San Clemente, CA – Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, a nonprofit southern California cultural center, will bring the international art scene to south Orange County in spring and summer 2018 with exhibitions from renowned contemporary artists in The Netherlands, Rwanda and Mexico. Both spring exhibitions are part of the institution’s Open Casa gallery program.
“As a premiere Orange County cultural center, Casa Romantica’s artistic values transcend its locale, acting as a window to the world of international arts and culture,” says Executive Director Berenika Schmitz, who is curating both exhibitions. “We are eager to showcase artists from around the world whose work positively reflects and impacts their own communities.”
February 27 – March 16, 2018: Paul van Ernich
Opening reception: Tuesday, February 27 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM; complimentary admission, wine and cheese
Paul van Ernich is a self-taught Dutch painter whose work applies the techniques of the venerable Dutch Old Masters to modern portraits and still-life paintings. His mastery of compositions in oil paint with details so fine that the subjects appear to be tangible, along with moody lighting and a silent atmosphere, has likened his work to examples by Dutch masters Rembrandt and Vermeer.
During a 2013 solo show in TianJin, China, the Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands discovered his work and invited him to be the art ambassador for a major dinner affair in The Hague. Soon afterward, van Ernich participated in a Dutch reality television show where contestants vied to create the best portrait of famous contemporary personalities. With an outstanding portrait of famous pop singer Ilse deLange, he was the series winner. Van Ernich’s paintings are found in private collections in the U.S., France, China, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, and Scotland, as well as in The Netherlands.
For his solo exhibition at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, van Ernich presents 30 oil paintings ranging from intimately-sized portraits to wall-length still life works. Among the subjects shown are timeless themes such fruits, flowers, and home objects in poetic atmospheres. He will display a large portrait of Grace Kelly, as well as portraits of his daughter June and self-portrait studies executed in the highly detailed style of Rembrandt. Based on Old Master techniques, each of the paintings were created by working in thin layers of paint, building up light and shadow over hundreds of hours into luminous compositions.
The artist will fly in from his home in The Netherlands for the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday, February 27, and the public is invited to greet him and learn more about his work.
Event link: https://www.casaromantica.org/event/open-casa-paul-van-ernich/
March 20-April 15, 2018: Emmanuel Nkuranga
Opening reception: Tuesday, March 20 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM; complimentary admission, wine and cheese
Emmanuel Nkuranga is a self-taught painter based in Rwanda. Internationally recognized, Nkuranga’s mixed-media work defines contemporary African art with works that emerge from experimentation to masterpieces created with an unexpected range of materials.
Dedicated to cultivating the talent around him, Nkuranga actively creates opportunities to expand creativity in his community and the world at large. He runs the Inema Art Center in Kigali, Rwanda, which he co-founded with his brother and fellow painter, Innocent Nkurunziza. Inema Art Center is the country’s largest art center and provides space for 14 artists-in-residence annually, with at least 7,000 visitors each year. As the leading source of visual art in Rwanda, Nkuranga and the Inema Art Center have been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, CNN, WIRED, and National Geographic. He is also the founder of ‘Art with a Mission,’ an organization that unlocks orphans’ hidden artistic talents.
He has participated in numerous international group and solo exhibitions in the U.K., the U.S.A., Germany, and Sweden, and his work received commercial acclaim from the Nike Graphic Studio in Portland, Oregon. In 2015, Nkuranga was hosted by the Swedish government to bring art to refugees throughout the country. He has been an artist-in-residence and guest lecturer in undergraduate and graduate art courses at Michigan State University, Scranton University, and University of Virginia.
His solo exhibition at Casa Romantica will include a variety of canvases. Nkuranga’s approach to his subject matter, which includes skylines, figurative work, and abstract patterns, are painted with explosions of color and frenetic brushstrokes. He paints thickly onto his canvases, slicing the surfaces with painter’s tools and pigments to create richly textured compositions.
The artist will fly in from his home in Rwanda for the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday, March 20, and the public is invited to greet him and learn more about his work.
Event link: https://www.casaromantica.org/event/open-casa-emmanuel-nkuranga/
Upcoming: The Art of Baja California
Opening on June 15, 2018, Casa Romantica will present The Art of Baja California. This exhibition is part of Casa Romantica’s Casa Coastal program, an event series that focuses on coastal cultures and heritage. The Art of Baja California will include works by plein air painter Juan Angel Castillo, folk illustrator Esau Andrade Valencia, and sculptor Benito Ortega Vargas. Inspired by Baja California’s rich tradition of art and storytelling, the artists will create new works that explore Mexico’s ‘magic realism’ movement and the folklore of this inimitable locale.
More information about this exhibition will be available soon.
Open Casa series
Casa Romantica’s Open Casa series shares outstanding contemporary and historic art from around the world within its unique gallery space. Most recently, the gallery presented a large selection of historic California Impressionist works from the prominent private collection of Peter and Gail Ochs. Other recent exhibitions include the work of Michael Childers, famous celebrity photographer, a commissioned installation of hanging flora by Rebecca Louise Law which received national press; the work of Italian National Geographic photographer Sandro Santioli, the work of award-winning celebrity photographer Douglas Kirkland, and a three year commitment to the private collection of E. Gene Crain, with oil and watercolor paintings by the California Scene Painters of the 1910s-1960s.
If you go: Admission to the opening reception of Open Casa: Paul van Ernich on February 27 and to Open Casa: Emmaunel Nkuranga on March 20 is complimentary. To RSVP to the opening reception, visit CasaRomantica.org/Calendar or call (949) 498-2139.
During the regular exhibition run, the admission to the gallery is free with $5 general admission to Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens. No advance RSVPs are required for general admission.
About Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens maintains a robust series of year-round programs in arts, music, history, horticulture, and literature for all ages. Under the leadership of Executive Director Berenika Schmitz, Casa Romantica has commissioned several critically-acclaimed works, including Casa Coastal: Rebecca Louise Law (2017; visual art), Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective (2017; contemporary dance), The Beauty of the Butterfly (2017; visual art), Casa Kinetic: Carrie Lee Riggins (2016; contemporary dance), Casa Drama: Slings & Arrows (2015; theater), and Open Casa: The Photographs of Douglas Kirkland (2015; visual art). The 2017-18 Casa Captivating season includes a new jazz series, visual and performing arts commissions, and an enhanced wellness program.
“Casa Romantica strives to be the epicenter for innovative artistic experiences in our southern California community,” says Casa Romantica Executive Director Berenika Schmitz.
Casa Romantica also hosts a variety of free arts education programs for children year-round. The institution’s annual Casa Romantica Music Festival and Academy has received critical praise for its comprehensive two-week music studies program in cello, piano, viola, and violin. Casa Romantica also offers a Summer Dance Workshop, a Spring Break Arts Week, various art, literature, and horticulture events to grades K-12, and welcomes over 2,000 children from the Capistrano Unified School District each year for STEAM-based field trips that examine the history of San Clemente and the coastal environment.
Mission Statement: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is the historic home of the founder of the City of San Clemente. Casa Romantica provides programs for all ages in arts, music, history, and horticulture and is a premier Southern California cultural center.
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is located at 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, CA 92672. Hours: Tuesday—Thursday 11 am—4 pm; Friday—Sunday 10am—2pm; closed Mondays and holidays. General admission is $5; Casa Members and children under age 13 visit for FREE. For more information, call (949) 498-2139 or visit CasaRomantica.org