By Denise Marsh
“People come into our lives for a reason” is a popular phrase; but for me, it is more of a mantra. Arlet was a mom of one of my former first graders. We spoke predominantly about her son and she came to volunteer at one of our class celebrations. When her son was no longer in my class, I didn’t think twice about her; I assumed the “relationship” was over. That’s just how it always has been with former students and their parents for the most part with the exception of a few that have remained in contact.
Fast Forward to a year or so later I saw Arlet and her family walking on the same path as me. It turned out that they had bought a property at my development and we are only a few minutes away from each other. We basked in the serendipity and decided to exchange numbers. Later that week while on Instagram I saw some of her art work and became an instant fan. I am thrilled to be able to interview her and share her vision with the public. Arlet is one “hidden gem” that needs to celebrated.
The perfect light
AW: When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist? At what age did you begin to have a passion for art?
AG: When I was a little girl wanted to draw as many cartoons as I could; I guess that is how I discovered my passion for painting. At the age of ten, my parents started taking me to an art club in our town and from that point on I decided to pursue further studies in the arts. Following that path, I enrolled in a 4-year program in my hometown Art Academy where I started transformed into a professional artist.
The next step took me to the Instituto Superior de Arte”-the most prestigious Art university in my country of origin, Cuba. During my years as a student, many opportunities for exhibitions, awards, scholarships, and residencies were presented to me. I also had an opportunity to take my artwork globally to countries such as Denmark, Italy, Portugal, and Mexico.
AW: How would you categorize the art that you do? I have seen many of your paintings that depict nature as an underlying theme of water and nature; for example, paintings with oceans, rivers, lakes, trees, etc.
AG: I think that my art reflects on the wonders of life; on embracing the emotion and teachings of “everydayness”.
AW: Tell us about a few of pieces that you are most proud of.
AG: Well, I’m not completely satisfied up to this point, so I think the work I will be “ proud of” will be the one that is yet to come.
AW: Hispanic Heritage month was in the month of September spanning into the end of October. I know you were involved in some museum endeavors (as displayed on Facebook). Can you please elaborate on this for us?
AG: Yes, on October 28th, the Contemporary Art of Latin American Diaspora exhibition was inaugurated in the Palm Beach Cultural Council. There was a call for artists, having Dr. Juliana Forero as a jury and curator, I had the honor to have my painting, “Next Boarding” chosen as part of this exhibition.
AW: Who or what has inspired your art the most?
AG: My artistic work is inspired by the light that illuminates each human being: light that shines from within, visible in the world and sunbeam of each daily scene.
AW: Do you Commission pieces? If so, tell us about some that have given you great joy.
AG: Yes, I do Commission pieces. I remember the last one with great affection because it symbolized new beginnings as seen through the flight of a group of flamingos over the sea.
AW: What do you love most about being an artist? What are some obstacles that you have dealt with (or still deal with)?
AG: I love the game between the pictorial technique and the inner world brought to the canvas. I love giving life to prophetic visions that are light and language between me and the viewer. And the difficult part that I have to deal with is every day is managing my time so that the hours of the day are enough to achieve everything that I have in mind.
AW: What has been your most popular piece? Do you ever do replicas of it?
AG: My most popular piece is,” Return to the Waters”, which portrays a dog drinking water from a lake. It is not currently available because it was sold at the 36th Annual- All Florida Exhibition in Fort Meyers. I really don’t like to make copies of the pieces because I find it boring.
Knowing the pathway to follow in anticipation doesn’t create expectations in me, although I do like to repeat similar scenes or environments.
AW: How is your art unique?
AG: My art is unique because it is influenced by impressionist light; the brushstrokes I use are the printing of my soul on the canvas.
AW: What are your future plans for your art?
AG: I have plans to continue with my “Other Views” project, started in 2010, which links the blind and visually-impaired to the Visual Arts. Because, as I stated at the beginning, the light inspires my artwork and this parallel between a physical and spiritual world of shadows excites me. Above all, because I am a warrior of the brush, the light becomes real and luminous.
AW: How can people see more of your artwork? Are there any future shows or exhibits on the horizon?
AG: My work is continuously shown on social media, @arletgomezstudio on Instagram and arletgomezart on Facebook. I am currently being featured at the Hera Gallery in Rhode Island, a national juried exhibition. I will also be featured in the Cultural Council until January 2023 as part of the Contemporary Art of Latin American Diaspora exhibition. Additionally, February 18th I will be presenting a Solo exhibition in the Arti Gras Fine Arts Festival 2023, located in Palm Beach Gardens.
The finished canvas
I am confident that one day you will also have the privilege of viewing Arlet’s luminous and radiant personality depicted in her art. After all, sometimes we truly cannot see the beauty that has been there all along, right in front of us. I continue to feel grateful for the day Arlet and I crossed “paths” . Check out Arlet’s work and get ready to be amazed and enlightened!