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Paint and Paper! Conexiones: Exchanges Across Cultures with Art


Our summer series, Conexiones: Exchanges Across Cultures, concludes with a small showcase and demonstration by Latin American artists Sunday, August 16, at 2:30 p.m. Try your hands at collage and mask-making. We’ll provide the paint and paper; all you have to bring is a willingness to try.

Artists Francisco Gonzalez and Nico Amortegui will lead the sessions.

We caught up with Nico to ask him a few questions about his work, the role of art in building connections, and his hope for the program:

NicoTell us a little about you. Where are you from, how long have you lived in Charlotte? What got you started in art?

I am from Bogota, Colombia. I have been living in NC for about 15 years. I started painting as a means for income after the economy turned down and I had no more construction jobs happening. I had a lot of experience in photography and building and design, but painting was always a part of those things in some fashion, so it materialized and I acted upon it. 

How has your background shaped the sort of art that you do?

I have a background in many job skill sets - as most immigrants do. I had to do a lot of different jobs to make a living and all of them allowed me to see and understand the struggles of humankind. My work is about real life and my subjects are most often real people who have crossed my path or touched my life one way or another. 

In your opinion, why is art a useful tool to helping people learn more about one another?

Well, art can be seen in everything – clothing, literature, technology, architecture, even down to the tools you use in your kitchen. You could say that art is what holds us together in a way. Art is what makes us and shapes us in many ways whether we realize it or not. 

What are you most looking forward to with the Conexiones: Art program on August 16?

To connect. To be a part of a creation that connects us by using our imagination. For a brief moment, I will be the conductor of dreams and creativity of others and that is amazing to me. 

To learn more about Nico, visit

More information on Francisco Gonzalez can be found at 

Conexiones: Exchanges across Cultures is FREE to attend but you must register at