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    Jury Selects Maestro José Cestero as the Winner of the National Plastic Arts Award
    Fernando Villalona to Reflect on His Life, Music at New York Dominican Get Together

    Jury Selects Maestro José Cestero as the Winner of the National Plastic Arts Award
    Santo Domingo, January 14, 2016

    Artist José Cestero was selected Thursday as the National Visual Arts Award 2015, by a jury that was chaired by the Minister of Culture, singer and song writer José Antonio Rodríguez.

    The jury met at the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture (MINC). Maestro Cestero was chosen unanimously by the eleven members of the jury, who after the vote gave a standing ovation. Afterwards, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Carlos Santos, spoke by phone with the artist, to inform him that he had been selected as the recipient of the important annual award given by the MINC.

    "I think I deserved this award." As a coincidence, Cestero had been in the vicinity of the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture and decided to come in person to celebrate the occasion. "I feel like the way I did when I presented my first solo exhibition," said Cestero when he reached the hall where the jury was meeting. By that time, Minister Rodríguez had left to fulfill other official commitments, but left a message for the artist to create a self-portrait of the moment that he was living. "I think I deserved this award, because I have been dabbling in the arts since 1950; I started at the age of 14 and to this day I have not stopped," said the artist to the jury. "For me it is an honor that you have selected me for this important award, I feel like this is the first time I am being recognized," he said.

    Remembering Maestro Ramón Oviedo The renowned painter took the opportunity to remember a distinguished Dominican visual artist, Maestro Ramón Oviedo, who is now deceased. "When he started visiting my workshop, Ramón (Oviedo) left advertising; when he started working in my studio he devoted himself to painting," he recalled. Cestero took the opportunity to urge young painters not to depend so much on the Internet and to become more creative. "I still carry my drawing book; it has been my partner for many years," said Maestro Cestero.

    The Selection Jury The selection jury, chaired by Minister Rodríguez, included the Deputy Minister of Culture, Carlos Santos; the Director of the Museum of Modern Art, María Elena Ditrén; the Director of the ministerial cabinet, Carlos Salcedo; the Director of the National Gallery of Fine Arts, Marianne de Tolentino; and, Gamal Michelén, President of the Dominican Association of Art Critics (ADCA for its acronym in Spanish). In addition, Clinton López, President of the Association of Plastic Artists (CODAP); María Amalia León de Jorge, Director of the Eduardo León Jimenes Foundation; Mildred Canahuate, President of the Galleries Association; Myrna Guerrero, Director of the Bellapart Museum, and Abil Peralta, Coordinator of the Technical Unit of Culture in the House of Representatives/Cultural Adviser. Maestro José Cestero was born in Santo Domingo in 1937. He is a sketcher and painter, and studied at the National School of Fine Arts, from where he graduated in 1954. The National Plastic Arts Award is given each year to a teacher of visual arts in our country, in recognition of his/her career and contributions to the development of national art.

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    The Minister of Culture, José Antonio Rodríguez, at the meeting.

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    José Cestero

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    José Cestero, National Arts Award; Carlos Salcedo, head of the ministerial cabinet; Carlos Santos, Deputy Minister of Institutional Development; María Elena Ditrén, Director of the Museum of Modern Art, and Marianne de Tolentino, Director of the National Gallery of Fine Arts.

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    Members of the jury.

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