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    Culture Presents the National Plastic Arts Award 2015 to José Cestero
    Fernando Villalona to Reflect on His Life, Music at New York Dominican Get Together

    Culture Presents the National Plastic Arts Award 2015 to José Cestero
    Santo Domingo, April 7, 2016

    The Ministry of Culture (MINC) presented the National Plastic Arts Award for the year 2015 to painter José Cestero for his renowned artistic values in the national visual arts and for his prominent international career.

    The ceremony took place in the Museum of Modern Art and it was presided over by the Minister of Culture, José Antonio Rodríguez, who presented the award and a cash prize of 750,000 pesos to maestro José Cestero.

    In his speech at the award ceremony, Minister Rodríguez said that José Cestero, who is a fellow compatriot who was born in the capital city, "has been able to honor his birthplace."

    "His paintings of the Colonial City, a place where he sets a wandering Don Quixote in a brilliant work of art that won him praise, refer to him in a aloud voice as an avant-garde painter that is in front of us, who is in love with its streets, its centuries-old monuments, and the location where he was born," he added.

    He defined Cestero as a painter who observes to recreate, with masterful talent, the universe. "His characters, to which he pays tribute in more than one exhibit, emerge from multiple realities and periods."

    Art critic Marianne de Tolentino, director of the National Gallery of Fine Arts, read Cestero’s biography. She emphasized that the artist has been a tireless worker and that he has some 50 group exhibitions and more than 30 solo exhibitions to his credit. His works are part of national and international public and private collections in Mexico, France, England, Spain, Puerto Rico, the United States, Canada, Montreal and the Dominican Republic.

    Upon receiving the 2015 National Plastic Arts Award, Cestero thanked the Minister of Culture and the selection jury for the honor. The Selection Committee was chaired by Minister José Antonio Rodríguez, who was accompanied by María Elena Ditrén, director of the Museum of Modern Art; Marianne de Tolentino, director of the National Gallery of Fine Arts; and, Gamal Michelén, president of the Dominican Association of Art Critics (ADCA).

    In addition, Clinton López, president of the Colegio de Artistas Plásticos (CODAP); María Amalia León de Jorge, director of the Eduardo León Jimenes Foundation; Mildred Canahuate, president of the Association of Art Galleries; Myrna Guerrero, director of the Bellapart Museum, and Abil Peralta, coordinator of the Technical Unit of Culture at the House of Representatives and prominent cultural advisor.

    In awarding the prize to Cestero, the Selection Committee stressed that he deserves the highest award that the Dominican State confers in the field of plastic arts for his undisputed artistic presence in the arts, his ongoing commitment to the Dominican visual creation and for creating masterpieces of the Dominican plastic arts imaginary, which have become milestones in the country’s visual arts production.

    Then, a video of the life and work of the artist, who was born in 1937 in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was screened. He began his painting studies at the National School of Fine Arts (ENBA) in 1954, where he was a student of maestros Joseph Fulop, Gilberto Hernández Ortega and José Gausachs. Later he traveled to the United States and upon his return he joined the avant-garde artistic movement Art and Liberation that had been created by Silvano Lora and other outstanding plastic artists.

    The Dominican Republic’s National Plastic Arts Award is the highest recognition bestowed by the State to an artist for his/her career and contributions to the advancement of the national art. This important award was established by Decree 278-93 of October 12, 1993.

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