by Cesca Janece Waterfield
On April 23, Sabrina Sarcos will share an exhibit with an artist she’s admired all her life.
“She’s originally from Northern Italy,” Sabrina explains. “She started learning with a Russian watercolorist when she was little. She’s got all that cultural and geographical mixture – the tropical cultures, old-world techniques.”
The artist? Sabrina’s mother, Maria Nimis. The show is “Hispanic Artists Celebrate La Mujer.” Curated by Evelia Porto and organized in part to celebrate International Women’s Day, it features thirteen renowned artists from the region’s Hispanic community whose work pays tribute to women. It’s a fitting venue for the artistic reunion of Sabrina and her mother.
“I grew up by her side painting all the time,” Sabrina remembers. “The theme of women as a subject of painting was very common for us growing up. And that really has a lot to do with the exhibit itself, which we’re really very happy about. It’s been really nice coming to this show even though we’re not living in the same country anymore. It is very special, something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
Originally from Merida, Venezuela, Sabrina left home seven years ago when her husband came to Richmond to complete his Ph.D. Trained as an architect, Sabrina had a job she loved, teaching industrial design. The international move was a big transition.
“You learn a lot,” Sabrina admits. “You become a lot more humble and you develop other resources that you didn’t know you had.”
The relocation as well as motherhood have inspired artistic discoveries. “Now that I’ve had my son, I’m staying home and I’ve been experimenting with materials a lot, especially with wood and acrylic paint,” she says. “There are many materials now that you can recycle and reuse. There are painting materials that are much healthier and milder for people and the environment so I’ve been experimenting with that.”
At ArtWorks, Sabrina will show carvings that utilize recycled wood as well as pieces in her lifelong medium, painting. The opening will be a real fiesta featuring music and dance by The Latin Ballet of Virginia. It’s all part of Minds Wide Open, a statewide celebration established to promote theatre, dance and visual art by women that by June will have encouraged more than 5000 events.
Hispanic Artists Celebrate La Mujer opens April 23, 7-10 pm and runs through May 23, Artworks, 320 Hull St. www.artworksrichmond.com