The title of the exhibition is La Otra América or “The Other America” in English. The artist said the show recognizes how many Latinos are sensitive due to their perception of the dominance of the United States of America in the Western Hemisphere.
A post says in Spanish “At times North Americans think that the United States is a synonym for ‘America.’ Nevertheless, the Gringo painter Donaldo Voelker prefers to paint the landscapes and peoples of Latin America, that which he calls in jest as: ‘The Other America.’”The artist said that this exhibition is about oil paintings, not about economics and politics. With his perspective as a foreign transplant to Costa Rica and as a historian, Voelker said he believes that he sees some things that other Costa Rican representational artists tend to overlook.
For example, he paints the hanging flor de itabo. “I like to paint this flower, like van Gogh painted his sunflowers,” he said. Another example is the Caribbean bicyclist holding an umbrella while cycling in the rain. Clusters of old wooden workers houses, like those found near Quepos and Parrita are a recent theme of interest. “Soon they will all be demolished and it’s already started,” he said.
The exhibit also includes 18 oils from Voelker’s travels to other Latin American nations, including Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador and Argentina. “While I love the scenic options that Costa Rica provides me, I must explore other Latin countries, to find those people living far from cities, to paint agricultural workers in traditional clothes, or going deep into the exotic jungle, just as had done my artistic heroes, the Frenchman Paul Gauguín and the early 20th Century German Expressionists,” said Voelker.
For more information would-be visitors can contact the Museo Juan Santamaría at 2441-4775 or visit the Web page at www.museo-juansantamaria.go.cr. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. It is closed Mondays.
Voelker moved to Costa Rica in 2004. Voelker had his first art class in Heredia that year, he has said. He is a pensionado who retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in Detroit.