JULIO SUSANA (b. 1937)
Born July 27, 1937, in La Vega Real, Dominican Republic, Susana’s talents were visible at an early age. While attending the Academia de Bellas Artes (Academy of Fine Arts) in Santo Domingo, he won two awards in painting and sculpture. His artistic works would continue getting him noticed, earning him a scholarship to Spain’s renowned Instituto de Cultura Hispa´nica de Madrid (Institute of Hispanic Culture of Madrid). Upon graduation, he hosted an exhibition of his work, which critics praised.
Susana’s first professional exhibition was held at Instituto Benefactor (Charitable Institute) in 1959. That same year, he hosted his second exhibition at Instituto Cultural Dominico Americano (Dominican-American Cultural Institute). Four years later, he was awarded as the painter of the year at the 11th Biennial Exhibition held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and was commissioned to exhibit his work at the Puerto Rico Bar Association. In 1963, Susana took his talents to the classroom, becoming an art professor at Academia de Bellas Artes (Academy of Fine Arts) in San Francisco de Macoris. In 1965, the government named him director of the School of Fine Arts at Academia de Bellas Artes (Academy of Fine Arts) in La Vega Real. A year later, Susana opened his own gallery in Santo Domingo, while participating in 12 individual and eight collective exhibitions at various locales in Santiago and La Vega, and also the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts). In 1967, he moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In 1969, he participated in several exhibitions with Latin American painters, and in another exhibition with 27 painters at the Miami Beach Library. Afterwards, he relocated to New York, calling the Big Apple home for 17 years. While there, his work was displayed at the Cultural Dominican Institute in Greenwich Village, International Gallery at the Bronx Museum and the Ponce Bank in Queens. In 1974, Susana founded an Academy of Arts at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. That year, he also exhibited his paintings and original songs about world peace at the United Nations, which honored him with the 40th Anniversary Peace Medal. In 1985, he settled in Miami, Florida and joined the South Florida Art Center Association. He taught classes at Miami Dade College while premiering exhibitions in South Florida.