Gallery Show for Fat Tuesday: street art from the private collection of Tim Tonozzi

Tim Tonozzi pulls out some of the unframed works of art from his Caribbean art collection
Cassandra Ballard/ Post Independent

Celebrate Fat Tuesday with a Caribbean themed art show in Glenwood Springs.

The Caribbean art has been collected over a few years by local resident, Tom Tonozzi. The show mostly features works from Cuba, with a small collection of works from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. 

“I decided with my Cuban buddy that we buy paintings to bring back and maybe get a little gallery going,” Tonozzi said. “For the next three or four years, I was going down and going back and forth getting to know the country of Cuba and the Cuban people.”

Enjoy art, music, food and festivities while you Tonozzi at the Glenwood Springs Arts Council.

Tonozzi said he has been going to Cuba since 1998, and around 1999 he made some good friends with some Cuban people and that is when he decided to start collecting art. At some point, he was visiting three to four times a year.

“For me, it’s just so people can see it, and strengthen our relationship with Cuba,” Tonozzi said. “So people know it’s not just a deep dark communist country. There’s a lot of fun to be had down there.”

He said that the Cuban people are paid by the government to create art, but items like canvases are not always readily available, so sometimes the artists will paint on other makeshift canvases like tablecloths or possibly even potato sacks, Tonozzi said. 

He has a couple of interesting pieces displayed with makeshift canvases.

“I’d find a lot of these in downtown Havana where the cruise ships come into the Havana Bay,” Tonozzi said. 

One he pointed out was sitting in a puddle during a rainstorm, but he was grateful there was no damage to it. 

Much of the art has decorated Tonozzi’s apartments throughout the years, but many have been left rolled up. Tonozzi was excited to get them out for display to encourage people to learn about the culture and buy them if they are interested. 

All of the works are his favorites, but he wishes to share the colorful work and have people enjoy them in their own homes. 

One example of a particular piece has art portraying a popular Cuban religion called Santeria. The religion is also celebrated in other Caribbean countries, but is most prevalent in Cuba. 

Hollywood and other forms of media commonly misconstrue the religion which grew out of the slave trade in Cuba, as a way for the Cuban people to keep their ancient religion by hiding their gods behind Christian saints, Tonozzi said.  

If you go…

What: Street Art from the Private Collection of Tim Tonozzi

When: 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21

Where: Glenwood Springs Art Council, 216 Sixth Street

How much: free

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