Portrait of Manitowoc Community Art Project

Sonia VasquezThe Rahr-West Art Museum is proud to present the Portrait of Manitowoc Project, an artist  residency and community art project in collaboration with local portrait artist Sonia Vasquez that celebrates the diversity of Manitowoc. This project is generously funded by the Art Bridges Foundation and Coolest Coast Manitowoc joins us as a media partner.

Portrait of Manitowoc: Artist in Residence: Sonia Vasquez

Through this project, Vasquez celebrates Manitowoc's diversity by painting residents of different backgrounds using a traditional approach to painting portraits with oil paint. Given that the Rahr-West was closed for the bulk of the residency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum partnered with Coolest Coast Manitowoc to present live streams of her painting and answering questions about the project.  You can view her painting sessions and special self-portrait tutorial on the Rahr-West Art Museum YouTube channel.

Representation matters. The community is invited to create self-portraits on provided paper that will be combined with Vasquez’s work into a large-scale installation work that will serve as a vibrant and diverse portrait of our community at this current point in history.  Participants will be asked to reflect on their identity and what it means to them to be a citizen of Manitowoc.  The final installation will be on exhibit at the Rahr-West Art Museum beginning February 28, 2021 and run through June 1, 2021.

Details and materials for participation will be available at the Rahr-West Art Museum. School groups interested in participating or a digital presentation of the residency should contact Curator Diana Bolander at dbolander@manitowoc.org.  These will be added to the installation as the exhibit progresses at the Rahr-West Art Museum. Participants must use the paper provided and the Rahr-West Art Museum reserves the right to omit any submissions not in keeping with the spirit of the project.  

Sonia Vasquez, a native of Manitowoc, has a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin in painting and drawing. Sonia has become increasingly interested in classical painting and drawing since she was in her teens, often referencing the old masters as inspiration. More information on Sonia and her work can be found at www.soniavasquezart.com.