CV Art and Frame will host a new art exhibit starting May 15. In addition, Cuban-born artist Carlos Gamez de Francisco, whose art will be featured, will the same day paint an original piece using a flower in place of an art brush.
The art exhibit, which is open to the public, will go on display starting at 10 a.m. May 15 at 110 S. Main St. in Zionsville. Masks are required. Gamez de Francisco will arrive by noon and begin painting the original piece at 1 p.m. Rhonda Crawshaw, the gallery’s director, said Gamez de Francisco will spend multiple hours painting and will speak to visitors about his life and artwork afterward.
Gamez de Francisco was born in post-revolutionary Cuba in 1987. He decided he wanted to be an artist at five years old, and by 15 he was painting eight hours each day to refine his skills, often using whatever tools were available, such as a flower in place of a brush, because of the scarcity of art supplies in the country.
“He didn’t always have the art supplies he needed to create, and he had been creating since he was a young boy,” Crawshaw said. “So he would use anything he could find to paint with. He would use coffee grounds as pigment. He would make special dyes. He would paint with whatever he could get his hands on. And a flower, he’s comfortable with that, and we thought it would be really fun to have him do that live, in front of our gallery guests.”
Crawshaw said Gamez de Francisco moved to America when he was 21 in pursuit of his dream. He spoke no English, and he had $650, $600 of which he spent on art supplies. The remainder was spent on a pair of Nike Cortez running shoes, the same shoes Forrest Gump wore when he ran across the United States in the titular movie. Gamez de Francisco learned to speak English by setting a goal of memorizing 100 new words each day.
“He is very inspirational when he speaks,” Crawshaw said. “
Now, Gamez de Francisco lives in Kentucky and creates paintings featuring everyday people and objects from their home done with acrylics on canvas and watercolors with graphite.
CV Art and Frame will house the exhibit until May 29. Gamez de Francisco’s art, including original pieces, will be available for purchase at the gallery, during the event, or online today at its website, cvartandframe.com/?s=carlos&post_type=product. Gamez de Francisco also offers commission artwork, Crawshaw said.