Sun Gallery
Hayward Area Forum of the Arts
Creating Community
Through Creativity


The Sun Gallery presents: “Life to Art” Exhibit


“Life to Art: A Portuguese American Story in Art’ opens Sat. June 9th at the Sun Gallery in Hayward, Ca. This special exhibit  features artists Nathan Oliveira, Mel Ramos, Jerald Silva, João de Brito, David King, Maxine Olson and Richard Silva. The exhibit is a part of the celebrations of the week of Portugal in the Diaspora also known as Portugal Day, which celebrates Portuguese Communities Around the World.


The June 9th Opening Reception from 3-7pm features a special music performance from 5-6 pm inside the main gallery. Portuguese folk songs and a work by Franciso de Lacerda will be featured, written and arranged for string quartet by music professor Dr. Bernard Scherr of Hardin Simmons University in Texas and the final works were written based on the paintings of Joao de Brito by Dr. Bernard Scherr. Appetizers and light beverages will be served and admission is free.



Sun Gallery Curator Dorsi Diaz and Artist Joao de Brito collaborated to bring the special exhibit to fruition, celebrating the unique diversity and shared history of  Hayward, all with deep roots richly intertwined in the fabric of the American experience. Diaz says she is “humbled to participate in such an important show, honoring the work of world renowned Portuguese artists and to be able to honor the rich cultural history of Hayward.” Diaz also says she is “thrilled to be able apply all of her acquired skills to be part of such a stunning collaboration between artists”.


De Brito is no stranger to bringing large visions to life, was the driving force behind the creation of the first bilingual English and Portuguese art book published in the U.S.: Ashes to Life. Celebrating the artistic talents of Portuguese-Americans is important to Joao de Brito, and here he has brought together a group of artists whose diversity of expression is more striking in the light of this shared heritage. In other words, there is no such thing as a typical Portuguese-American artist, and that is made abundantly clear upon experiencing the works of these artists. Still, honoring one’s heritage, connecting to the culture of one’s origins -- whether directly as an immigrant, or through the intervening generations of one’s parents or grandparents -- enriches one’s identity and influences one’s work, sometimes in subtly and barely detectable, sometimes overtly and obvious.


This is one of the reasons why De Brito has devoted so much time and energy to this exhibit. He feels the Portuguese-American community, and indeed all Americans, should have the opportunity to experience and learn more about these artists.


Joao has been promoting the arts/culture for nearly 20 years. He has coordinated exhibits in Provincetown MA, during the celebration of the Portuguese week by bringing together Portuguese-American artists to provide more exposure and education to the public. 



       Each of the artists featured in Life to Art identifies differently with their heritage, and that relationship changes over time. Culture itself is fluid and changes over time, as well. If it did not, it would be something else, something imposed and lifeless. There would be no art. Instead, there would only be a uniformity of expression arising not from individual identity but projected onto it, forcing it to bend and comply. These artists are Portuguese-American, and they honor their evolving cultural heritage by participating in this exhibit.


“Without identity, without culture, there could be no art, there could be no life. These concepts are intertwined, identity into art, culture into life, and life into art.” - Joao de Brito.


The Sun Gallery, celebrating its 43rd year in the community, is a 501c3 non-profit, its sole mission being “creating community through creativity.” The Gallery is located at 1015 E St. in Hayward, Ca, 94541. For Press Inquiries please call 510-581-4050. You can also visit their website at


Gallery hours are 11-5 Friday through Sunday. The “Life to Art” exhibit closes on Friday August 3rd.

Sun Gallery email:

Ph. 510-581-4050