The odds are very good that you have already seen Yonier Powery’s work, and although you may not have noted the name on the painting, you will remember how colorful it was and how it grabbed your attention.
You may have seen his pieces hanging in The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman gallery; at Grand Old House; or in Artifacts on the waterfront.
He is opening a new exhibit at Full of Beans in Pasadora Place on Aug. 2, his third at that location, called “Life Flow.” It will feature a few of his older works, but will mainly comprise new paintings that have not been seen.
The Cuban-born artist with Caymanian roots grew up in the Isle of Pines, and knew from an early age what interested him.
“When I was six years old, I said to my mother ‘I think I want to be an artist,’” said Powery.
In 1999 he began a four-year course of study at the Wilfredo Lam Professional Academy of Visual Arts, where he learned about all media, including painting and sculpture.
“It was a very demanding school,” he recalled. “There was lots of work, and if you didn’t finish each year with a high degree, you were out.
“I learned a lot, and although I was glad when it was finished, I appreciated the high standards we were kept to.”
He graduated with a specialty in ceramics, but actually prefers painting with acrylics. It was only when he came to Cayman six years ago that his creativity really flourished.
His grandfather was Caymanian, but had moved to the Isle of Pines many years ago from Cayman. When Powery was old enough, he told his father that he wanted to see the place he came from. Once he moved here, he found that the surroundings inspired him and really helped him focus on his art.
“I like surreal paintings,” he explained, “so I take the elements around me and make a sort of collage.”
“I love the sea, but I get seasick [laughs], so I paint it instead.”
When asked which other local artists he admires, he mentions Avril Ward and Laurel Schmid as two of his favorites. As far as his own work is concerned, he is often his harshest critic.
“As an artist, I always want to improve,” he said. “I’m never satisfied and I keep trying to take my skill to the next level.”
His dream is to see his creations hanging in a London gallery.
For more information on this artist, see www.yonierpowery.com. The opening of “Life Flow” is on Aug. 2 from 5:30-7 p.m.