Monday, March 28, 2011

Le amamos, Rafael López! (We Love You, Rafael Lopez!)

From My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz, a Pura Belpre Honor Book

We're so excited to tell you that Rafael Lopez is a man of many talents and has just celebrated the release of a series of postage stamps created for the United States Postal Service! Each of the 5 stamps commemorates a Latin American musical legend - Tito Puente, Carmen Miranda, Selena, Carlos Gardel and Celia Cruz. If you're familiar with Chemers Gallery's annual Children's Book Illustration Art Show & Book Signing, chances are you will have noticed Rafael's work.His use of bright, bold colors and playful acrylic on wooden panel paintings stood out among our December 2009 show. His illustrations came from books like Our California, My Name is Celia, and the award-winning Book Fiesta.

USPS Forever Stamps, painted by Rafael Lopez

AND, if that weren't enough, Gibson has created 5 customized Epiphone guitars with Rafael's artwork on them, which will be retired to the Smithsonian museum after they finish their national tour!

Rafael with customized Gibson Epiphone guitars

Rafael was the perfect choice to create this tribute to the Latin American musical greats. Music has inspired him since his childhood, he can't paint without it. It finds its way into his artwork in the form of winged conga drums, guitars with sacred hearts, musicians blooming from lilies and vocals taking the form of birds in flight.

So put on some salsa, tango or tejano, bust a move or two with a margarita or 4, and then sit down to write a good, old-fashioned letter. Just don't forget the stamp!

Artworks by Rafael Lopez are available for purchase at Chemers Gallery.
If you haven't seen them in person yet, come on in!

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