Bexley News

Work of Bexley artist with Cuban, Spanish roots featured

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Pieces by a Bexley painter whose three-dimensional art is influenced by his time in Cuba and Spain will be featured at Upper Arlington's Municipal Services Center through June 24.

In his 85 years, Wilfredo Calvo-Bono's travels have taken him around the world. He has always sought to learn from the people he's met, as well as the varied studies he's absorbed.

Born in New York in 1929, Calvo was raised in Cuba and studied architecture at Havana University.

He took up painting after moving to Spain and, according to Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Manager Lynette Santoro-Au, much of his work was "representational," with themes of horses, portraits and nature.

After moving back to the U.S. and working as an architect, Calvo in the mid-1990s embraced Derrida's "deconstruction" philosophy, which questions past rules and regulations, and he began to create 3-D art with discarded materials.

Each form of Calvo's work will be on display in a "Fruits of an Old Tree" exhibit in the Concourse Gallery at the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road, through June 24.

Santoro-Au said she and the Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Commission's Visual Arts Committee first learned of Calvo in 2008 from Upper Arlington artist Elena Osterwalder.

At the time, the visual arts committee wanted to exhibit 2-D and 3-D art encompassing a myriad of themes and ideas, and Calvo fit the bill.

"We always want the exhibits in the gallery to be thought-provoking and dynamic," Santoro-Au said. "We want the viewer and the space to be challenged, (and) we want to introduce the viewer to different cultures and art forms.

"Calvo has thoughtfully divided his exhibit, which is displayed chronologically, into periods of development he experienced as an artist, and we have included these markers in the gallery guide."

Santoro-Au said the pieces in the exhibit show the influence of the Bauhaus concepts, in addition to deconstructivist themes and the exploration of tension and the behavior of colors.

Plexiglas and metal elements also showcase Calvo's architectural background.

"I am creating pieces with geometric forms and striking colors capable of triggering in the viewer mental and emotional reactions, with the purpose of favoring a better environment for reflective or meditative thoughts," Calvo said. "We should not keep repeating or imitating the work of the past, but we should be looking, search for new forms of representation according to the present and en route toward the future."

Guests will be able to use the gallery program provided by the UA Cultural Arts Division to take self-guided tours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through June 24. Free parking is available in the MSC's Tremont and Kenny road lots.

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