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“People of Homestead” to be on Display

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Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2019 9:43 pm | Updated: 8:54 am, Wed Jan 30, 2019.

In one measure of success of the restored Seminole Theatre, attendees recently passed the 65,000 mark. The Showcase Series brings varied entertainment from headline singers to amazing acrobats and numerous local or regional performances draw fans.

In other cases, special events are held, and for the past few years, the walls have been devoted to “The Artist in the Spotlight” program created by Homestead’s then Vice-Mayor Stephen Shelley. In support of the program, the non-profit organization, Seminole Cultural Arts Theatre, Inc., (often referred to as Friends of the Seminole), had a special hanging system installed to allow for gallery-quality display. The range of art in exhibits rotates every two months and has delighted viewers.

The upcoming, engaging “People of Homestead”, will have its own unique an aspectd is the work of Homestead artists Susan Sorrentino, Carlos Franco, and William Bunce.

Sorrentino received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) from the University of Florida, has also lived in New York, and traveled throughout the United States as an outdoor art festival artist for 30 years. She’s always loved the agriculture area of Homestead and after retiring here two years ago, the award-winning artist was featured at the Seminole Theatre in 2017 with her "Homestead Harvest" show. Collaboration with the two other artists to bring the mixed medium show of, “People of Homestead” is a follow-on concept. For her, “It seemed logical to pull together this small group of artists to create this show for the community. The diversity of the people who live here and call this home is overwhelming and inspirational.”

Franco, also a previously featured Artist in the Spotlight, is well-known for his award-winning portraits. He and his wife, Natalie Prieto, established the not-for-profit Children’s Gallery and Art Center which was originally located on Krome Avenue and later moved to Cauley Square. Franco studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Guayaquil, Equador, Mercy College in New York City, and Miami-

Dade Community College. He paints daily and conducts classes for all ages as well as exhibits throughout the region. Last year, he intrigued attendees during a Homestead Center for the Arts Lunchtime Lecture when he chose an individual to sit for him and in just over an hour, painted the portrait as he explained his techniques and responded to questions.

William Bunce, the award-winning professional photographer of the trio, is currently the photographer at the Department of Veteran Affairs in Miami. In 2008 he received his BFA in photography from the University of South Alabama and then taught as an instructor for basic and advanced photography at the University of Mobile. His work has been published in websites,

magazines, and newspapers nation-wide. His series this year of Vietnam Veteran portraits serves to represent the multiple generations of veterans within our communities.

In the words of Sorrentino, “The emphasis is more on who we are rather than what we look like. We are field workers, we are horse trainers, we are natives of the Everglades, and even venture out into the black night to capture pythons!”

All three artists are members of Homestead Center for the Arts. Sorrentino and Bunce each have a page in the Artists Gallery of http://homesteadcenterforthearts.com and Franco can be found at their gallery website of childrensgalleryartscenter.org

“People of Homestead” opens Friday February 1, 2019 and runs through the end of March. A “Meet the Artist” reception is scheduled Thursday February 28, 2019; 6:00-8:00 p.m.

There is no charge for the exhibits or receptions. The Artist in the Spotlight shows provide theatre-goers with the additional dimension of visual arts as they can enjoy the exhibits before or after performances.

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