Artistic Connections and Extensions of Culture, by José Manuel Cruz

Click here to view his social media.

Artist Statement:

I believe that my work embodies my urban culture with a splash of reality and the opportunity for me to explore the canvas and the materials I use. My Artistic Connections and Extensions exhibit
allows me to explore those avenues and take it a step further in the freedoms I have to express myself as the artist that I AM.

I want to express the love I have for growing up in a (BrickCity) like Newark, NJ. The concrete jungle like some call it or a mini-NY City since it was just hop on a train or a 15-minute drive to NY City. I am able to paint and add my intricate details where I need without any judgements or critiques.

During this time of a pandemic and systemic racism I want my work to reflect that there are better times ahead. I want people to feel the joy and warmth in the colors I use and at the same time let the viewer connect with the piece and hopefully find something relative to their own experiences in life.

"Fetisha" - 6 x 5 ft. $8000

Meet the Artist

José Cruz is a Puerto Rican/Colombian Latino Artist. He has a unique style and loves working with color and all mediums. Mr. Cruz has been an Art Educator for over 20 years at all grade levels. He has been an advocate for the arts in education and enjoys bringing art to the communities and at the same time bring his experiences as a professional exhibiting artist and photographer back to the classroom.

Mr. Cruz graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Fine Arts in 1996 from New Jersey City University. In 1986 he started substitute teaching in the Newark Public Schools. It inspired him to pursue a career as an Art Educator.

For 38 years he has exhibited his works in the United States and abroad. His work embodies the true essence that comes from living and growing up in an urban area around family and friends that always look out for each other and cherished every Latin, every African American, every Urban, and every Ghetto experience.

Why does the Foundation have an art gallery?

Because we believe that a strong commitment to the arts is an important part of our vision for the community.

As part of our focus on cultural arts, the Foundation's office space also serves as a rotating art gallery, for two main reasons: to support and foster local artists, and to encourage our community to connect and engage in meaningful conversation inspired by art. The Triangle Community Artists Gallery, housed within our office space at the Frontier in partnership with the Durham Art Guild (DAG), hosts artwork from local artists for periods of six months at a time. All artists in the gallery are chosen by a jury panel of fundholders and donors with an interest in the arts. The art on display, unless marked, is available for purchase. We are proud of this partnership with DAG, our jury of community leaders and arts-minded fundholders, and the artists we have the great pleasure of showcasing each cycle.

Due to COVID-19, we are offering a virtual art gallery only at this time.

Interested in learning how to turn your office into a curated art gallery?

Learn more about the DAG Art@Work program, and see how they can help you get started today!

Interested in getting your art displayed in our gallery?

Calls for art are for this exhibit are usually published in June. So keep an eye on Durham Art Guild and Triangle Community Foundation’s websites around that time!