In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, “Caribbean Whispers,” an exhibition of paintings by Jose Acosta, Willie Baez, Isabell Villacis and Rosario D’Rivera, is on view at Passaic County Community College, as Nicole Mazewski reports.
FAMILY INFLUENCES: D’Rivera, of Ridgefield Park, is an artist and graphic designer. Her Cuban heritage and family’s musical background play a critical role in her art. “My art reflects the Cuban in me. It is very colorful, lively and full of movement,” said D’Rivera. Her brother is the nine-time Grammy Award winner, Paquito D’Rivera, and her father is an orchestra musician.
LOCAL FLAVOR: D’Rivera immigrated to the United States at age 8. When she was in her senior year of high school, her family moved to Union City to be near their Latin culture. “My family fell in love with Union City, it was a Cuban Mecca of sorts.” The 51-year-old artist has refused opportunities to leave North Jersey. “I turned down a job in Chicago because my roots are here with Bergen and Hudson counties’ Hispanic communities.”
BACKGROUND: D’Rivera received her degree in communication design from Jersey City State College (now New Jersey City University). She worked in the marketing departments of both Liz Claiborne and Dyson. Her newest business venture is Rosie’s Weenie Wagon, a food kiosk she takes all over New Jersey. She is also involved in the “We Are You Project,” the Latino Center on Aging’s initiative on improving the quality of life in the Latin community of the U.S., as well as raising awareness of the obstacles faced by Latino-Americans.
SHOW BUSINESS: Twelve of D’Rivera’s works will be on display at the college — including “Fro.” ‘Fro’ is very colorful and it takes me back to the era of the ’70s and reminds me of the fashion designer Pucci’s work,” said D’Rivera.
DETAILS: Through Nov. 10. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The Broadway & LRC Galleries at Passaic County Community College, Broadway at Memorial Drive, Paterson. Free. Information: 973-684-5448 or pccc.edu/art/gallery. For the original report go to http://www.northjersey.com/arts_entertainment/art/131377793__Caribbean_Whispers__exhibit_opens_at_PCCC.html
Image: D’Rivera’s “Celia”