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General News · 17th April 2011
Richard Trueman
Saturday, April 16th, a large part of the community attended a Farewell Art Show for Norberto Rodriguez de la Vega in the newly improved Old Schoolhouse Gallery.

Norberto was in no small way responsible for the inception and maintenance of this gallery. He firmly believed that Art in the Community belonged and was necessary to its health and well being. He was and is an inspiration to us all.
Comment by norberto on 18th April 2011
Thank you very much Richard !

And a BIG thank you to all the friends that came to this farewell. I must say I was really overwhelmed for receiving so much warmth, love and appreciation from you all. I feel so lucky and from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Being part of the Gallery has been the best thing that happened to me in the island, and am very grateful I had the opportunity of serving the community in this way.

The success of the Gallery could not have happened without the incredible support and participation of all the local artists, nor without the acceptance from the whole island. It truly became an island Art facility.

I want to recognize the very first people that helped me in 1998 with the repairs, paint, lights and more to open the Gallery: Bruce Barriscale and Evelyn Mielke. They left the island a few years back, but their mark will always be there.

And the very first show included works by Chai Duncan, Mary Earle, Linda Kovacs, Evelyn Mielke, Kathleen Pemberton, Jennifer Rowse, Stefano Savioli, Dale Thomas, Debbie Thompson and myself.

From the very beginning, the goal for the Gallery was to have a Community Art place available for every member in the island and offer a cultural space where we could learn about Art, meet friends and nurture our cultural souls.

After all these years, many artists have participated in the Gallery, all ages, amateur and professional artists, all backgrounds. I have been amazed many times seeing pieces from children and amateur artists that wanted to share their works with the rest of the community. I have been very fortunate of befriending many of them, I learned many things from them, and have seen a few of them growing into great artists and teachers.

I always believed Art is an essential component in the health and sanity of any community. Besides, Art has an amazing power for expressing and sharing our deepest feelings, to inspire, move, and awake other people, in different and mysterious ways.

I have no doubt the Gallery will continue to be an important facility for the whole community, regardless of background and demographics. I think this is the most important quality of our little Gallery.

You know I love change and I am looking forward for new challenges, and for the uncertainty and opportunities this move will bring. Life is a continuous change and I know I am impermanent, and recognize suffering, sorrow and pain are part of life. It is important to me to thrive, accept and enjoy whatever life keeps giving me.

Again, thank you all, you will always be in my memories.