Raymundo Lopez Gomez is currently a Plant City resident, but he is originally from Chiapas, Mexico. By day, he works as a produce picker, but at night, he creates beautiful and powerful works of art.
Gomez works hard in the fields so he can send money back to his family in Chiapas and to one day make his dream of opening his own art center in his hometown come true.
“I started painting as a young boy in elementary school because I was interested in art,” Gomez said. “I ended up going to an art school in Chiapas, and that’s where I really started developing my technique.”
His paintings, done in oils, depict his life growing up in Chiapas, which at times was extremely difficult.
“I was born in 1990 and in 1994 there was a war between the indigenous people and the government,” Gomez said. “My paintings are memories of my life during this time and the experiences I had during this war at the age of 4.”
To say his paintings are powerful would be an understatement.
“The images are dramatic and something that a normal 4-year-old would experience,” Gomez said. “This is why it’s so important to me to paint these images so people can see what my people and family dealt with and are still dealing with in Chiapas.”
Gomez will be one of the featured artists at Center Place’s Artist Night on Friday, April 1. Center Place will also host an exhibit of Gomez’s work in October of this year.
Gomez is thankful for the opportunities Center Place has given him to show his art.
“Because I’m an indigenous person in Chiapas, there is nowhere I can show my art publicly,” Gomez said. “Now I have the great opportunity to show the community my art and show how my life inspired my art.”
Artist Night is a free event that is held on the first Friday of the month at Center Place from 7-9:30 p.m. This event is a 21-and-up event. Libations and snacks are available per donation to Center Place.
To learn more about Artist Night and other events at Center Place, visit www.centerplacebrandon.com or call 685-8888. Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B inside the Brandon Regional Library.
If you would like to view Gomez’s art, you can visit his Instagram page at www.instagram.com/ray.visualart.