On Sunday, March 13 from 10-11:30 am, the Tucson Jewish Community Center will host its monthly Second Sundays art event with the opening of Ken Tesoriere’s “American Citizen Portrait Series” in the Fine Art Gallery. In addition to the 30 large fine art paintings, the show will feature live music indoors in the Gallery and outside in the Sculpture Garden.
Originally from Manhattan, New York, Tesoriere’s art career spans decades; his abstract and expressionist paintings have been shown in Barcelona, Berlin, Malaga, Prague, New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and galleries throughout Tucson, including at the J.
“American Citizen Portrait Series” began in 2016 as an artistic engagement to counter distortions that political factions were, and still are, disseminating about the genuine intentions and integrity of the majority of immigrants applying for entry at America’s Borders.
Tesoriere believes that we should forge bonds to establish common ground and communal connections with others, not become more insular by demonizing others and putting up barriers. In more than 20 years spent living in Tucson, the artist says he has never, “witnessed immigrants who arrived to integrate into our society being randomly violent, or irrationally drug-crazed, as the continual false political narratives portray them,” instead, most often, they are, “dignified, hard-working, and family-oriented people like most Americans, who, except for Native Americans, have all arrived here as immigrants at some point.”
The portraits in the series, which convey both the appearance and the feel of the lives being represented, portray how different cultures bring their unique customs – in foods, clothing, cultural and religious beliefs – to enrich the lives of the communities they enter.
Through the use of a light source focused intentionally on a painted subject, Tesoriere’s portraits engage with facial features particular to individuals, bringing out their unique essential physical characteristics, and allowing viewers to more easily perceive the subject’s underlying personalities. As one Los Angeles art critic aptly noted, “Mr. Tesoriere’s paintings consistently display vital interplays by using simplified lines interweaving with vibrant complementary colors that, together, create emotional energies which deftly impact viewers.”
The event is free and open to the public. The work will be on display in the J’s Fine Art Gallery through May
About the Tucson J:
Together with the greater Tucson community, the Tucson Jewish Community Center (the J) creates opportunities for people from all faiths, identities, abilities, and walks of life to connect, grow, and learn together. Located off of East River Road in Tucson, the J is a vibrant non-profit community center that serves over 5,000 members on its 110,000 square-foot facility with programs ranging from arts and culture, sports and wellness, and children and family. The J is committed to serving the community by offering a robust schedule of events that reach people at all stages of their lives. Learn more at tucsonjcc.org.