Flying Free: An Exhibit of Bird Carvings by Alex Ríos Fernández

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An exhibit at the Museo de las Américas (San Juan) through March 26, 2017.

Ríos Fernández received his first wood carving lessons from craftsman Eduardo “Barón” González Rivera. He went on to excel in the carving of birds under the tutelage of the master craftsman Rosabel Suárez, who has said of Ríos Fernández’s work that, “the quality of the carving, the details, composition and elegance of each of his pieces, makes of them museum pieces”.

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Alex Ríos Fernández is Puerto Rico’s most award winning bird carver. Before turning 20, he was encouraged to present several sizes at the Ward World Championship in Maryland, USA, and international competition where he obtained second and third place, plus a mention of honor. Since then, he has participated in countless competitions in the US, Chile, Spain and Canada. He is currently under the mentorship of American carver Sue Kraft with whom he began taking classes in 2003.

Rios Fernández is internationally recognized for his carvings of Puerto Rico birds made of laurel wood, glass eyes and legs cast in bronze to which he applies oil paint.

“Alex is a clear example of personal and artistic excellence. The responsibility, commitment and discipline with which he approaches his work attests to his vocation,” attests Zulma Santiago, an expert on crafts who has known Ríos Fernández since childhood. “His creativity and ability in handling the size, painting and conceptualization of his works, makes of Alex Ríos an example of the transformation from great master craftsman to a great artist. His work goes beyond a mere carved piece, he creates art, a sculpture of minute details inspired by a natural reality of cultural value and spiritual significance.”

For her part, Dr. Teresa Tió said that “in each piece the carver comes close to the meticulousness of a goldsmith or a miniaturist, taking care of the smallest detail. That is an essential part of the craft of the bird carver. ”

As part of the exhibition there will be tours guided by the artist, as well as thematic conferences and creative workshops.

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