An exhibition of artwork by Cranston-based painter Rebecca Flores called Nature, Nurture, Hope is currently on display at the Atrium Gallery on the main floor of the state’s Administration Building, One Capitol Hill, Providence. The exhibit, which closes on Sept 17, also features art works by Flores’ son Joshua Elijah Amado.
On viewing the installation at the state’s gallery, which is managed by the RI State Council on the Arts (RISCA), Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the state’s arts agency, said, “We are proud to present this work by artist Rebecca Flores and her son in the Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill. The art is strong, but it also helps us understand and address these difficult and highly emotional times. I hope Rhode Islanders make a point to visit this exhibition in our state’s gallery space.”
About the exhibit, Flores said: Nature, Nurture, Hope: A different kind of mental health was created by me in 2013, at my home studio in Cranston, in an effort to precipitate behavior that generates a dysfunctional amount of emotion and approach, as well as encourage a deeper understanding of learning some mental and emotional self-defense that can be very empowering. This can offer the mental and emotional fitness to allow people to function at levels they want to and are capable of. The exhibition includes contents and makeup that is part of the formula for feelings that is simply easy to learn tools that are important and should be employed in our daily lives. Tools that teach our young people and adults that things do go wrong in our life, that no matter what happens we should control our thoughts that affect our environment, the benefits of health, understand how it protects us, and to what extent we should get involved.”
Artist Statement: Painting is my key to the secret of my spirit, my way of freedom, my communication feeling torn between two cultures. The images I create are a therapeutic process of artmaking revealing stories of spiritual truth with the movement of how my life has manifested into what I truly believe in as a second-generation Puerto Rican born in New York City. Change can exist through the arts in any shape or form. My art has helped me convey acceptance and acculturate the willing to raise awareness using methods creative to the eye that spells out and articulates in detail how the world is being Nuyorican; what is taking place and how we as a society still need further evidence of expression through the world of art genres in order to notice the significance of trust, hope, and belief. A balance surrounding my two worlds while being a Puertorriqueña.
Rebecca Flores has been a painter since the age of 10, and has achieved one of her childhood dreams of owning and operating her own gallery, located in Onset, Mass. Art lovers of all genres have long been collecting her works in the United States and throughout Puerto Rico. In 2014, during a juried exhibition at the Newport Art Museum, she won First Prize/Best Painting entitled Romancing, part of her Mental Health collection – Nature, Nurture, Hope: A different kind of mental health. Currently, Rebecca has a master’s degree in psychology and a certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in expressive arts from Salve Regina University. She mentors high school students and works with women and underprivileged youth as a Therapeutic Artist and Poet in hopes of improving and enhancing their physical, emotional, social and psychological awareness. She is surrounding herself with knowledge and wisdom in the area of her culture on Puerto Rican literature.
After tragically losing her 18-year-old daughter Natasha Love Gonsalves in 2008 through a senseless act of teen violence, she decided to forge ahead with her passion, and her mission to inspire and empower her audience by helping them realize their faith, vision, and energy to believe.
She is the creator of the word “SerLieve “– she started with the English word, “believe” and the Spanish word, “Ser.” She took the English suffix of believe, “lieve,” which means willing, and incorporated it with the Spanish word “Ser,” meaning to be, she thoughtfully developed and created the word “SerLieveTM.” In her world of inspiration, “SerLieveTM means to be willing to exist with Spiritual confidence, trust, and vitality and accept experiences meant for discovering ourselves.”
Using her aspiration to continue her inspiration, SerLieve Apparel Designs – her art on clothing was born. Flores is the Founder of The Natasha Love Foundation for non-violence, a non-profit organization established in her daughter’s memory. For more information visit: www.rebeccafloresartist.com.
Joshua Elijah Amado was born in Rhode Island in 1998. Joshua became fascinated with drawing and building at age 6. At age 13, he embarked on a journey and established his tie-dye t-shirt business (The Joosh Crew), along with creating the characters and logo. A business that promotes health and wellness, education and learning, friendship and anti-bullying. A venture he took on after his sister Natasha Love Gonsalves was taken due to an act of teen violence. Joshua is big on the art of nutrition and wellness. Presently, Joshua has begun to acknowledge his character enjoyment of life. He is applying his wisdom in painting abstracts as a pastime, a deep-rooted self-awareness experience in hopes it will take him to another level in reinventing himself making his dreams a reality. He is the ambassador for The Natasha Love Foundation-Nonviolence Through the Arts. Joshua has been honored with numerous accolades from state officials in Rhode Island for his contribution to community service, educating and encouraging young people to strive for self-discovery fostering hope, respect for oneself, and one’s community in peaceful, healthy ways. His email is: Joshamado38th@gmail.com.
What: Nature, Nurture, Hope by Rebecca Flores with works by her son, Joshua Elijah Amado
When: Open to the public, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through September 17.
Where: The Atrium Gallery, first floor of the state administration building, One Capitol Hill, Providence
Read more about The Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill.