Yowhannes, a student in the ESL Arts class of the Carlos Rosario School, has always been fascinated by how the world is represented in images through the eyes of others. Naturally, he was drawn to painting and immersed himself in this art from an early age. If you ask Yowhannes “When did you start drawing?,” he shrugs and answers, “There is no beginning, I always had a desire to draw.”
His uncle, a talented poet, inspired him to explore the visual arts. “Today’s painting is yesterday’s dream, and tomorrow’s will be a result of my life due to accumulated experience and knowledge,” Yowhannes said.
Nourished by encounters, landscapes, and emotional, cultural and colorful shocks, Yowhannes’ paintings are defined by a variety of expressions, movement, vitality and color. Through his work, Yowhannes seeks to capture, translate or reinterpret true emotions, evoke a deep feeling. “The arts are a language for me,” he said.
Yowhannes pursued a degree in Visual Arts in his native Eritrea in 2009. He has exhibited his works and won art competitions in Eritrea. He led one of the first art groups in Eritrea, called the “Eagle Group” because of the eagle’s ability to see clearly, far ahead. It was with the Eagle Group that he explored his favorite medium: murals.
Yowhannes moved to the US in May 2017. In August 2018, he decided to enroll at the Carlos Rosario School to improve his English. “Learning English is facilitating my integration into American society. This is a first step to reach my dreams,” Yowhannes said. He added, “I was so pleased to have started the ESL Arts class. It pushed me to believe in myself as an artist.”
By enrolling in the ESL Arts class, Yowhannes wants to continue to feed his passion for painting. Passionate in visual arts in all instances, painting is a way for him to apprehend the world, to enjoy its beauty, to interpret and share it with energy, passion, balance, delicacy and accuracy. “As an artist, I have the freedom to taste everything, I try to vary the techniques, it’s a mix of emotions. The desire to create, to improvise, to observe, to seek and interpret feeds me,” he said.
Like his art group in Eritrea, Yowhannes is channeling his vision of an eagle who can see his future in the distance. In DC, Yowhannes has had some solo exhibitions. An entrepreneur in the art market, his goal is to become a professional artist. He also would like to eventually acquire a studio to work and to make a name for himself in his new country. He is thankful for the role Carlos Rosario played in helping him on his journey.