Jason Diaz, a Colombian native who draws wall murals in Port Washington, will be the Dolphin Bookshop & Cafe’s featured artist of the month in February.
Diaz, 30, a Queens resident, said when he began drawing murals in Port Washington, he would visit the Dolphin and noticed they featured artists.
“I saw that they were having art on the walls of the store,” he said, “and I spoke with them and we scheduled it.”
Diaz, 30, said his exhibit in February, which will kick off with a reception on Feb. 4, will feature a variety of his work, revolving around animals.
“I’m very happy to be showing my work,” said Diaz, who works for a painting company and does wall murals and interior design. “I’m happy it’s in Port Washington, too.”
Robyn Carthagine, who selects the artists at the Dolphin, said Diaz brought in “one of the most detailed, beautiful paintings we’ve ever seen.”
“Right away, I said to him ‘oh my god, you need to do an exhibit with us,’” she said.
Using nature as the inspiration for his work, Diaz, who has been painting and drawing since he was 10, said he has experimented with all types of art, from water color and oil painting to designing Christmas cards for a foundation in Holland.
“From a very young age, I had a fascination for painting,” Diaz said. “At the age of 11, I won first place nationwide in the event ‘Collecting Country.’”
Originally from Colombia, Diaz said, he would often display his art in Bogota, which received “admiration” from other local artists.
Diaz also held art classes in Colombia, teaching painting and various drawing techniques, and currently conducts private lessons in New York.
“I want to continue teaching classes, and eventually want to start my own gallery,” he said. “I still draw daily.”
Diaz said he also draws portraits of people in his spare time.
The Dolphin has been hosting artists and their work for over four years, Carthagine said.
Carthagine said about 50 to 60 people attend the opening reception, and throughout the month many more people see an artist’s work.
Artists usually bring in 10 to 20 paintings to hang on the wall of the Dolphin’s cafe, Carthagine said, and sell a few, too.
“We love having artists come here and display their work,” she said. “We’re all about the arts.”