Annie Arroyo : Mi Alegria del Arte
Meet Annie and Frida!
JUNE 4th - 14th 2023
Brought To You By : CAfED
The COLLECTIVE ARTISTS for ETHNIC DIVERSITY, INC.
It was a magical experience for dozens of visitors who spent 90 minutes and more viewing beautiful artwork created by porcelain doll designer/mix media artist. Annie Arroyo’s first solo exhibit created by CAfED was held Sunday, June 4th-14th.
Annie shares her work at Mi Alegria de Arte
Annie Arroyo is a unique latina artist well known and deeply appreciated by innovative porcelain doll collectors, high fashion set designers, Frieda Kahlo fans, graphic and mixed media artists from New York City to the Canary Islands.
She was born of Puerto Rican parents on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Annie attended the High School of Art & Design. Her major was children's book illustration.
She continued her education at Pratt Institute and received her BFA degree in illustration/graphic design. She worked successfully in the commercial field for 16 years.
Later in years she pursued her goal of achieving her master's degree in porcelain doll making and went on to open her own doll making business. Due to health issues, Annie took some time to rest and devote quality time with her high school sweetheart and now beloved husband.
After recuperating, Annie returned back to the art world with a vengeance by creating beautiful art for Macy's, Henri Bendel, Saks, NBC studio and the amazing contemporary fashion designer Stacey Bendet of Alice & Olivia.
An Interview by Ann Goodman Lieb
I have had the pleasure of interviewing multi- talented artist Annie Arroyo, several times, as her artwork was shown in CAFED’s gallery shows before.
Recently, I spoke to her again during her one-woman art show. I had jotted down some questions to ask, the first notably, about the Latin artists' fascination with Frida Kahlo in their artwork. Annie considers Frida Kahlo (who was born in Mexico) as one of her four muses, and featured her in many acrylic paintings, mixed media shadow boxes, fiber art, paintings on canvas, hand painted jackets, and more.
“I threw my love into art,” Annie explained. “It saved me so many times when I had various illnesses."
“I threw my love into art,” Annie explained. “It saved me so many times when I had various illnesses.
I always saw many similarities between Frida Kahlo and myself. Whenever I was depressed, I would see a different aspect of her to paint.
Color made her happy. And I love color. She was a rebel. And I am a rebel. “
"She was a rebel. And I am a rebel!"
“I always feature her hair and the adornments she wore in her hair,” shared Annie. “To me – that shows the state of her brain. Flowers in her hair signifies when she was most happy. Butterflies – when she was flustered. The big red adornment in her hair covered the pain and anguish of something gone awry out there in her external world.”
Flowers signifies when she was happy.
Butterflies – when she was flustered.
The big red adornment in her hair ...
... covered the pain and anguish of something gone awry out there in her external world.
Connecting with Frida's Quotes About Love
While Frida Kahlo’s 10- year marriage to artist Diego Rivera was filled with drama and turmoil- and Annie hated the idea that Frida let a man run her life- I discovered exquisite quotes written by Frida about love, including the following:
“I wanted to tell you that my whole being opened for you. Since I fell in love with you everything is transformed and is full of beauty … Love is like an aroma, like a current, like rain.”
“Your word travels the entirety of space and reaches my cells which are my stars, then goes to yours which are my light.”
These tender sentiments describe the loving bond Annie has with her husband of forty- three years, Anibel Arroyo.
Annie said, “We are both of Puerto Rican descent and grew up on the Lower East Side. We are like little kids together. He is so supportive. I was 17 when I met him. While attending art school, I was a cashier in a supermarket, and my co-worker mentioned her brother to me. At the time, I was the only person who wore vintage clothing. Well, one day her brother walked in and he was wearing a vintage jacket. I knew he was special.”
CAfED offers artists from traditionally marginalized backgrounds,
THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOWCASE THEIR WORK
... while inspiring young creatives to explore art as an expression of their own identities.
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