Caribbean Whispers

Contact Jane Haw

(973) 684-5448

Passaic County Cultural & Heritage Council at
Passaic County Community College & LaRuche Art
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

by presenting...



In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Passaic County Cultural and Heritage Council at Passaic County Community College is pleased to present CARIBBEAN WHISPERS, an exhibition of paintings by JOSE ACOSTA, WILLIE BAEZ, ROSARIO D’RIVERA and ISABEL VILLACIS.  The various styles and techniques of all four artists reflect their Hispanic heritage.  The exhibit is a partnership with La Ruche Art and Fundacion Manos a la Ayuda .  The exhibition is on view in the Broadway & LRC Galleries at Passaic County Community College from October 1 through November 10, 2011.   A reception for the artists will be held in the Broadway Gallery on Wednesday, October 5, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Admission to the exhibit and reception is free and open to the public.

 Born in San Jose, Cuba, Jose Acosta immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of three.  About his colorful vibrant paintings, Acosta says, “I think my background and conditioning are the ingredients.  I am very proud of my Cuban heritage as well as my American citizenship.  My paintings depict my personal history and surroundings.  I paint from my heart and express a little hope and happiness in all my creations.”  In this exhibit New Orleans Park and Elvis are excellent examples of the artist’s expressive, painterly style.

Willie Baez who has Puerto Rican heritage was born and raised in the East Village of New York City surrounded by art.  Baez’s paintings and collages create a mystical, idyllic world filled with spirituality and religious themes.  He says, “Painting allows me to smooth out some of life’s crudeness; to realize peace and tranquility.  As creative beings, we have to continuously convey hope and innovative ideas – if only through the visual.”  In La Puerta from his “Solitaires” series, the artist explores the relationship with reality and dreams that inspires him to paint.

Of Cuban heritage, Rosario D’Rivera is an artist and graphic designer who also leads workshops for adults and children.  Her joyful paintings are filled with color, movement, sensuality, and the female curve.  She says, “I am touched by the beauty of nature.  My imagination soars when looking at colors in anything as simple as a freshly painted canvas or as complex as a hummingbird in flight.”  D’Rivera has shown her art in numerous exhibits through out the metropolitan area.

Although Isabell Villacis is confined to a wheelchair and has limited use of her arms and legs, she is a talented artist.  With a laser light strapped to her head and verbal communication, she is able to show a “tracker artist” where to put the paint on the canvas.  She also chooses the colors, shapes, lines and textures for her abstract paintings.  Villacis has exhibited her art at various venues, including the Princeton Museum, Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, and the Kessler Rehabilitation Institute.

The Broadway & LRC Galleries are located at Passaic County Community College, Broadway at Memorial Drive in the downtown historic district of Paterson, New Jersey.   Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For additional information, please contact Jane Haw, Gallery Curator, at (973) 684-5448 or visit our website at