AVON PARK — Cuban artist Humberto Benitez’s latest move was just across the street in Avon Park, but his vibrant works will take you farther – to another time and place of color and style.
Benitez relocated his fine art gallery recently from the Jacaranda Hotel to a building he purchased a year ago that is across Main Street next to the Eighteen East restaurant.
The H. Benitez Studio Boutique, art/fine jewelry, at 16 E. Main St., features Benitez’s art studio where he is available by appointment. Also, at that location, his wife Lizzette has fine jewelry from all eras, and estate and art deco pieces. She calls the jewelry selection “fun for the ladies.”
Benitez opened an art gallery in Coral Gables 18 years ago, which is currently managed by his son. Benitez’s art is in many locations in Miami, at famous restaurants in Orlando, on cruise ships for the Norwegian Cruise Line and in private collections.
Lizzette said they started coming to Avon Park in 1984 when they first got married and loved the town.
They decided to get a house in central Florida on a lake and they picked a nice spot in Avon Park. Then they opened their second art gallery location in the City of Charm.
The building they purchased and moved into hadn’t been used for two years, Lizzette noted.
“I think when people park outside to go to the Eighteen East restaurant, they are happy to see something that is so nice. I have clients here already and ladies that come back every year for the Christmas season,” she said.
Humberto said the building was built in 1826 and is in the National Historic Registry.
“I am very strong into preserving history and heritage,” he said. That is one of the reasons they decided to purchase the building, which was an ice cream shop and most recently a jewelry store/watch repair shop.
Lissette said her husband’s art technique is unique. She says, “The canvas dictates to him; he doesn’t dictate to the canvas.”
There is a lot of movement in his work and he is also known for his colors. “You can see the ethnicity in his work because he is Cuban,” Lissette said.
Usually, in his works, you will see no faces and the heads will be down for humility.
Humberto is currently working on a commissioned painting of a mangrove scene for a house in Coral Cables.
Humberto was named a 2006 trendsetter by Art Business News Magazine.
For more information, phone 786-877-1045.