With Abstract as with Life, You Create It
Roxy at Spectrum 2019 Art Basel Week. Photograph from artist’s personal collection.
Cuban born abstract artist, Roxy Sora, might have set her paints and brushes aside, but not her artistic dreams. In December 1961, eight-year-old Roxy, clutching her favorite doll, waved goodbye to her parents as she boarded the plane. She had to be strong and could not shed a tear. The family’s future was riding on her shoulders. The flight was part of the Pedro Pan Project (Peter Pan) that was taking children out of communist Cuba for a better way of life in the United States. The plan was for her and her younger sister to leave together; once in the United States, the sisters could claim their parents and they would all be reunited. But her sister’s visa had not been approved and they could not leave together — Roxy was on her own.
Arriving in Miami, Roxy was taken to Florida City before being sent to an orphanage in Davenport, Iowa, in the middle of winter, where she was met with freezing temperatures and gloomy skies. Coming from a tropical island, this was a jarring contrast. Alone and not knowing the language, Roxy would express herself through her drawings. Her mother still has many of the drawings she had sent her. Once reunited, the family established roots in New York.
Roxy experimented with different mediums throughout her formative years. Art was her passion, but she knew that art would not pay the bills. She needed to choose a career that would open the door and Secretarial School was her best option. In ’73, the family moved back to Miami. On her first interview, she was hired to be the secretary to the owner of the firm. Roxy worked hard and today, 48-years later, is the President of the Private Client Division.
In the course of these 48-years, Roxy married the love of her life, Efrain, and together they raised a family. But raising a family and forging a career left little time for her to pursue her art. Now, with her children grown, she is dedicating that time to her art.
Art is her happy place
Of all the different genres she explored, she has found that abstract painting gives her the most pleasure and the ability to express herself. “In abstract art, there’s no right or wrong; you create what you feel. I love to draw, I love the colors and I love the experience and emotional connection that a drawing or a painting has,” said Sora, “and music plays a key role in all my paintings too. I always connect my paintings to music.” Roxy is someone that sees the glass as full. Her drawings are never dark, nor do they reflect any darkness in her life. “I’m sure there were such times, but you either put it away or understand that darkness stops you from moving forward and stops you from accomplishing what you want to accomplish in the world,” expressed Sora. Through art, she found the best way to express her feelings and emotions. Her paintings capture the movement of the music she is listening to. “To me, the biggest compliment is when they say, ‘I get it, I get what you are trying to convey,’” said Sora.
What inspires her
Water and its many hues inspire her. From a tranquil river or stream to a crushing wave with all the various shades of blue, from deep blues to turquoise to white. She enjoys painting water scenes or nature-inspire scapes. She gets her inspiration for her next painting as she is finishing the one she is creating. Before she starts any art piece, she will always ask, “My Lord, what do you want me to create today?”
Roxy has expanded her art to a fashion line called From Canvas to Collection. She selects from her collection of abstract paintings and transforms them into fashionable, wearable art.
Roxy’s advice for young artists
Never give up on your dreams. But be smart, get an education; learn something that will allow you to be self-sufficient and an education will help support your dream. An education will also give you the confidence to talk to people about your work. Art enthusiasts want to get to know the artist. What inspired you to create the art piece, what motivates you. The more the artist can explain their work and communicate and interact with their audience, the greater the chances are that they will succeed. Invite your audience to be part of your world by sharing with them.
Two years ago, she held an event for children with special needs and their parents at the school’s gymnasium to raise funds for the school. After consulting with a psychologist on the best way to reach these children, she created an art workshop. She supplied all the art materials, including the easels. Fellow artists sketched the pieces the children and the parents would paint and for two hours they had a wonderful time bonding and enjoying each other’s company — and creating art. “In giving is where you receive. It was one of the happiest, most fulfilling days I have ever experienced,” said Sora.
Her goal is to recreate this event at an art gallery or similar space for the parents and their special needs children to spend time together doing something fun. The event would be complimentary to the families and they would hold it on a regular basis. While the art created at the event by the children could be displayed and sold to continue supporting the monthly or bi-weekly activity.
Where you can see her work
After a successful showing at the ArtBlend Gallery in Wynwood, part of Miami Spectrum, where she has exhibited since 2018, Roxy’s next showing will take place at the Art Expo in New York on April 2022. To see her paintings today, visit www.RoxySora.com and at www.roxanazubia.com for, From Canvas to Collection.
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