influences her color inclusion and occasionally the content of her paintings in a direct way. Her mother’s family are Holocaust survivors and Ms. Diaz populates her work with strong, resilient but loving women. The mediums vary greatly, as Ms. Diaz utilizes markers, acrylics, watercolors, pen and ink, collage and computer illustration.
-Ruthie Tucker: Gallery Executive Director and Curator, Amsterdam Whitney International Fine Art, Inc.
Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, a museum-forum gallery, known as “the most beautiful gallery in Chelsea,” was proud to exhibit the exhuberant paintings of Tamara Diaz, in a group exhibition entitled: “Silhouettes of the Soul.” Tamara’s exhibition at Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, in Chelsea, NY,which is the internatonal epicenter of the artworld, was viewed by collectors and art enthusiasts, both nationally and internationally. Her joyful work and passionate colors exude sunshine and love. We are confident Ms. Diaz will be a shining Star in the Chelsea Art World.
-Ruthie Tucker, Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City
“Tamara’s artwork exudes the confidence of a true artist. Somewhat reminiscent of Keith Haring, with her bold shapes and vibrant colors, Tamara’s pieces seamlessly blend a child’s meandering imagination with an adult’s thematic sophistication. Exploring such issues as national identity, cultural assimilation and dual ethnicity, Tamara’s art has a distinctly “Latin” flavor that no doubt derives from her Cuban roots. Given her talent, energy and innovation, I look forward to seeing her artistic career continue to flourish in the coming years.”
-Kerala Goodkin (Editor in Chief), Glimpse Magazine
You can also sample the increasingly international flavor of the city’s art scene at Providence City Hall, which is hosting a multi-ethnic art exhibit on its second floor mezzanine. The dozen or so contributors are all associated with the Sol Gallery, which is looking for a new home after losing its longtime space in South Providence.
In particular, look for the work of Augustin Patino, an artist whose dense, figure-packed painting Long Shadows suggests the work of a latter-day Hieronymus Bosch. Also good are the playful Pop Art paintings of Tamara Diaz (especially her portrait of revolutionary leader Che Cuevara) and a pair of photographs of Santeria shrines by Paul Daglieri. Through July at Providence City Hall, 25 Dorrance St. (at Kennedy Plaza). Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30-4:30.
-Bill Van Siclen, Providence Journal
A few weeks ago, I reviewed a small art exhibit on the mezzanine level of Providence City Hall. What I didn’t know — and what no one at City Hall seemed to know either — was that the show was actually half of a two-part exhibit of artists associated with South Providence’s Sol Gallery.
After a friendly call from Steven Pennell, gallery coordinator for URI’s Providence Campus, I found the show’s other half tucked away on the first floor of the former Shepard Building on Washington Street.It’s worth a visit. Providence’s Latino community is growing by leaps and bounds, and the talent and visibility of the city’s Latino artists is growing along with it. In particular, look for the jazzy mixed media collages of Pablo Alvarez, the playful Pop Art paintings of Tamara Diaz, and the marvelous surrealist-tinged canvases of Augustin Patino. Also good are works by Frank Stratis and Jose Dario Rojas.
-Bill Van Siclen, Providence Journal
“Tamara Diaz has the greatest number of pictures in the exhibit. Her collection of acrylic paintings includes Casa de Amor, Abuela, La Casa de Tia Marta, Peace Pump and Cuba Sunset. The bright works use a great deal of purple, yellow and green and recall fond memories of family and places past. Her art seems intent on identifying and getting at the heart of memory, but conveys those memories in an arrestingly positive light.”
-Julie Tremaine, East Side Monthly
(Below): True Colors Solo Show Exhibit Review by Neil Aaron (2003)
Tamara Diaz is now exploding onto the artistic community, with a bullet. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been exposed privately to her art over the years and have watch it grow into its current form. As an independent artist myself, I am very critical, yet supportive of other artists in the community, and I can honestly and whole heartedly say that Tamara’s work is amazing, unique, and visionary.
She is truly my favorite visual artist…holding court with Frida Kahlo and Keith Haring. Tamara’s works show her innate original style and bold vision while capturing the truth and beauty in life and humanity. Her art is inspiring, magical, and captivating. Throughout the community, I have been hearing rave reviews and have been watching Tamara’s art stir up the passions of others, moving them in ways only true artistic expression can do. They instantly turned into fans, supporters and buyers of her work.
-NeiL Aaron, an independent artist and musician residing in San Francisco, CA
Review of Solo Exhibit: “True Colors” paintings by Tamara Diaz
Renaissance Gallery @ Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA – April to May (2003)
“True Colors,” artist Tamara Diaz’s most successful art exhibit yet, is absolutely amazing. The opening night was just unbelievable! Her huge cadre of supporters, from various different scenes, including friends, family, fellow artists and art lovers, were out to celebrate this up and coming artist’s big night! Need I say that she was smashing as usual? Her playful sense of humor and colorful seriousness set the tone for a truly remarkable art enthusiast’s experience. The moment I entered the gallery, I experienced an intense explosion of color, blasting its way through my senses. I am always taken by the stories Diaz’s work tells, but with this exhibit I could not get past her color schemes. They were funky and vibrantly wild!
My boy, Roland Diaz, said his favorite piece was “Fainted.” Although it had a “sad sequential storyline,” he said, “the more I analyzed it, the further I was taken off to a peaceful place.” In the piece, the event depicted represents a factual experience in the artist’s life. Roland Diaz, the artist’s brother, found “Fainted” to be sad, as it broke his heart to imagine his sister suffering from pain, but when he was able to dissolve the piece’s connection with his sister, he was able to imagine how peaceful it must have been to have fainted in a safe and secure space. One of my highlights of the evening was speaking with Angel Garcia, my favorite graffiti artist, comparing and contrasting the work of Diaz, with that of Keith Haring.
It is not often that I am able to speak with someone who has more than a superficial understanding of Haring’s work. Garcia, a native of the Bronx and a graffiti artist of twenty years, was an eyewitness to Haring’s pieces as they popped up rapidly throughout the New York City Subway system. His familiarity of Haring’s work provided us with a great opportunity to discuss the differences and similarities of the two artists. Although the influence of Haring in Diaz’s work is hard to miss, the direction that Diaz has taken her work is new and so far, unique to the art world. Many of Diaz’s pieces are a vision of a more optimistic and spiritual place. Diaz, a social worker, spends much of her time aiding in the healing of children. Both Haring and Diaz share a common love and concern for the state of the world’s children.
My personal favorite of the evening was “Che.” (See below)
(Below): “Che” (2003) Painting by Tamara Diaz Acrylic Paint on Canvas, Size 36 x 24
Che Guevara, a Argentine intellectual, was one of the masterminds of the Cuban revolution. Diaz, a woman with a profound yearning for a free Cuba, views the political situation of Cuba as being against the democratic ideology of Che. The piece is so powerful! A vision of Che explodes out of the sky like Providence, as three refugees in the Atlantic are looking up to him praying for a free Cuba. As I strolled around the gallery I decided to eavesdrop and find out what the guests were saying about the exhibit. Many of the guests were in awe at the volume of work Diaz has produced in the last two years, especially within 2003. One guest viewing “Scream,” one of Diaz’s more cynical pieces, was commenting on the disturbing feeling it evoked in him, while others were analyzing the significance of the halos of the angels below, as opposed to those above their figures. One commentator wondered if “Tia Marta’s House” was made out of soft-serve ice cream. A new collector of Diaz’s work, was asked by Diaz, if he liked the “bendy building” in “Flowers,” a piece he purchased. He responded, “That’s a building?” It is always amazing to hear other interpretations of the artists work, other than those of Diaz. The symbolism and universality are what makes the art so amazing.
Published in The Glimpse Quarterly’s Fall Issue 2004:
Though legal restrictions prevent Tamara Diaz from physically exploring her father’s native country of Cuba, thought stories and art, she explores Cuba’s spirit and soul.
Freestyle: “Homeland” Text and illustrations by Tamara Diaz, with an introduction by Kimberley Leadford. Though legal restrictions prevent Tamara Diaz from physically exploring her father’s native country of Cuba, thought stories and art, she explores Cuba’s spirit and soul. Tamara Diaz longs to walk through the streets of her homeland, Cuba. Her roots constantly tug her south, but physical and geographic obstacles prevent her from exploring her lands and connecting with her people. While her feet have never touched Cuban soil, Tamara has lived many lifetimes in Cuba. Her connection lies in the stories told by her family – her abuela (grandmother) reminiscing about the “old days” in Cuba, her tia (aunt) and her papi (father) teaching her how to salsa. Tamara says, “That’s how I learn about my culture, through memories and songs.” Her art shows that words like “embargo,” “blockage” and “border” merely restrict our physical ties, leaving a more soulful connection intact.
by Kimberly Leadford