Our Current Exhibition
Jorge Soto Sánchez Untitled (bathers), c. 1972.
Acrylic on Canvas, 34” x 32”.
Courtesy of Betty Gonzalez-Soto.
HOMENAJE: Jorge Soto Sánchez
October 7- December 2, 2015
The collaborative exhibition with Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture and Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos features two versions of Soto’s best-known work, El velorio de Oller en Nueva York, after the iconic work of the Puerto Rican impressionist Francisco Oller (1833-1917). Other major works of the exhibition include Todo bien en America (1960s) and El Señor Gobernador (1977). Peña-Acosta stated that the exhibition was made possible by the good will of many private collectors. Two primary contributors to the exhibition are members of his family and El Museo del Barrio, both having graciously provided important pieces that have not been on public view since his untimely death.
According to Peña-Acosta, Soto “was a product of the times of the late 60s, often quoting popular concepts from Franz Fenon’s The Wretched of the Earth, which spoke to the dehumanizing effects of colonization and making connection to the Puerto Rican experience. Soto was immersed in researching and learning about his own origin, often visiting the Museum of Natural History where he observed and drew Taino objects and symbols which he later combined with Afro-Caribbean Yoruba religious images.”
We are thrilled to be presenting this important exhibit of a very talented artist whose legacy in the community and the New York art world is worth preserving and sharing with the wider public,” said Hostos Center Director John MacElwee. “Locating and acquiring these works for exhibition has not been easy; we are grateful to the work of Gladys Peña-Acosta and the Bronx Council on the Arts, and to the generosity of Betty Soto, El Museo de Barrio, El Taller Boricua, Elba Cabrera and others who provided pieces for this tribute.”
Jorge Soto Sánchez was born in East Harlem (El Barrio) in 1947 to Puerto Rican parents. His family moved to the South Bronx when he was five years old. His artistic talent was evident as early as his receiving a scholarship from Saks Fifth Avenue Department Stores to take drawing classes in composition and human anatomy. In 1961 he attended two years of high school before dropping out to enlist in the Army. He was discharged in 1965 and determined to become an artist, he worked menial jobs while devoting himself to art.
He became involved with Taller Boricua, the Puerto Rican artists’ collective based in El Barrio, in 1971, serving as director by the mid-70s. The collective’s mission was to use art as a tool for education and community by sponsoring of a wide range of exhibitions, literary readings, dances, festivals and free art classes. Soto’s quest to uncover his ancestral routes took him to Puerto Rico in 1972, where studied Taino artifacts and the canonical works of Puerto Rican artists Jose Campeche and Francisco Oller. He had his first major solo exhibit in Puerto Rico at Galería Tanama in Arecibo in 1973. In 1977, he had a solo exhibit at the Association of Hispanic Arts in New York. His last major exhibition was at El Museo de Barrio in 1979. It featured 60 of his pen and ink drawings. In the mid-1980s, Soto became ill and moved to Vermont to convalesce. He remained there until his death on December 13, 1987, leaving behind a large body of uncatalogued work. His passing created a great void among the Nuyorican artists and poets.
Gladys Peña-Acosta was born in Puerto Rico and now resides in Brooklyn. A graduate of Hunter College and New York University, Peña-Acosta served as Chief Curator of El Museo de Barrio, Executive Director of the New York City Public Art Commission and producer/director of Spanish cultural programs for the Hispanic Information Telecommunication Network. She currently works as a guest curator and public art consultant.
Opening Reception + First Wednesday Bronx Trolley
Wed, October 7, 5-9pm
Reception + First Wednesday Bronx Trolley
Wed, November 4, 5-9pm
“Remembering Jorge Soto Sánchez: Collaborators and Friends”
Thurs, Nov 5, 6:00pm
Closing Reception + First Wednesday Bronx Trolley
Wed, December 2, 5-9pm
This exhibition is sponsored by the Hostos Community College Foundation, with public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Bronx Council on the Arts’ Longwood Art Gallery receives support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYS Council on the Arts, the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., NY City Council Members Fernando Cabrera, Andrew Cohen, Melissa Mark-Viverito, James Vacca and BCA members.
Online presentation by Diógenes Ballester from the Panel Discussion "Remembering Jorge Soto Sanchez: Collaborators & Friends.
On the campus of
Hostos Community College
450 Grand Concourse, Room C-190
(at 149th Street)
Bronx, NY 10451
Monday: 12:00 - 5:00pm
Tuesday: 12:00 - 5:00pm
Thursday: 12:00 - 5:00pm
Friday: 12:00 - 5:00pm
Sunday and holidays.
Hostos is easily accessible by the 2, 4, and 5 IRT Trains.
Click here for detailed directions.
Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos is wheelchair accessible
Longwood Arts Project is the contemporary art center of the Bronx Council on the Arts with the mission to support artists and their work, especially emerging artists and those from under-represented groups such as people of color and women. Longwood Arts Project hosts exhibits and public programs that provide opportunities for free and open dialogue on arts and culture.
Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos presents solo and group exhibitions of art produced in various media and through interdisciplinary practices that connect artists, communities, and ideas within and beyond the Bronx. Longwood's Project Room was created in 1991 to focus on Bronx and Bronx-based artists who present solo and experimental projects that aim to address issues of politics of identity, class, gender and urban and popular culture.
|A program of the Bronx Council on the Arts, Longwood Arts Project receives support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the
Arts, The Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation Inc. and the National Endowment for the Arts Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and the Bronx Delegation of the City Council of New York and the member ship of the BCA.
Special thanks to Hostos Community College and the Center for Arts & Culture for their generous support of the exhibition program.