The Wellington Art Society will meet Wednesday, Jan. 8 at the Wellington Community Center (12165 W. Forest Hill Blvd.) featuring guest speaker Rolando Chang Barrero, who will talk about his life, his work and the role of the artist as an activist.
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. with time for socializing. The general meeting begins at 7 p.m. Guests are welcome for a $5 fee. There will also be a raffle with proceeds going to the Wellington Art Society Scholarship Fund.
Barrero began his career in the late 1970s as a graphic designer creating trendy T-shirts. In the late 1980s, he worked as an arts writer and in galleries. In 1991, he returned home to South Beach, where he established his first gallery, the Ground Level on Lincoln Road, with fellow artist Jenny Person. During this time he also exhibited throughout the U.S., and traveled through Europe, Latin America and Asia. His career was interrupted abruptly in 1994 when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
While the remainder of the 1990s were spent confronting medical issues, Barrero returned to the art world in 2008 as a freelance photographer in Austin, Texas, working on a documentary series of nightlife images. In 2009, Barrero returned to South Beach before moving north to Palm Beach County, where he opened AcitivistArtistA Studio & Gallery and established the Boynton Beach Art District.
“Since opening my gallery in a run-down industrial park in 2012, my dream was to develop the area into an art district and cultural center,” he said. “It has taken only two years to do so. Now that it has been cleaned up, repainted and nationally branded, it’s ready to be presented to the arts world.
Barrero’s most recent effort is ArtSynergy, a countywide movement to unify and promote the diverse culture of the vibrant arts community. A coordinated, five-day event Jan. 23-28 will include more than 60 galleries, studios, nonprofit art exhibition institutions and museums in six art districts throughout Palm Beach County.
Barrero will discuss the symbolism behind the imagery in his work and the influences that the Art Brut movement has had on his work. He will also have some of his work available for purchase.
As always, the evening is for artists and art lovers to hear about all of the exciting projects and initiatives that the art society is involved in and to find out how to participate.
The Wellington Art Society is a nonprofit organization. Its mission is to educate and encourage originality and productivity among its members and area youth.