University News
For Immediate Release: 
Mar 29 2004

Concord Art Prof to Exhibit at Charlotte, N.C., Gallery

Athens, W.Va. – Fernando Porras’ art work is inspired by jungle colors, innocent children and tiny fish that swim in the brackish waters of his native Venezuela.

He is bringing a new collection of works to the Noel Gallery in Charlotte, N.C., in an effort to share the story, and the plight, some may say, of the Waro people who live in the jungles of Venezuela. A reception will be held Friday, April 2, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The show will be open to the general public beginning Saturday, April 3 through Saturday, May 29. Noel Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

He focuses on painting the children who inhabit a dense, tropical forest in the delta of the Orinoco River, in northeastern Venezuela. The children, typically dark-skinned with large brown eyes, have inspired the painter with their innocence, beauty and mystery. They belong to the gentle tribe of the Warauno people. Like many other indigenous groups of the South American rainforest, their civilization is being shattered by the constant exploitation of the area.

More than 14 paintings will be on exhibition, including works that continue his “Hidden Series,” with faces that are hidden in brush strokes, and large paintings that are presented in sections.

Growing up in Maturín, Venezuela, Fernando Porras exhibited his portraits and landscapes in juried shows with artists from Venezuela and the Caribbean islands before entering college in the United States in 1979. He studied art at Santa Fe College, Gainesville, Fla., and the University of Florida, in Gainesville, where he won awards in art and photography. In 1984 he returned to Venezuela where he began frequenting the delta of the Orinoco River and painting the indigenous Warauno people he had grown to love when he was a child.

In 1992 Mr. Porras started exhibiting his work on the Warauno people in the United States. He has shown his works in Washington, D.C., Florida, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Mr. Porras' lectures about his paintings on the Warauno people include presentations at Discovery Place Nature Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, Concord College, where he received his Bachelor’s degree, and Radford University, where he received his Master of Fine Arts degree. Mr. Porras currently works for the Division of Fine Arts at Concord College.

His work is included in both public and corporate collections in the United States and abroad, including the Discovery Place Nature Museum, Avensa-Venezuelan Airlines, and Santa Fe College.

Regarding Porras’ 1999 show in Charlotte, Noel Gallery President, CEO and Manager, B.E. Noel, stated that, “It was the most successful exhibition the gallery ever had. Every single ‘Hidden Series’ painting sold.”

The Noel Gallery is located at 401 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, N.C.

For information about the Noel Gallery, call 1-704-343-0050, or log on to http://www.noelgallery.com/.

For information about the artist or show, contact Fernando Porras, 1-304-384-5204 or fporras@concord.edu.

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PHOTO: "A Fish Story," Oil on Canvas, 10’X9’ (6 Panels) 2004


PHOTO: "Guacamayo Feathers," Oil on Canvas, 7’X9’ (3 Panels) 2003

PO BOX 1000, VERMILLION ST., ATHENS, WV 24712.