NEWS

Central Library exhibit features works of young artists

By EMMA BARTLETT
Posted 4/5/22

A new art exhibition will be featured at Cranston’s Central Library from now until April 29. The artwork was created by kids ages 6 to 15 who participated in Esperanza Hope’s five week …

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NEWS

Central Library exhibit features works of young artists

Posted

A new art exhibition will be featured at Cranston’s Central Library from now until April 29. The artwork was created by kids ages 6 to 15 who participated in Esperanza Hope’s five week art program this past October. The organization hosted an opening reception on Saturday.

Esperanza Hope is a nonprofit formed by Cranston resident Wilda Gutierrez. The organization operates for charitable purposes and gives essential items such as food, school supplies, clothes, toys and sports equipment to disadvantaged children and homeless families every month. The organization has also put on a free art program that allows kids to interact with one another while displaying their artistic abilities.

Gutierrez said the organization’s art program has run for six years, and this is the second time the nonprofit hosted the arts exhibition at Central Library – the first time was in February 2020.

In a collection of roughly 50 pieces of artwork, 15 students are featured in this year’s show, and each piece is available for purchase. All paintings are $20 each and funds go directly to the young artists.

The program started when Gutierrez’s friend (who was an artist) made the suggestion for an art program and ended up running all five weeks. Gutierrez eventually changed the concept to having a different artist each week so students had a variety of teachers and techniques. This year’s artists included Larisa Martino, Wildalis Almonte, Vincent Mancini, Nixon Leger and Giana Volpe.

The program is certainly popular since Gutierrez said slots are filled within a couple of days. During the program, 20 to 25 kids spend two hours each Saturday for five weeks working with a different artist. The artists are usually of different cultural backgrounds – noting that this time around, there were Russian, Italian and Haitian artists.

Mancini used the theme of hope throughout his project with the kids and created a painting that he thought meant hope – this included feathers, doves and a heart. Mancini said he talked with students about what hope meant to them.

“I was really so amazed by their work,” said Mancini.

Isabellee Jolivert, 10, is a student at Edgewood Highland School and has attended Esperanza Hope’s art program for the past three years. Jolivert enjoyed the program, saying it’s fun and allows her to be creative. Her favorite types of art mediums are painting and drawing.

Esperanza Hope’s opening reception brought in local and state leaders, including Mayor Ken Hopkins and Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos.

Hopkins purchased a painting created by Giana Volpe and said he plans to hang it in City Hall.

Matos said there was some artwork already calling her attention and was glad to support Gutierrez and the work she’s doing.

To learn more about Esperanza Hope, please visit https://esperanzahopeus.org/.

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