Arts Happenings Lifestyle Reader Contributed

‘Andrés Montiel: Tree Stories’ Exhibit Opening at West Hartford Art League

One of the paintings that will be on exhibit in Andrés Montiel's "Tree Stories." Courtesy image

‘Tree Stories’ will be on exhibit at the West Hartford Art League’s Clubhouse Gallery from May 21-June 11, 2023.

Andrés Montiel. Courtesy photo


Andrés Montiel came to the United States 20 years ago and fell in love with the Connecticut landscape. The Hartford area and its stunning reservoirs and forests reminded him of Bariloche, Patagonia in his country of origin, Argentina.

One of the first people he met was Roxanne Stachelek, Executive Director of the West Hartford Art League. Even though his English was not very good at the time, they bonded over painting and nature, and WHAL was home to one of his first exhibitions in the U.S.

Now 20 years later, after exhibiting all around the U.S, and his artwork being found in private collections around the globe, Montiel has been awarded a grant for his proposal to The Free Center to create a show that focuses on the awareness, appreciation, and preservation of the notable and glorious trees of Connecticut. He has researched, visited, and captured the beauty and plight of these noble, gentle giants with no voices. A modern day, Lorax, if you will. And the first home for the show, “Tree Stories,” will take him back to his local roots – the Clubhouse Gallery of the West Hartford Art League.

One of the paintings that will be on exhibit in Andrés Montiel’s “Tree Stories.” Courtesy image

“My goal for this show is to raise awareness of the importance of preserving and protecting our trees and our environment,” Montiel said. “I would like to introduce these notable trees to people of all ages, but especially kids, as they are our future. I hope to emphasize the vital role they play, providing clean air and enriching our lives.”

Speaking to his lifelong relationship with trees, Montiel continued, “I’d like to portrait them in all their dignity and give them the respect they deserve as they teach us to be humble and patient with each other.”

One of the paintings that will be on exhibit in Andrés Montiel’s “Tree Stories.” Courtesy image

Montiel lives in West Hartford with his wife Karin. They met in 2003 at Monte Alban Restaurant, when at the time he was working in interior design. To this day his art still decorates the walls. They have two daughters, also artists – in the arenas of dance and theatre. In 2019 Montiel flexed another one of his creative muscles – cooking – when he opened the wildly successful eatery, Pachanga Empanadas. Eventually, his commitment to family and his art brought him out of the kitchen and back to his studio, where he has been very busy and productive.

See and feel the stories told by Andrés Montiel and his unique colors and brushstrokes at the West Hartford Art League’s Clubhouse Gallery, 37 Buena Vista Road. The show opening with wine and refreshments will be held on Sunday, May 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. Show continues with gallery hours and appointments through June.

One of the paintings that will be on exhibit in Andrés Montiel’s “Tree Stories.” Courtesy image

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