Tucson abstract artist Carlos Ramirez had always admired the renowned Gebert Contemporary Art Gallery in Old Town and dreamed of showing his art there someday.
“Gebert is one of the nicest galleries around the country and it's a gallery I've always wanted to be part of,” Ramirez said.
“I also don't have any representation anywhere in the whole southwest or mountain region, so it's a good base to have representation in especially since moved to Tucson about two years ago.”
His dream quickly transcended into a reality when Ramirez received a direct message on Instagram from Gebert Contemporary Art Gallery Director William Lykins stating he admired his work and he should pop by the gallery sometime soon.
Honored by the request, Ramirez made the trek up the I-10 and met with Lykins to discuss the potential of having an exhibition at the gallery.
After Lykins made a trip down south to check out Ramirez’s Tucson gallery, the talks began to escalate.
Eventually, a decision was made to exhibit a collection of works inspired by landscapes Ramirez found while riding his bike around his new city of residence.
“I get my inspiration from the world around me. I go hiking a lot and I also am a cyclist, so I spend a lot of time cycling and I keep my phone right on top of my bike so if I want to take a picture, it's just super easy,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez used the photos as inspiration to create abstract works that invoked the emotion he felt while gazing at the landscapes.
“I used to be more of a representational painter where I would draw literally what you're seeing, but over the years, I felt that that doesn't really capture what I want to capture.
"I wanted to capture a little bit of the emotion in that I kind of get that from just being outdoors,” he said.
However, it wasn’t just the landscapes that fascinated him.
He also became particularly enamored with the older homes that he discovered in the historic neighborhoods of Tucson.
What ensued was “Stories From Neighborhood Walks” abstract evergreen images of landscapes that capture the scenes Ramirez captured over the span of two years.
“They’re not specific to Tucson even though it is called ‘Stories From Neighborhood Walks’,” Ramirez said.
He says this is best exemplified by one of the six works he has in the show titled “Moonlight Block,” which tells the tale of nightly strolls he takes from his downtown Tucson residence to an ice cream parlor he frequents with his wife.
“We live in an area of town where there aren't a lot of lights and we like to walk a couple of miles to an ice cream shop where we get gelato,” Ramirez said.
“Walking back at night, we’re surrounded by basically the shadow of the trees up against the moonlit sky which is quite beautiful, he continued.
"Those are the things that I'm referring to in the works, which makes them not specific to Tucson as much as they are to the western landscape.”
The six works, which opened last week will be on display through April 5.
If You Go:
Carlos Ramirez: “Stories From Neighborhood Walks”
When: Through April 5
Where: Gebert Contemporary Art Gallery, 7160 Main St., Scottsdale
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