El Fresco Studio in Little Havana celebrating 10 years with arts bash

Written By Josie Gulliksen
November 18, 2022 at 9:20 PM

David Lavernia at work in the studio. Image courtesy Daniel Fila.

The artists of El Fresco Studio are coming together Nov. 22 to celebrate 10 years in Little Havana. They will be unveiling the “Urban Expansion and Animal Extinction.” The event is being spearheaded by artist Daniel “Kraveart” Fila whose studio is located there.

Happening in the bohemian and quaint courtyard area that surrounds the studio spaces, there will be live art by mural artist Vic the Viper, DJ tunes and a special surprise from Fila himself.

Image courtesy El Fresco.

“The event is an exhibition of my space but also a party with a DJ in the back courtyard area. Basically a jam and art show with a hip hop station and performers hosting it,” said Fila.

He recalls finding the space 10 years ago while wandering through the alley.

“I saw this alley, saw the art and I found this block that was the Sixth Street Container. I immediately knew I needed to have a space here. Artist Carlos Alves had a space here and I did some research and found Bill Fuller owned the building and got in touch with him,” he said.

Fila loves that it is a Mom and Pop type space that flies under the radar. “It’s a safe neighborhood and our courtyard has always been magical, it’s a lush communal area with very urban settings around it,” said Fila.

The space is at full capacity with the small restaurant Doce Provisions as their anchor along with artists Fila and Alves and dancer/choreographer Brigid Baker’s dance studio there as well.

For years, Fila has been hosting graffiti workshops in the back alley, which they call the “graffiti alley” a place that he says he would have chosen when he was a kid and where they have a graffiti wall where anyone can come in and paint.

“The graffiti alley has brought in many high-end customers. It’s a beautiful ecosystem we’re building here which serves as a business model. It’s fragile but we’ve managed over the years to keep it going,” he said.

Image courtesy El Fresco.

Part of that ecosystem is an artist residency program Daniel has built. Currently, artist Dave Lavernia is in residency there, he’s a very well known muralist who is busy working year round. Like Fila, Lavernia is Cuban-American and someone Fila says is a “very awesome studio mate. Just like Joan Thompson had my studio before me, I’m hoping Dave will keep it going.”

Daniel is excited to host the event saying ‘“we made it through the pandemic, have seen the studio grow and now it’s time to celebrate.”

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