The holiday season in Downtown Riverside brings in the holiday spirit along with more arts and culture during one of Riverside’s most well attended events of the year, the Festival of Lights. The artisans and performers of the festival are not the only way to enjoy the arts during the holidays. Many of our downtown galleries and museums hold holiday themed exhibitions and offer patrons the opportunity to purchase original artwork for their loved ones. Riverside Community Arts Association (RCAA) celebrates the winter with their RCAA Members Winter Exhibit, running through mid-December in addition to their Holiday Ornaments Fundraiser. Raymond Fernandez, this month’s artist spotlight, is an RCAA member and for this exhibition he is currently displaying some of his non-representational artworks.
Raymond Fernandez is a painter who was born and raised in Santa Monica, California and moved to Riverside in 2008. Raymond has worn many hats in the arts and entertainment industry working in Hollywood as an actor, and even a brief stint of set designing in Denver, Colorado for a local theater. He is a musician who plays many instruments but specializes in percussion and has freelanced as a jazz drummer. Raymond is inspired by the human condition when creating his artwork, and it imbues his work with a sense of spirituality and esotericism, which is why he enjoys the abstract and surreal. He digs deep within himself, pushing his ego aside and gathering the unlanguageable intelligence that lives somewhere in his imagination or the group consciousness, sometimes in both, allowing it to come into his awareness and onto the canvas. For Raymond, this meditation has become a calling.
Raymond is looking forward to playing a role in our local arts scene. “Riverside has great potential that has just begun to be tapped into. Creating opportunities for artists to live and create here in our city can only beautify and uplift the soul of this city for all of us. I am excited to be part of an expanding art community here in Riverside. The Cheech has created a great opportunity to put Riverside on the map for art tourism. Let’s keep it up!” said Raymond. Raymond has been painting, exhibiting, and freelancing as a graphic designer for over 20 years. Since moving to Riverside, he has found a home in the art scene with RAM 52 project, RCAA Gallery, and the Artswalk. Riverside has allowed him to grow as an artist with a welcoming community of artists and galleries. The 52 Project at RAM initiated his entrance into the Riverside art community where he and his husband have begun coordinating art events of their own. Raymond and his husband have been hosting “Art After Dark” at Salon 3778 which is an annual art show and fundraiser that showcases local artists with a portion of proceeds going to RCAA. They also started a paint n’ sip company called Paint Party Professionals that takes place at Back to the Grind on the first Saturday of every month. Raymond hopes to continue to paint and expand his presence in the local and international art world.