Gerald Zwers: SP artist’s work tops in theater poster competition

October 01, 2010
Santa Paula News

The work of a Santa Paula artist has been selected to showcase the latest production of a theater company that produces plays for both Spanish- and English-speaking people to bridge cultural gaps.

Gerald Zwers’ work was selected by Teatro de las Americas for its latest production, “En Boca de Todos, Bocanegra” and displayed at a recent reception held by a supporter at the Mexican Consulate in Oxnard.

Zwers’ work was judged best in the competition advertised by the Ventura County Arts Council so that Teatro de las Americas could spread the word art was being sought. In fact, Zwers - for years the chairman of the annual Santa Paula Society of the Arts Art & Photography Show, the oldest such pre-juried event in the state - was named the winner of the contests for both plays, which included “Las Fisgonas: The Scandalmongers,” which Teatro de las Americas produced this past summer.

A prolific artist, Zwers’ first poster is dominated by bright yellow, red and purple, and depicts a mouth whispering close-up to an ear. For his poster promoting “En Boca de Todos, Bocanegra,” a tale of the author of the Mexican national anthem, Zwers used a stylized, primitive male figure sitting underneath trees and writing.

Zwers said it is fair to consider him an artistic chameleon, changing his style to suit the occasion. “I am prolific. Over the past year I did more than 1,000 pieces,” he said, adding he has studios in Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Paula. Zwers received a $200 check for the poster for “En Boca de Todos, Bocanegra.”

“En Boca de Todos, Bocanegra,” which translates to “On Everybody’s Lips, Bocanegra,” was written by Mexican playwright Miguel Ángel Tenorio and is directed by Oxnard resident Oscar Franco. The play looks at two stories, the classic story of Bocanegra, contrasted with Fermin, a modern day author who is writing an essay about Mexico’s now being celebrated bicentennial. The play examines the parallels between the two men in romance and their attempts to woo the object of their desires through the written word.

Until Teatro de las Americas finds a permanent home it performs its diverse list of productions - presented in Spanish with scrolls written in English - at various Ventura County venues. For information on tickets and production venues, call 485-5445, ext. 2.

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