ARTIST STATEMENT: My paintings have been the focus of social, cultural and political issues. I believe art as a form of expression is an ideal discipline to engage, communicate, create awareness, provoke thought and encourage social change. This process and analysis raises consciousness about individual freedoms and rights, self-empowerment and education. My work is informed by world events, day to day contact with people, my travels and my observations. My preferred medium is oil and pencil. Other mediums I work with include watercolor, acrylics, and collage.
While most of my artistic ideas and exhibitions have been devoted to raise awareness about social issues, I enjoy the pleasure of painting for its own rewarding experience whether I convey a complex ideology, a representational form, or an abstract imagery. The contour/outlines of organic forms or the beauty of nature’s colors captures my imagination thus enriching my visual repertoire. The free spirit of outdoor sketching or a thoughtful rendered drawing energizes my creativity; these notions are depicted or suggested in my artworks for the viewer to discover or interpret them.
ABOUT RAUL MANZANO
Raúl Manzano is an artist, author, and scholar. His paintings have been shown in consulates, museums, galleries, and community centers in Canada, Spain, Israel, and the United States. His scholarly and professional activities include his first drawing book publication, peer review essays, newsletter articles, illustrations for books, scholarly journals and magazine covers. He has presented at conferences in universities, served as juror for exhibition panel committees, and lectured at leading New York City museums to his students and faculty. His doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Museum Studies, is from Union Institute & University. He graduated with an M.A. from SUNY/Empire State College and a B.F.A from the School of Visual Arts.
Through his paintings, he has contributed to raise funds for charity causes, including the Prevailing Human Spirit fund-raising exhibition to help September 11 Charities, at the Society of Illustrators; he co-curated the "AIDS Awareness" exhibition at the Broadway Mall Community Center, both in New York. In his solo show, in Toronto, Canada, he donated proceeds from the sales of his work to help the victims of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano disaster in Armero, Colombia. At two major events in New Jersey and New York, he helped raise funds for the Verizon's New York Hispanic Support Organization Scholarship Fund and for the non-profit Long Island for Colombia's "Proyecto Buenaventura 2006" housing for the poor.
During his tenure as president (1996-2001) of the New York based arts organization West Side Arts Coalition, he established a new vision for the organization presenting exhibits that reflected the times such as AIDS Awareness, 9/11, the Environment, and introduced cultural celebration exhibits in Salute to Hispanic Heritage in collaboration with Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, in 2000, 2001, and 2002. His interaction with the community, businesses and local and international leaders let him to bring the organization to Ashkelon, Israel to exhibit the works of their members, at the Kham Museum (2000), in collaboration with the mayor of that city Hon. Benny Vaknin. Mayor Vaknin awarded Manzano the medal of the city for his service to the arts. Additionally, he organized exhibits at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, NYC public libraries and outdoor festivals. He has received recognition awards for his contribution to the arts and Latino culture from Associación de Hijos y Amigos de Colombia and Farleigh Dickinson University. He is also a recipient and nominated to art awards at several art competitions.