Friday, November 30, 2012

Local spotlight: Hilda Vazquez

Musicians Series Volume 1: The Art of Hilda Vazquez (All images courtesy of the artist)

Musicians Series Volume 1: The Art of Hilda Vazquez unites two of the Fort Lauderdale artist's favorite passions: music and art. As a youth, Vazquez studied music with her mother, a piano teacher, and took clarinet lessons in school. Even as she pursued art in college, she continued to be influenced by music which she says has always been a family thing. "My aunt was a recording artist in the '50s and '60s, and my cousins either played or sang," she says. "Music was always around. Though I never made a career from it, it is a constant influence in my work." 

Joel DaSilva by Hilda Vazquez
"We have such amazing musicians here in Florida that are touring nationally and internationally so this series is really about highlighting them," she says. "Other pieces in the series all have ties to Florida in some way. I hope to showcase and highlight the talented musicians I've crossed paths with in my life, as well as those whose music has inspired me along the way."

Her subjects include: blues guitarist JP Soars; Ohio-baed touring jazz and blues musician Wade Baker; Rebecca Dawkins of The Noveaux Honkies; Nashville bassist, instructor, composer, and producer Kevin Simonelic; Stefano Rotati, drummer for Joel DaSilva and the Midnight Howl, and DaSilva, whose band will travel to Memphis in February to represent South Florida and the South Florida Blues Society at the 2013 International Blues Challenge.

Vazquez also will pay tribue to her aunt, Ana Vazquez a.k.a. Nita Del Pino (her stage name) with a collection of images from her band's tour days in the 50's and 60's and some of her album covers.

When not exhibiting or working as senior designer for South Florida Business Journal, Vazquez, who had her first solo show at a Davie coffeehouse in 1997, paints live at music festivals and venues such as Green Room. She also regularly donates works to charities including Surfers for Autism and The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research.

Nita Del Pino by Hilda Vazquez
In addition to sharing her works, she enjoys sharing the limelight, so what she initially intended as the debut of her musician series has now turned into an all-out bash. "The more I thought about it, I wanted to make it a party — a celebration of art and music combined, since without one I wouldn't have created the other," she notes. "So I called a few friends (also artists and photographers) and said 'I have a venue, let's all show our music-inspired work."

Her exhibiting friends will include Vena Paylo, Gina Bentivegna, Coma Girl, Jim Zielinski, Kathy Hunt, Pay Aponte, Manolo Del Valle, Kristina DaSilva and Randy Lay. Additionally, a few of the people who are depicted in her paintings will take the stage, as Joel DaSilva and The Midnight Howl will perform, as will Dooms De Pop and Pterodactyl Sleepover.

DaSilva, who says that he and his wife Kristina already have a portrait Vazquez painted of them hanging in their apartment, is looking forward to the show

"Hilda has a keen eye into the details of the soul of a person," Joel DaSilva says. "She really brings out who the person is in her paintings, and breathes life and love into her art. When you talk to her, shes a bubbly positive person and it shows in her art. I really hope she does well. she really deserves it."

Even as she debuts Musician Series: Volume I, which she's been working on for a few years, Vazquez is plotting the next series.

Meanwhile, you can check out her Volume 1, as well as the works of many of her friends, on Saturday night.

As Vazquez puts it, "Art is incredibly personal. Sharing it with others puts everything you are and feel on display. I hope people walk away feeling something. There's no need to always understand it ... just feel."

Musician Series Volume I: The Art of Hilda Vazquez starts at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at The Bubble, 810 N.E. 4th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $10. Call 954-562-3804 or visit

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