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DOWNEY - Local Downey sculptor Jorge Del Toro will be the featured demonstrator at the free workshop hosted by the Downey Art League next Tuesday, October 23, 7-9 pm, at the Barbara J. Riley Community Center in Apollo Park, 7810 Quill Drive.
The art workshop/demonstrations are bimonthly events, and often feature traditional media such as oil painting and watercolor. Tuesday's event featuring clay is in response to the increased interest and expansion of local art associations.
Growing up in Chapala, Jalisco, in Mexico, Del Toro was influenced by the local artisans who specialized in pre-Columbian techniques. As a child, he loved making miniature pieces of reptiles; and when he came to the United States as a teenager, his talent was quickly recognized by his high school teachers. He does not work with a potter's wheel, but prefers to create unique pieces shaped by hand, often using ancient techniques for finishing.
Del Toro has received several awards from Cerritos College, with exhibitions of his work in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. His pieces are noted for their great detail and realism, and are most often inspired by nature.
The Downey Art League, founded over 50 years ago, had over 250 members at one time. It provided a community gathering place for artists to learn new techniques and show their work.
As membership declined, the League scaled back activities, but President Eddie Aguirre managed to maintain the bimonthly workshops, often in conjunction with the Traditional Artist's Guild of Paramount.
Last June Andrew Wahlquist, founder of the Downey Arts Coalition, was elected President of the Downey Art League with a platform to expand membership and activities. With renewed vigor, the Downey Art League recently helped to sponsor the grand opening of the Stay Gallery on Downey Avenue.
According to Wahlquist, the Downey Art League remains committed to the long tradition of workshop/demonstrations, even as it works to expand support for all of the arts in Downey.
For more information about art events in Downey, getting involved, or joining the Art League, go to downeyarts.org. Membership is open to anyone, and is currently $15 for the year.
Published: October 18, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 27