A local artist is creating a new series highlighting Delaware residents.
Local painter Jeremy Rosario has been working on a series of portraits of Delaware residents since last year, and the paintings will go on display this spring at the L.A. Beeghly Library at Ohio Wesleyan University and at Gallery 22 in downtown Delaware.
Rosario said he got the idea for the series while volunteering as a medical translator at Grace Clinic, where he would ask patients if they had any words of advice. Rosario said he was struck by the things people said, and the thought crossed his mind that he would use the series as a way to convey those sentiments. He said that too many people only look for wisdom from “thought leaders” and don’t see the value and wisdom in connecting with people who are struggling.
“We have failed to really tap into the wisdom that comes from hurting,” Rosario said. “People who have struggled have amazing insights and a positive outlook on life that we could be learning from them. That caused me to take some pictures of them on my phone of who they are to tell their story.”
Rosario said the series is focused on the “new tapestry of the new population of Delaware.”
“They appear to be in the shadows, but they are the ones making Delaware more colorful, more diverse and more meaningful,” he said. “It’s a tapestry of these beautiful, amazing people that are between us in Delaware.”
Rosario said he hopes to paint dozens of the portraits, and he’s considering compiling them into a book with the words of advice that people have given him.
He added OWU will display some of the paintings in February, and Gallery 22 will display the portraits in May.
Rosario hopes the paintings and advice bring people together after 2020.
“We had a really rough year of division, and I hope this body of work at least causes people to want to get together again and learn from each other even if we are from different races or different point of views,” he said. “We are all here together. Let’s build each other up and build a new Delaware. “
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.