- Among the representatives of this speciality who dedicated their lives to the enamel, is the author of this article. She began her studies in the “Escuela de Artes Plásticas” School in 1986. She continued in the “Pedagógico” Institute and finally in the Porras art studio where she worked for eight years. In 1995 she founded and conducted the first AVAF enamel art studio and during six years she taught to a diverse group of young artists, with whom she later continued that process in her own art studio. Students and teacher collaborated to form the new generation of artists, creating a new way of expression as they started to exhibit their work all over the world, with exhibitions in countries such as Japan, Argentina, Chile, Spain and USA, among others, obtaining numerous awards and recognitions in the recent decade.
The contemporary activity of Enamel in Venezuela started with the work as a teacher of the artist Ricardo Arrue Valle, who taught in the “Escuela de Artes Plásticas” School, obtaining in 1947 the award “SaIón Oficial” for his work. Other teachers followed him, such as Miguel Arrollo and Sergio González. From this time other Venezuelan pioneers include Ariel Severino and Domingo Ramirez.
During the 50’s the Mexican artist Francisco Porras arrived to Caracas coming from Stockholm, together with his wife – also an enamelist – Inga Porras. Together they initiated the pedagogic process of the enamel in their own art studio. They are great educators in this field and collaborated in the development of a great number of relevant Enamel artist. In 1971, he obtained the first prize in the Carabobo University in the exhibition “Primer Salón Nacional de las Artes del Fuego” (First National Exhibition of the Arts of Fire). From 1972 he participated in several exhibitions in the field of sculptural enamel and obtained several awards. With other artists, Porras participated also in the creation of the Venezuelan Association for the Arts of Fire – AVAF -, existing from the year 1980.
The AVAF is formed with artists from very different specialities, including Enamel, Ceramics, Glass, and Goldsmith. The AVAF invites several international artists to give seminars and special courses for the education and training of its members. Exhibitions all over the country take place, and so the presence of the enamel became evident. Today, its members continue to participate in Enamel exhibitions around the world. In the continuity of the learning process of the Enamel in Venezuela, one must mention artist Carmen Dominguez, who create her own art studio in the “Pedagógico” Institute in the 60’s.
The recognized artist Lamis Feldman also worked during the 60’s as an enamelist with multiple exhibitions both in Venezuela and abroad. She won the first award in the “Salón Nacional de las Artes del Fuego”, being the first time to be given to an artist in the enamel speciality.
After that, the professor Denia Rojas continued her work and in 1975 she gave a workshop to the convicts of Venezuelan jails. Artist Esther Avila is another name that comes to us in that process, working for the government institution “Consejo Nacional de la Cultura” – CONAC. Also from those decades we can mention the relevant work of the artist Florinda D’Costa, enamelist and goldsmith, who teaches from her private studio.
In most recent years we can mention some Venezuelan enamelist and goldsmiths such as Lourdes Silva, Alexi de La Sierra, Urei Galletti, Cristian Grancko, Isabel Cisneros, Julia Ferrrira and Maria Tulián. Nowadays Venezuela has artists with interesting and deep backgrounds, and we can appreciate their passion for the enamel. The list is fortunately large and we will mention here some of the exponents more relevant at the present time: Aida Armas, Rosa Falena, Oscar Inatti, Beatriz Valladares, Teresa Pereda, Beatriz Gómez, Esther Salazar, Lucero Tamayo, Silvia López and Carlos Graterol. All these talented artists contributed with their efforts and constant work to the continuity of the enamel art in Venezuela. Today, artist as Ana Mercedes Carvallo – “Premio Nacional de Las Artes del Fuego 2005 “- , Yolanda Sucre, Mariela Pinto and Mari Muci, among others, represent a great value and a promising new generation to achieve the diffusion and expansion of the Venezuelan enamel to the world.