Johnny Irizarry will display his artistic intuition at his solo exhibition “Experience is Foundation.” The cultural worker, educator, and director of community centers is presenting his recent exploration on creative landscapes at Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia from August 13th through September, 30th 2021.
The artist´s work in the region spans decades; from teaching university students at Temple, LaSalle, and Penn to running community programming at Lighthouse, serving on advisory boards, as a consultant, and working for the School District of Philadelphia. In the 1990s he served as Executive Director of Taller Puertorriqueño.
Irizarry has supported, fostered, and inspired many young and emerging artists. In this, his first show after retiring from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as long-time director of La Casa Latina, Irizarry is presenting his newest works in photography, painting, collage, and sculpture. Many of them were created during the COVID-19 lockdowns and unrest surrounding the death of George Floyd.
Works address violence, including a sculptural mixed-media work 8 Minutes, 46 Seconds, in honor of George Floyd. Other works like Forgotten Goddesses and Gods, Waiting, mix wood, charms, and verdant faux-foliage, reflect on humanity’s impact on nature. Irizarry’s paintings use the symbolism and style of traditional folk tales, expressed in the powerful language of surrealism and mixed-media collage. In his photographs, Irizarry explores everything from urban abstract musings, to youth and local social justice issues.
Irizarry´s Reception and Celebration of his exhibition will take place at Taller Puertorriqueño on September 10 from 5:30 to 8 pm. The reception will be open to the public.
Time: Then and Now
Taller’s current executive director, Carmen Febo-San Miguel will host a panel conversation, titled Conversation with Carmen and Johnny: Ayer y Hoy / Then and Now.
The irony of the timing will be discussed as well as its serendipity, the history of Taller, its role in Philadelphia and Johnny’s and Carmen’s impressions of the past and the future, for both themselves and for Taller. The panel conversation will be a hybrid virtual & in-person event and it will take place September 25 at 3:00 pm.