Last night I attended the One Love: Arte Visions from the Four Corners of the World reception for the international exhibit of: Paul Dilworth (England), Christine Leong (Hong Kong), Elan Cohen (Bali), the Cusco School (Cusco, Peru), and the Orchids of the World (Zuma Canyon Orchids, Malibu). Proprietors Dr. Deborah De Vries and Armando Vazquez of the Acuña Art Gallery @ Café on A continue to culturally nourish the Southern California region with art that captivates the soul while challenging the intellect of all who encounter the paintings, sculptures, and arrangements in the building.
In addition to providing a magnet venue of artistic expression, Dr. De Vries and Mr. Vazquez co-direct the Keys Leadership Academy for at-risk youth. I often state to people that the Café on A is the cultural conscious of Ventura County, particularly when issues adversely affect the Chicana/o community.
If the work that the two perform from the Café were not enough, Dr. De Vries is a professor at Oxnard College and a school board member of the Oxnard School District; Mr. Vazquez is an artist who is at the moment is writing a novel based on his 35 years of work with at-risk young Chicanas.