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Giving Back and Supporting Our Creative Communities

It's been over a month since my last blog entry—I've been incredibly busy. The last time I wrote, I was gearing up for the first Annual Gala of Aria Arte, and I must say, it was absolutely fabulous! We had over 50 guests who not only attended but also generously contributed by purchasing tickets, bidding on art, or making donations. In one incredible evening, we managed to raise over $9000. The preparation for the gala was intense and involved numerous components, from sending out invitations to setting up an online silent auction, from writing articles to updating our websites, and even creating presentation movies and arranging catering. It was an unbelievable amount of work, but I'm convinced that everyone who attended not only enjoyed the party but also got to know us and our mission better.

Now that the gala is behind us, the real work begins. We'll be sure to keep everyone informed about what our next steps are. I can't wait to share future stories about who we'll be able to support in the Romanian arts this year. I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the other board members—Kymberly Harrison, Samantha Volvo, and Deborah Harrison—as well as to Tommy Callais and Frank Munos, who generously donated drinks for the event.

As soon as the Aripa Arte Gala was over, I jumped straight into preparations for the Fotofest Biennial, a major photography event whose central exhibition was set in the same location as our studio, Silver Street Studios Houston. To support this event, we completely rearranged our studio, featuring photography and series of photographs. Cleaning up the studio and rearranging all the artwork was a daunting task that some of you might not be able to imagine. The majority of the art had to be packed and moved home to make the studio look spacious and inviting. John and I managed to make it look its best—we not only moved everything but also repainted the walls. Now, our studio door at Silver Street Studios is open every day, offering warm, fresh coffee and cookies to those visiting the Portfolio Review at Fotofest.

At the same time, I'm participating in an exhibition called Reflection, organized by Serrano Gallery, an official exhibition space of Footrest. This group show features five international artists: John Bernhard, Alfonso Bonilla, Luvia Lazo, Carlos Ocando, Kwon Teimchaiyapoom, and myself. My artworks are from the Inheritance Series, a collection of fine art photographs depicting the beautiful decay of Baile Herculane, a thermal bath built at the end of the 19th century that, due to bad politics and neglect, collapsed before our eyes. The images are like poetry, each telling a unique story. The decay and stained wall colors, the architecture, and the empty space transport viewers to another time and dimension. The exhibition started on March 9 and will end on April 9, with an Opening Ceremony set on March 15, from 6 to 8 PM, here at Silver Street Studios in Houston.

That's a brief overview of what's been happening with me these past few weeks. Thank you to all of you for being a part of our lives and supporting us in any way you can.

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