The Hudson Park Library hosted an artist reception in honor of Jerry Cruz on Wednesday, August 12, 2015.  AHRC New York City staff members, people receiving supports and services at Betty Pendler New York League, family, and friends were in attendance to view a series of portrait paintings that Jerry has created over the past few years.

Today we are here to celebrate the amazing portrait work of the artist, Jerry Cruz,” said Yuliya Khripunkova, Transition Developer. Yuliya arranged for the exhibition along with AHRC NYC’s Community Inclusion Initiative Director, Darinka Vlahek.

Jerry’s Artistic Process

Jerry is very patient,” said Catherine Rosamond, Art Consultant, NY League.  “When he has a vision, he will sometimes spend a month creating a sketch to plan his paintings.  Then he chooses a canvas size, recreates his sketch at a larger scale, and begins the painting process, which in Jerry’s case will sometimes last from 6 months to a year.”

Rutha Rosen, Community Support Supervisor, NY League, explained how Jerry began to paint. “About 12 years ago, when he was new to our program, I gave Jerry and some other people [from the program] paper and pencils, and asked them to draw some fruit or vegetables.  To my surprise, Jerry drew a very detailed one inch drawing of an ear of corn.  It was absolutely perfect – the leaves were pulled down and the corn husk was sticking out.  The drawing was very tiny, but it was so well made, I knew that we should continue to encourage Jerry’s talents.  Since that time, Jerry has taken an interest in fine arts and the work of some of the Great Masters. He parses through art books to decide which portrait he is interested in creating.”

You’re a very hard worker and your work is important,” said Yelena BatkhinaDirector NY League Program B, addressing Jerry. “We’re all very proud of you, and we are excited to see more pieces [of artwork] from you in the future.”

Jerry Cruz’s solo work was on exhibit from August 3-18, 2015.  This exhibit was one of several that have been arranged between the Hudson Park Library and artists from the NY League over the past several years.  AHRC NYC thanks Library Branch Manager, Miranda Murray, for her continued support of these artists, and for reserving a community space to display their creative expressions.