Juan B. Elesgaray: An artist to admire.
By Nelson Sanchez.
Reprinted with permission of MIAMI Exclusive publications.
This artist was born in the city of Santa Clara, in the province of Las Villas, Cuba, in 1935. At a very early age he began to garner recognition and honors for the quality of his art. After winning the Leopoldo Romanach scholarship in 1952, Elesgaray began to paint portraits of Cuban patriots for the School of Commerce of Santa Clara. Only two years later, he gained admission as an honors student into the Academy of Fine Arts in San Alejandro, where he studied alongside renowned artists such as Domingo Ramos, Silvia Fernandez Arroyo, Luisa Fernandez Morell, Esteban Valderrama and Augusto Menocal. He later completed studies in sculpture with Jose Sicre and Gelabert, but he is mainly recognized for his excellence as a portraitist. The work of this artist was not limited to small formats, as he also worked on murals and other paintings, using themes such as women, maternity and various other topics. In 1956, in the city of Havana, he opened his own studio, which was frequented by renowned figures of Cuban high society seeking his artistic services. It was in the 1950’s that his work became known for its unsurpassable quality. He participated in many individual and collective exhibits as a visual artist of repute, and in 1967 he was awarded with an important design award for his work in “Carnival of Cuba.”
Elesgaray later left in exile to the United States, as numerous Cuban artists did in the 1970’s, and he was able to rely on his reputation as an internationally known artist. He was recognized as such not only in Miami but also in Central and South American countries, France and various areas of Spain such as the Canary Islands and the city of Malaga. In 1983, several of his works were exhibited at the biennial of the Brazilian city of Sao Paolo, and one year later he returned to Brazil to participate in “Hispanidad 84.” Since then he has continuously exhibited his visual art in various locations such as Amazoni Art Gallery in New York; the Sheraton Hotel; Cronos Gallery; Anisi Art Gallery; “Discovery 91 International Hispanic Festival” in Coconut Grove, Florida; Coral Gables International Art; and most recently at Casa Panza in Miami, Florida. He is currently a member of the group “Wings of Little Havana” and has an interesting sampling of his work available on the Internet. An intense, indefatigable artist of extensive experience and great success, Juan B. Elesgaray will undoubtedly continue to explore different and exciting artistic venues.
The Artist Career:
Born in Santa Clara, in the province of Las Villas, Cuba. Specializes in drawings with women as the central figure, and in use of color. Presented with various awards at several presentations in Havana, Cuba and Miami, Florida.
2002-present Works at studio in Miami, FL on varied subjects.
2002-04 Traveled to various European countries as an artist.
2003 Featured in Contemporary Artists Dictionary, 5th Edition,
N & V. Publisher.
1992 Traveled to Spain and other countries as architectural designer.
1990 Worked at studio in Miami, FL, on commissioned portraits
and other varied subjects.
1980-89 Owned Anisi Art Gallery, Miami, FL.
1972-73 Upon arrival to the United States, began establishing himself as known portrait artist, also painting many other subjects, those paintings now scattered among many private collections of prominent figures in Miami, as well as in different countries of South and Central America, Spain and Spanish Canary Islands.
1967 Worked in collaboration with the Cuban National Cultural
Council in the design and presentation of "Carnival of Cuba"
and won awards for design.
1960 Through his collaboration with the Cuban National Cultural Council began establishing himself as known portrait artist,
also painting many other subjects, those paintings now
scattered among many households of well known families
in Cuba, government offices and buildings.
1959 Participated in a collection of paintings sponsored by UNESCO
on the subject of maternity for hospitals and clinics of Cuba.
In addition, participated in various art shows.
1954 Won scholarship for San Alejandro National School of
Fine Arts, Havana , Cuba . Studied with renowned artists
such as Domingo Ramos, Silvia Fernandez Arrojo,
Luisa Fernandez Morell, Esteban Valderrama, and
Augusto Menocal. Continued studies in sculpture
with Juan Jose Sicre and Florencio Gelabert.
Completed various art courses at the
University of Havana, Cuba.
1952 Won Leopoldo Romanach scholarship in the Fine Arts,
Santa Clara, Cuba. Painted portraits of Cuban patriots for
School of Commerce, Santa Clara, Cuba. Also composed
family portraits and drawings for prominent figures
in Las Villas and Havana, Cuba.
Collective: Participated in various events.
2003 Artopia Gallery and Studios, Miami, FL.
Casa Panza, Miami , FL. “Arte Casa Panza” art show
DaVinci’s Gallery, Miami , FL.
Citibank/Work of Art Gallery , Miami, FL.
“Enchanting Evening Full of Colors” (August).
2001 Work of Art Gallery, Miami, FL. “Latin American Artists,”
an exhibition in collaboration with City of Miami, in honor
of the American flag (October).
Wallflower Gallery, Miami , FL.
“A Rendezvous with the Artists” (October).
Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center, Miami, FL.
“First Latin American Art Exhibition” (September).
Coconut Grove Convention Center, Coconut Grove, FL.
"Cuba Nostalgia Art Show” (May).
Republic Security Bank, Miami , FL.
The Barrio Museum, Miami, FL. “Noche Cubana,”
Tribute to Hermanos al Rescate (March).
2000 Participant and member, in collaboration with City of Miami,
of “Wings of Little Havana,” exhibiting every
Opened a studio in Little Havana (Miami, FL).
1991 “Discovery 91," International Hispanic Festival.
Coconut Grove, FL.
1985 Hotel Sheraton. Bay Harbor, FL.
1984 "Hispanidad 84," Sao Paolo, Brazil.
1983 Annual Art Fair. Biennial of Sao Paolo, Brazil.
1981 Gallery Miguel Angel. Malaga, Spain.