Gennaro Garcia is a native of San Luis, Sonora, Mexico and one of the cofounders of Calle 16 the Mural Project in Phoenix, AZ. Calle 16 is a nonprofit group that focuses on creating murals that truly represent Phoenix’s diverse communities. Gennaro was the second Latino artist in 26 years, after Fernando Botero from Colombia, to have a solo show at the Calvin Charles Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ.
He migrated to Arizona in his early twenties with drive, passion and the desire to create art. In 2012, Gennaro reached his personal goal – a solo exhibit in San Miguel de Allende, in his native México. His art alludes to his dual identity as both Mexican, and now, American.
His use of Italian techniques with oils, acrylics, wood, and plaster, along with the combination of a Mexican color palette from his childhood, has resulted in art that showcases both world-class skill and a true Latino immigrant perspective. To create his first talavera collection, he traveled to Puebla, Mexico to study the original 120-year-old technique with Arte Ventosa.
His art pieces are featured in many commercial and residential interiors, and he has participated in more than 60 exhibits in the last 4 years, including 9 solo shows. Currently, you can see Gennaro’s art in 10 different galleries in the United States and two in Mexico.
The Mexican film director, Carlos Muñoz, is working on a short film about Gennaro’s journey as an artist in Mexico. Salvador Robledo, an American filmmaker, has been concurrently shooting a complementary documentary for the last 2 years about his transition and art in the United States.
In 2015, Gennaro was the Heard Museum’s Signature Artist at their annual El Mercado de las Artes. The Mexican artist was a finalist in Martha Stewart’s Made in America contest for his Made by Hand (Hecho a Mano) ceramic collection. The versatile collection is a favorite amongst chefs and restaurateurs in the U.S. and Mexico.
This year began with new collaborations and awards. In March, Gennaro received the Masters of the Southwest Award, a recognition presented by the Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine. The Ganfer Foundation – based in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico – also recognized Gennaro for representing the state of Sonora and for his trajectory as an artist. His art is currently displayed in an outdoor exhibit along the U.S.-Mexico border.