Portugal and Spain: Solo Museum Exhibition and Fly Fishing Adventure


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Last spring I traveled to Spain to oversee the installation of a solo exhibition at the Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo – Extremaduran and Latin American Museum of Contemporary Art (MEIAC) in Badajoz, Spain.

museum shot

After the installation, I decided to go on an adventure and fly fish in Portugal. I was dropped off by the museum driver in Castelo Branco in Portugal and a few hours later my fly fishing guide picked me up and we drove to his neck of the woods where we fished streams that were used the previous year in the World Fly Fishing Championships.

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I ate every meal with the guide and his wife at restaurants in the area and I stayed at a modest home that was been used by the fly fisherman year before. The entire time I fished I did not see another angler. The trip finished with a drive back to Lisbon along roads lined with cork trees. My last night was spent in the old section of the city in front of a  plateful of sardines, potatoes and fresh greens.

cork tree 100

Here is a detailed map of every step I took while on the trip as well as a few images to document the adventure. The map was created on my iPhone using the GAIA GPS app. It d0cuments everything you could possibly want from a trip. I am going to try to use more of its feature in Montana next week.

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New Book Published About My Work And Life!

A few months ago, a book was published about my work and its relationship to what has happened in my life. I have never expected something like this but was very grateful that a pubisher, a few art historians, curators and writers felt that I was worthy of their efforts.

Life Streams
Alberto Rey’s Cuban and American Art

book cover

Lynette M. F. Bosch – Editor
Mark Denaci – Editor
SUNY series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture

Incisive exploration of the work of Cuban-American artist Alberto Rey.

Life Streams explores the paintings, videos, sculptures, and installations of Alberto Rey, an artist whose work addresses issues of identity, cultural diversity, environmental studies, and global sustainability. As a Cuban-born artist living in western New York State, Rey’s current work emphasizes his involvement with his community and its local landscape, especially its trout streams and their surrounding environment. Through Rey’s travels from his home in the upstate New York village of Fredonia to the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and to almost every state in the United States, he has gained an understanding of people, places, flora, and fauna.

This book provides biographical information about Rey and a contextual study of his work. The contributors have written about Rey’s work from perspectives based on cultural studies, identity studies, literary studies, and philosophical studies. Interest in his Cuban and American identities are linked to his interest in global culture and his recent study of fish species and environmental issues. As such, this book reflects current approaches that focus attention on connected cultural issues and contemporary concerns about the environment, conservation, restoration, and preservation. Rey’s work provides a new perspective on these topics as he combines art with activism on a local, regional, national, and international level.

“This beautiful book, with its meticulously researched essays, firmly places Alberto Rey in the context of American contemporary art as someone addressing issues of identity, hybridity, environmental ethics, biological decay, and resurrection. Like his trout subjects (Pacific coastal migratory fish introduced to the Great Lakes), he is a transplant, a hybrid. He is influenced by his many global travels, which, injected into his work, further supply the richness and texture that make him such an original artist.” — James Prosek

Lynette M. F. Bosch is Professor of Art History at the State University of New York at Geneseo and the coeditor (with Isabel Alvarez Borland) of Cuban-American Literature and Art: Negotiating Identities, also published by SUNY Press. Mark Denaci is Associate Professor of Art History at St. Lawrence University.


Table of Contents


Scott Propeack
Introduction Life Streams: The Cuban and American Art of Alberto Rey
Lynette M. F. Bosch
1. Alberto Rey: Intersections
Lynette M. F. Bosch

2. The Construction of Identity in Art: Alberto Rey’s Journey

Jorge J. E. Gracia
3. Alberto Rey’s Balsa Series in the Cuban American Imagination
Isabel Alvarez Borland
4. Absent Presences and the Living Dead: Alberto Rey’s Haunted Aesthetics
Mark Denaci
5. Trout as Form and Symbol
Lynette M. F. Bosch

6. Reading the Waters: Early Works of Influence on the Literature of Fly-Fishing

John Orlock
7. Biological Regionalism: Scajaquada Creek. Erie County, New York, USA—Artist’s Statement
Alberto Rey
8. Time Submersion: A Portrait of Two Creeks
Sandra Firmin
9. Alberto Rey: Beneath the Surface
Benjamin M. Hickey
10. Conclusion: Bioregionalism and Animal Studies
Lynette M. F. Bosch and Mark Denaci
Biographical Timeline
Locations Investigated by Alberto Rey
Curriculum Vitae


Work published in recent Drake Magazine and Gray’s Sporting Journal

I just heard that a recent painting was published in the this month’s  issue of Gray’s Sporting Journal (see above) and a couple of weeks ago I learned that an essay I wrote about my Aesthetics of Death Series and a couple of paintings would be published in the March issue of the Drake magazine. The Drake’s website will also be showing more of the paintings from the series.

Artwork in Italian Rod Making Magazine

This past summer, we took our kids to Italy to attend an exhibition of my work at the American Embassy in Vatican City (Holy See) in Rome. As part of the trip, we went to Pompeii, Tuscany (San Sano), Florence and Venice. Before we went, I set up a guided fly fishing trip in Tuscany for my son and I on the Tiber River. I was very excited to connect with a different part of Italy and to expand my research on my Biological Regionalism Series. The series uses videos, paintings and artifacts to connect audiences to local and global environment.

I was very fortunate that Janeil found Moreno Borriero as our guide (http://www.mbrods.it/) while she was researching our trip. When I went to his website, I noticed that we shared interest in conservation and fly fishing and we even looked similar: short, stocky and handsome.



During our time on the Tiber River, we had an opportunity to discuss our lives and interests and we were soon on the topic of the bamboo rod making magazine that he was instrumental in creating. Below is a link to the publication that featured some of my paintings from the Catskills, Bamboo Journal. The magazine is published by the Italian Bamboo Rodmakers Association.

The highlight of the day was watching my son standing in the headwaters of the Tiber as he cast to rising fish. It is one of the many memories from the trip that is embedded in my mind.


Upside to getting old.

Back in 1988-89 (22 years ago) before arriving here at SUNY Fredonia, I had the pleasure of teaching art at Lincoln-Sudbury High School in the outskirts of Boston, MA. The folks there were very nice to me and the students were very committed to their education. One of those curious students was a young man whose name was Josh Peters. He was always asking questions and there seemed to be a genuine interest in art outside the academic setting but I also knew that life had a way of directing one’s future and that being an artist can be a difficult career choice. I really didn’t think much about it until Josh emailed me a few years ago that he was finishing graduate school at Rutgers University with a MFA in Painting.

I was surprised by the email but very proud of his hard work and perseverance.  I’m glad that we have kept in touch ever since as I have seen him exhibit his work in China, Hong Kong, Germany as well as in major cities on the east and west coast of the United States. He is now also curating “ La Californie”, an exhibition that opens this Friday, September 9th, in Los Angeles. It is very exciting to experience his progress through his career ….maybe getting old isn’t so bad if you can stick around long enough to see your students realize some of their dreams.

He will also be exhibiting in the ‘2011 Fellows’ exhibition at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA and ‘The Unseen’ exhibition at the Torrance Museum of Art, Torrance, CA.