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Arts & Culture

New York Artist Shares Work And Passion With San Antonio

UTSA’s Downtown Art Gallery hosts an interesting new exhibit and New Yorker Manny Vega doesn’t mince words when he talks about the difficult process involved in creating his highly detailed pen and ink drawings.

"You can’t shuck and jive around this, you’ve gotta sit down and do it," Vega said.

He described the exhibit as containing a wide variety subject matter.

"You know, it’s a combination of visual imagery from Africa, the Caribbean and my life in New York," he said.

The creative process is, for him, filled with emotion, and finishing a piece is tough.

"For me the piece dies when I put the last brush stroke," Vega said. "I actually get depressed. It’s like I’m dancing with a woman and the music stops. And then it continues when I share the piece with people -- they give the piece another life."

Vega is also known also for his mosaics, the most famous of which is a subway stop at 110th street in Manhattan.

"I love the concept of bringing the gallery out to peoples’ lives," he said.

Vega counsels young people to find the creative person within each one of them.

"I tell youth you've got to turn off the television so you can become the television. You have to trust that you can formulate your own identity," Vega said.

In his short stay in South Texas, Vega has met a lot of local artists and has kind words to describe them.

"They are a lot more willing to be supportive of one each other, than competitive to each other. And that is so precious and healthy," he said.

The exhibit at the UTSA Downtown Gallery will be up until February 1.