From gripping paintings to smaller ceramic works, and all that lies in between, Awardart Gallery is gearing up to take guests on a surreal artistic voyage through the works of painter and ceramicist Yonier Powery from April 5-30, with an opening reception on Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
“Journey,” as the show is aptly named, is the gallery’s first solo show and is a short retrospective of Powery’s work since moving to Cayman eight years ago. Awardart Gallery owner Avril Ward chose Powery for the first show due to his obvious talent, and the variety of styles and mediums he works with, including painting, drawing, engraving, sculpture and ceramics.
“Besides the fact that I appreciate and enjoy Yonier’s work, I believe he is a talented, passionate artist, producing works of a consistently high standard,” says Ward. “His artwork is also varied having ceramic sculpture and painting to show. I have known Yonier for many years and have always encouraged him to exhibit his unique work and get it seen.”
Originally from the Isle of Youth, Powery trained at the KSA Cultural Workshop, under the guidance of plastic artist Agustin Villafana, before studying at Wilfredo Lam’s Professional Academy of Visual Arts and graduating with honors in the Specialty of Ceramics in 2003. He uses his life, and all that he encounters, as inspiration for his work.
“Journey” will be Powery’s fourth solo show in Cayman, and he has done five such shows in Cuba. “It is an exciting experience, putting on a solo exhibit when you know that you are the sole artist on display,” he says. He will showcase both new, never displayed before pieces, as well as older favorites, and all works will be for sale at the exhibition.
“For the first time since I started doing art in Cayman, I will be displaying ceramic pieces – a medium which has always been a favorite of mine,” says Powery. “I am pleased to finally be showcasing my ceramics since I have had the privilege of creating these sculptures here. Many of the paintings [in the show] are new works with different methods of media.”
As its name suggests, the show will be a journey through Powery’s art since his arrival on island in 2010, with artistic representations of things which have captured his interest since then. “My experiences in Cayman and reminders of life back in Cuba have fueled the inspiration behind the works that will be featured.”
Works featured include “Slow Fade,” a thought-provoking 62” x 65” mixed media piece; “Captain’s Jar,” a functional and decorative ceramic piece; and “Low Tide,” a ceramic piece portraying a soldier crab, fisherman and a grounded boat called Lucy – a reference to an important person in the artist’s life; as well as many other works sure to intrigue and delight Cayman’s art aficionados.
Awardart Gallery opened its doors in Caymanian Village in late 2017 and provides art lovers and collectors with a lovingly and knowledgably curated space in which to view, buy and discuss local art. The space is quite a unique concept on-island, as the gallery is connected to, and shares space with, Absolutely Fabulous and Deep Blue Images, creating a beautifully combined showroom, studio and gallery.
Artwork on display changes regularly, and Ward hopes to hold at least two solo shows a year at the gallery. Interested artists are welcome to approach her if they are interested in doing a one or two man show. If successful, they will work closely with Ward as curator. “I think affording the artist a professional gallery space with good lighting and a hanging system to best show off, and sell their work, is a much-needed service in Cayman,” says Ward.