Biography

Raúl Manzano is an artist, author, and scholar. His paintings have been shown in consulates, museums, galleries, and community centers in Canada, Spain, Israel, and the United States. His scholarly and professional activities include his first drawing book publication, peer review essays, newsletter articles, illustrations for books, scholarly journals and magazine covers. He has presented at conferences in universities, served as juror for exhibition panel committees, and lectured at leading New York City museums to his students and faculty. His PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Museum Studies, is from Union Institute & University. He graduated with an M.A. from SUNY/Empire State College and a B.F.A from the School of Visual Arts.

Manzano’s faculty role at SUNY/Empire State College comprises mentoring to adult students, teaching art history, studio practice, and organizing students’ exhibitions among others. He is the coordinator of the Livingston Gallery, the name he gave to the gallery, at the Brooklyn campus where he curates annual exhibitions in celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Black History months, events that he introduced to the college. He serves on college committees and is the co-advisor for the Metro Art Club. Since 2000, he has been the Resident Director of the School of Visual Arts' "Painting in Barcelona," summer program in Barcelona, Spain.

During his tenure as president (1996-2001) of the New York based arts organization, West Side Arts Coalition, he established a new vision for the organization presenting exhibitions that reflected the times such as AIDS, 9/11, the environment, and cultural heritage celebrations. He co-organized the first international exhibition at the Khan Museum in the City of Ashkelon, Israel. The Mayor of Ashkelon, Benny Vaknin, awarded Manzano the medal of the city for his service to the arts. Additionally, he organized exhibitions at the Arsenal Gallery, in Central Park, NYC public libraries, and the Manhattan Borough President’s Gallery. He has received recognition awards for his contribution to the arts and Latino culture from Associación de Hijos y Amigos de Colombia and Farleigh Dickinson University. He is also a recipient and nominated to art awards at several art competitions.

Through his paintings, he has contributed to raise funds for charity causes, including the Prevailing Human Spirit fund-raising exhibition to help September 11 Charities, at the Society of Illustrators; he co-curated the "AIDS Awareness" exhibition at the Broadway Mall Community Center, both in New York. In his solo show, in Toronto, Canada, he donated proceeds from the sales of his work to help the victims of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano disaster in Armero, Colombia. At two major events in New Jersey and New York, he helped raise funds for the Verizon's New York Hispanic Support Organization Scholarship Fund and for the non-profit Long Island for Colombia's "Proyecto Buenaventura 2006" housing for the poor.

While most of his artistic ideas and exhibitions have been devoted to raise awareness about social issues, subjects which reflects today’s society, Manzano enjoys the pleasure of painting for its own qualities, whether he is conveying a complex ideology, a representational, or an abstract imagery. The contour/outlines of organic or figurative forms or the beauty of nature’s colors captures his imagination. Whether he is painting a landscape, a still life, or drawing a portrait they are part of his visual repertoire. The free spirit of outdoor sketching or a thoughtful rendered drawing energizes his creativity; these notions are embedded or suggested in his artworks for the viewer to interpret them.

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