Former dancer Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez finds new artistic life with a brush

Written By Josie Gulliksen
May 19, 2018 at 3:54 PM

Once a dancer with the Cuban National Ballet, the Carolina Ballet and the Miami City Ballet, Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez did not let a stroke and the temporary paralysis it caused diminish his passion for the arts. Instead of dancing on a stage he now creates art with a brush.

Growing up in a family of dancers, artists and musicians, the need to be artistic has always been a part of his life. An extensive collection of his pieces in the exhibition “Unveiling of Renacer” opens May 21 at the Moore Building in the Design District. The event is part of the ongoing AXS Art Series, which supports the work of local emerging artists in Wynwood and Miami, giving them a platform to showcase their art and serve as a launching pad in their careers.

The paintings of acrylic on canvas tell a story of his journey since his stroke. All of his work sparks something new at each glance and many of his pieces are actually ideas for dance choreography. He spoke with Artburst about the exhibition.

AB: How did the idea for the show come to you:

IGR: This show came about because my wife, Christie Garcia, a Miami City Ballet dancer, met with attorney Mamie Joeveer, who is on The Miami City Ballet Board of Directors, at a recent Gala. The two of them connected and Christie found out that Mamie’s law firm, AXS Law Group, created the AXS Art Program. Christie explained to Mamie that I used to dance for The Miami City Ballet, and she decided to give me this opportunity to show my work. We worked very closely with the law firm, Miami Design District and interior designer Lisa Halloran, who handled the art installation.

How long did it take to produce the works in the show?

The works in this show have a wide timeline. Some of the pieces I made nearly five and a half or close to six years ago. A couple of the pieces that will be shown I made just a month or two ago.

When did you know you had enough pieces for the show?

Around three years ago and soon after, I started exhibiting my work in different venues. But it was the connection my wife made with AXS Law that made this all happen.

What was your journey like as you painted the pieces and told your story?

Now that I look back at all my pieces, I can see that it does reflect my journey, and what I was feeling or experiencing at certain times of my life. My thoughts and emotions are inside of my paintings. I am thankful that I have art in my life. I love to paint, and I love that I can speak, dance, and choreograph through my art work.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

I hope the audience is moved by what they see. I hope they try to find ideas and images through my paintings and make of them what they want. I hope the public gets inspired. Maybe a sad person will feel happy when they see my painting. Or maybe someone can relate to something.

What is next for you?

To Live. I want to keep painting, choreographing, and do everything that I can. I am an artist and I want to share my art with everyone. I want to affect and inspire people with my art and theater.

The opening reception is from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Moore Building, 4040 NE 2nd Ave., Design District. The event is part of the ongoing AXS Art Series;

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