Request to attend the grand opening of Altagracia's Studio 45 Gallery, Washington Heights' only culturally and community-inspired art gallery, on Friday, August 29th at 8pm at 647 West 172nd Street, between Broadway and Fort Washington Avenue.

Altagracia works in multiple media and during her career, has worked on a number of design professions, from architecture to fashion design. Her experiences allowed her to conceive of and develop her own unique style. Describing her style, Altagracia says, "In [my work], figures are blocky and flattened much like the architectural space they share. All of the pieces of the various compositions are created out of simple geometric shapes. Anything too complex, like facial features, is obliterated. The figures are recognizable as male or female by what they wear, their hair length of body frames. The figures are stylized but not too distorted. They are clean deconstructed realistic execution of the human form through the use of planes of color, such as the stylings of Corot, Hopper, and Jacob Lawrence. The are designed to represent their subjects without being photorealistic."

In her new works, a series entitled the "Dominican Dichotomy", Altagracia paints about life on the island of the Dominican Republic and life on the island of Manhattan and how the two lifestyles mirror each other while being completely different.

Says Altagracia, "When I'm here I want to be there and when I'm there I want to be here. Am I American or Dominican? I was born here in Manhattan but I was not born to an American couple. I was raised with every once of my Dominican culture and spoiled rotten by the 'need-to- want-something-you-don't-need American life syndrome'. I am an American of Dominican / Puerto Rican descent. Proud, educated and still not rich is my 'Dominican Dichotomy'".

A graduate of New York University's School of Education (Cum Laude) and national art competition award recipient, Altagracia is an up and coming artist who captures moments of her life, her experience, the (Hispanic/Latino experience, and especially) the Dominican experience in Washington Heights, New York City, through her painting, design, and photography. Altagracia's [work] depicts life taking its time, [emphasizing life's rich, yet simple cultural details]: people on a (neighborhood) stoop, [leaning] from a window talking to a passerby, (hanging out) on a rooftop, on the street, and visiting family back home. Altagracia's work inspires provocative concepts dealing with race and social class and how they are governed or affected by economics and/or politics.

Please join us in this celebrating this important cultural and community event and help us spread the word to those who may be interested. Your invitation and directions are enclosed.


Al Berrios

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