Venezuelan artist exhibits paintings

By Rocio Lopez

Scenic paintings of colonial architecture, beaches and faraway lands come to NIU at the hands of Deborah Levy.

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Venezuelan artist Deborah Levy’s exhibit in the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies will run through Oct. 15.

“We are very excited. She’s an excellent artist,” said Carrie Anderson, office manager for the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. “[A] good representation of Latino art.”

Levy, born in Istanbul, Turkey, lived in Austria and Israel before finally settling in Venezuela where she became a fashion designer and an interior designer.

Five years ago, Levy walked away from a career and dedicated herself to painting. Her works have been displayed in galleries in Chicago, New York City, Miami, Indianapolis, Tel-Aviv, Curacao, Caracas and Bogota.

“There is a depth in her work,” said Sylvia Fuentes, director of the Latino Resource Center. “You never get tired of looking at [the paintings].”

The 28 paintings depict several parts of the world including Venezuela, Israel and the United States.

While attending the Taste of Chicago, Levy spotted a little girl and asked to borrow a camera to photograph her.

“When I was taking her picture, she was so concentrated in reading her book and listening to the jazz music that was playing. When she turned her head to look at me, she looked very surprised,” Levy said. “I liked the way she was looking.”

That moment was captured in her painting titled “Melody’s in Black and White.”

Levy has not had any formal training in painting, although she has participated in various classes with curators and other artists.

Because she never took a formal class, she was able to develop her own unique style, Levy said.

Levy has worked on murals and her paintings include oil on canvas, watercolors and acrylics and has heard her work described as a mix of defined lines and sculpture-like quality. In 2003 she was named an Honorary Mayor of the city of Franklin, Indiana for her work on a mural.

“I feel honored,” Levy said. “It’s a very special occasion.”

Fuentes contacted the artist to participate in the Hispanic Heritage Month.

“My philosophy in life is to open every present,” Levy said.

The exhibit is open to the public and the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies also exhibits work from students. Work does not need to be of Latin interest to be displayed. For more information, contact Sylvia Fuentes at 815-753-1987.