Berkeley College Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month With Art by Raul Villarreal

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Contact:  Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
201-291-1111, ext. 1-5122









In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Berkeley College is exhibiting “My Father’s Cuba,” by artist Raul Villarreal.  Mr. Villarreal’s work will be on display at the Berkeley College New York City Midtown Campus Gallery, 3 East 43rd Street, from Tuesday, September 1 through Wednesday, September 30. The exhibit is open to the public from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday, and from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday. An artist’s reception will be held on Wednesday, September 9 at 5:30 pm. 


The reception includes a book signing of “Hemingway’s Cuban Son,” co-authored by the artist with his father, Rene Villarreal.  It is a fascinating account of how Rene Villarreal  came to be Ernest Hemingway’s majordomo, confidant, and friend – his Cuban son. 


Regarding the exhibit, Mr. Villarreal said, “The works I selected were inspired by childhood memories of my homeland, as well as the wonderful stories told by my father of the Cuba he knew.”  A recurring symbol in the series of works is the royal palm tree, Cuba’s national tree and the island’s symbol for freedom.  The palm tree represents a return to a nostalgic state of existence, a bridge between the past and the present.  It also symbolizes the intermixture of the different cultures in the island throughout the centuries.  “Images from old family photographs also help the viewer to remember the past, evoking – ideally - a nostalgic longing for a time and place that once was,” he added.    


Mr. Villarreal is a visual artist living and working in the New York metropolitan area.  He was born in San Francisco de Paula, Havana, Cuba, in 1964.  He migrated with his family to Madrid, Spain, in 1971 and later moved to the United States, settling in Hudson County, NJ.  The artist has a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration, and an MFA with a concentration in painting and printmaking from New Jersey City University, NJ.  He has participated in 15 solo exhibits and 200 collective exhibits in the United States and abroad. 


Mr. Villarreal’s artwork is in numerous private and public collections including Con Cuba en la Distancia, Fundacion Hispano Cubana, Centro Cultural El Palillero, Cadiz, Spain; Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art, Coral Gables, FL; La Casa Latina, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY; and Sumei Arts Center, Newark, NJ.


Some of the artist’s professional affiliations are:  College Arts Association; Advisory Board for the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ; Neo-Latinos Artists Group; and CAFE Artists Group. 


For more information about Mr. Villarreal, please visit the artist’s website:  Also, for more details about the exhibit, please contact Berkeley College Gallery Curator Robert Keiber at or 212-252-2065.






With(In) Skies, acrylic and oil, by Raul Villarreal on display at Berkeley College 

Photo Caption:   With(In) Skies, acrylic and oil on canvas, from artist Raul Villarreal’s exhibit, is on display at the Berkeley College Midtown Campus Gallery, First Floor Lobby, 3 East 43rd Street, New York City from September 1 through 30. 



 The book "Hemingway's Cuban Son" by Raul Villarreal at Berkeley College


Photo Caption:  The artist's reception will feature a book signing of "Heminway's Cuban Son," co-authored by Raul Villarreal and his son. 


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