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Silvia P Souza exhibits “Northern and Southern Rooftops” at Alliance Francaise

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Starting May 1, a delightful surprise awaits francophiles, francophones, and all other visitors to Alliance Francaise at 427 Lovett in Montrose and for the next 2 months. On display in the main assembly hall and adjoining rooms are the engaging, colorful urban landscapes of Columbian-born brush painter Silvia Pinto Souza, inspired from her study trip to France. Ms Souza is a slight, diminutive woman with intelligent, dancing eyes and engaging smile. She seemed able to seal new friendships instantly and renew old acquaintances as if no time had passed since meetings long ago.

According to her biography in her website, Ms. Souza is a studied architectural draftsmanship at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Bogotá, Columbia. She also earned a diploma in Art and Design from the Byam Shaw School of Art in London, England. She continued with courses in photo printing at the Slade School of Fine Art. She also took printing courses at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and the School of Visual Arts at Parque Lage while living and working as an artist in Brazil. But the Internet page seems only a brief summary of Ms. Souza's talents and training. For example, says nothing of her work in France. In talking with her, I learned of her travels in the south. I have studied and worked in Perpignan, Montpellier, and Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, so we were able to compare notes briefly on regions in the south. She said she had considered taking a 3-month study trip at the University of Perpignan, not far from the Spanish border, but eventually decided on Paris.

Ms. Souza is fluent in Spanish, French, English, and Portuguese and she changed between them during the evening, depending on the country of origin of her guests and friends. The works on display at Alliance Francaise were inspired during a 3-month course in Paris and the surrounding areas. Generally, they vibrate with the optimism of bright sunlight on solid stone walls, carved towers and clean, simple village streets. In addition to the landscapes of France, the exhibit includes scores of giclee prints. These high-quality reproductions are a limited edition, but more affordable than the paintings.

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