Thirty pieces of art - paintings, ceramics, and sculpture - from the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art are on loan to the official residence of the new Ambassador to the U.S. from the European Union, Stavros Lambrinidis, and his wife Phoebe Kapouano. Among the curated collection selected by the Ambassador’s wife are four paintings by Rene Alvarado whose career the gallery and our collectors have supported since 1999.
Months of planning went into the details. Kapouano reviewed dozens of pieces and selected works from the 1920s to the present, representing a range of styles - surrealism, minimalism, American regionalism, and impressionism.
On June 12th, the work arrived at the residence and a team from the museum led by Director Howard Taylor began the installation. Rene Alvarado’s large painting, Horse in Open Landscapes, was placed on a prominent wall facing the entrance to the living area. It is a subject that collectors will immediately recognize as Alvarado imagery: a white horse stands in a color field, offset by a gray sky and ocean surf. The horse’s coat is embossed with golden mesh and the artist’s signature flower is clutched in the horse’s mouth.
Why did the EU Ambassador focus on the collection of a small museum in West Texas? It all began with “neighborly diplomacy.” The idea was first proposed by Mario Castillo, a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, a native of San Angelo, supporter of SAMFA, and the Ambassador’s neighbor.
Lambrinidis decided to do something a bit different and enthusiastically supported the project of hosting Texas art. “Very often we go around the country telling people (in my case), why they should like Europe — why Europe is important to you. But I wanted to send a different message: why Europe likes the U.S., and why Europe likes particularly Texas.”
So, the small West Texas Museum and the artists whose work is showcased in the EU Ambassador’s residence are engaging in their own form of diplomacy. “Their names originate from Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain… In many ways for those artists being exhibited at the EU residence in Washington is like returning home,” Lambrinidis said.
Congratulations, Rene, from Gallery Shoal Creek and all your collectors!
A full-length article about this art installation can be found online.
Recent work by Rene Alvarado is on view at Korman Jewelry, a joint exhibition hosted by Gallery Shoal Creek and the Korman team. Contact Judith Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a private tour and viewing.