Sustaining Home: The Art of Alberto Rey

A collaborative exhibition between The Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States, Washington, DC, Alberto Rey and Students at The State University of New York, Geneseo.

Organizer: Lynette M.F. Bosch, Ph.D., SUNY Distinguished Professor, Chair, Department of Art History/Museum Studies, SUNY, Geneseo.

Student Curators: Azulmar Escalera, Mareasa Giudici, Sarah Guadagna, Christine Grace, Wren Guzman, Kyra Krasowski, Laura Lee, Rachel Mihlstin, Jessica Pisano, Mercedes Simpson, Genevieve Tripoli, Adam Winun and Theo Wright.

The exhibition Sustaining Home: The Art of Alberto Rey presents a collaborative, online exhibition, hosted by the Art Museum of the Americas, under the leadership of its Officer in Charge, Adriana Ospina, for which a group of students at the State University of New York at Geneseo became curators and wrote essays focused on the life and work of Alberto Rey. Sustaining Home was organized by Lynette M.F. Bosch, who led the students in a seminar, which studied Rey’s paintings and environmental projects. The students involved in the class were able to interview Rey over the course of two meetings of the seminar about his environmental work and his artistic development.  In fourteen essays, the teacher and students, who became the curators of Sustaining Home, explored theirs and Rey’s engagement with his identity as a Cuban-American; his establishment of a home for his family in Western New York State; and his developing involvement with environmental sustainability, as expressed in his work and his active involvement with community projects. In these projects, Rey works predominantly with groups engaged in the restoration and preservation of waterways.  Inspired by Rey’s art and by his activities as an environmentalist, the students in the seminar selected the paintings included in this exhibition and wrote interpretive essays, wherein each student conveyed their understanding of the significance of Rey’s work from their personal perspective. Each essay presents an approach, an argument and a connection to the themes that emerge in Rey’s work, which take Rey from his first Cuban home to his current life in Western New York State, where he is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Art, at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he lives with his family.

Main Exhibition Essay
The Search for Home: From Exile to Preservationist
Lynette M.F. Bosch, Ph.D., SUNY Distinguished Professor, Chair, Department of Art History, SUNY Geneseo
On social media May 21, 2021

Art and Identity
Azulmar Escalera
On social media May 22, 2021

Two Series - “Black Lace” and “Binary Forms
Mercedes Simpson
On social media May 23, 2021

Transcendence of the Mundane: Alberto Rey’s Cuban Icon Series
Adam Winum
On social media May 24, 2021

Madonnas of Western New York Series
Christine Grace
On social media May 25, 2021

Las Balsas -1995-97
Sarah Guadagna
On social media May 26, 2021

Las Balsas 1995-1997
Genevieve Tripoli
On social media May 27, 2021

Las Balsas
Jessica Pisano
On social media May 28, 2021

The Aesthetics of Death
Mareasa Giudici
On social media May 29, 2021

Biological Regionalism and the Aesthetics of Death
Rachel Mihlstin
On social media May 30, 2021

Biological Regionalism:  The Scajaquada Creek and the Ellicott Creek Projects and the Bagmati River Project
Theo Wright
On social media May 31, 2021

The Extinct Birds Project
Laura Lee
On social media June 1, 2021

Lost Beauty II
Kyra Krasowski
On social media June 2, 2021

Rediscovering Lost Beauty: Icebergs Project
Wren Guzman
On social media June 3, 2021

Alberto Rey is an artist, ceramicist, videographer, writer, fly fishing guide, founder/director of a youth fly fishing program and a distinguished professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia. His artwork is the permanent collection of around 20 museums and has had over 200 exhibitions. He has also written and illustrated three books about environmental issues: Complexities of Water: Bagmati River, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, The Extinct Birds Project and Lost Beauty: Icebergs. More information is available on his website,

Alberto Rey: Timeline
1960 – Born in Havana, Cuba
1963 – Family receives political asylum in Mexico City, Mexico
1965 – Family relocates to Miami
1967 – Family relocates to Barnesboro (Northern Cambria), Pennsylvania; every summer the family travels to Miami
1978 – Rey attends West Point Military Academy and later transfers to Indiana University of Pennsylvania
1981 – Rey attends Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1982 – B.F.A., from Indiana University of Pennsylvania
1986 – Rey starts Autobiography Series
1987 – M.F.A., from University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
1988 – Rey started “Black Lace Series”
1989 – Rey started “Binary Forms Series”
1991 -  Rey started “Madonnas of Western New York State Series”
1993 – Rey started “Madonnas in Time Series”
1993 – Rey started “Cuban Icons Series”
1995 – Rey started “Las Balsas” and “Las Balsas Artifacts Series”
1996 – Rey started “Appropriated Memories Series”
1997 – Rey started “Cuban Portraits Series”
1998 – Rey returned to Cuba for the first time and started the “Studio Retablos Series”
2000 – Rey started “Trout Encounters Series”
2003 – Rey documents the icebergs at Jökulsárión, Iceland
2004 – Rey returns to Cuba, for a second trip
2005 – Rey started the “Biological Regionalism Series,” and works on the series in various locations
2013 – Rey returns to Jökulsárión, Iceland
2014 – Rey presents “Biological Regionalism: Scajaquada Creek,” New York at Burchfield-Penney Center, Buffalo, New York
2016 – Rey presents “Biological Regionalism: Bagmati Reiver, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal” at Siddhartha Gallery, Katmandu, Nepal
2018 – Rey finished the “Lost Beauty I: Extinct Birds Project”
2019 – Rey finished the “Lost Beauty II: Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, New York Project”
2020 – Rey finished “Lost Beauty: Icebergs Project”
2021 – Rey began “Lost Beauty: Endangered Palms of Cuba”

For additional information on Alberto Rey, visit