Luis Soto

Luis Manuel Soto López was born in Camuy Arriba, in the El Calvario sector of Puerto Rico in 1964. He completed his higher education in drafting drawings at the Vocational School Antonio Luchetti in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. His formal training began in 1983 with Puerto Rican artist Roland Borges (who taught classes in his garage), who later became his mentor and provided him with a letter of recommendation for the School of Plastic Arts of the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture. At the start of his studies in Old San Juan, he met painter Luis G. Cajiga at his Studio Gallery, which gave him the opportunity to work with him for several years, where he learned the process of serigraphy. This was a great blessing for Luis Soto, both spiritually and artistically. In 1984, he enrolled in the School of Plastic Arts and graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in specialized studies in painting. Among the teachers who influenced his career during his study of plastic arts are Fran Cervoni, Julio Suárez, Ismael Diepa, Luis F. López, Rafael Rivera Ortiz, Ernesto Luis Roselle, and Adelino González.

His first collective exhibitions were: at the School of Plastic Arts; “Graphic Young Artists,” “Experimental Drawing,” “Competition of the School of Plastic Arts,” and “First Metal Sculpture Symposium” at La Galeria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1987, he traveled to New York City, where he enrolled in the Art Students League of New York. He studied contemporary painting, metal engraving, and etching. In 1987,he worked for several years at Sculpture House, where he developed mold-making techniques and worked with various materials such as silicone rubber, fiberglass, wax, plaster, and plasticine. In 1990, he changed jobs and worked as a Mold Maker at RAUL STATUARY in the Bronx, NY. In 1992, he participated in the “Recognize Its Own Excellence in Arts Awards,” where he won first place in the painting category. He also had the opportunity to participate in the “Artist in the Marketplace” program at the Bronx Museum of Arts in the same year. His first solo exhibition took place in 1993 at the Jadite Annex Gallery in New York. Later, in 1995, he exhibited at the Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx, NY.

In 1996, he settled in Florida, USA. Since 1997, he has been working for Disney as a mold maker for sculptures and other related tasks that utilize his skills and abilities. In 2004, he received an invitation to participate in the exhibition “The National Arts Program in Osceola County” and participated in the painting category. Later, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center of Florida, Inc. awarded Luis Soto certification as an artist in the field of Plastic Arts. He is even listed as a painter in the Registry of Painters of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center of Florida, which occurred on March 4, 2005. In the city of De Bary, Florida, he exhibited his art during the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in 2006. He then participated in the Fourth Annual Exhibit and Awards of the National Arts Program in 2008 and received the People’s Choice Award. Later, the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida presented the contest “Made by Puerto Ricans,” in which he received the “Best Presenter” award in April 2009. In June of the same year, Luis participated in “1st Thursdays” at the Orlando Museum of Art and was selected as the Artist of the Month. He then competed in the collective exhibition “Neu America Art Magazine” in 2009. Later, he participated in the 35th Annual Festival of the Masters, where he was one of the 150 carefully selected artists by a jury. Every year they filled the wide spaces of Downtown Disney with art, now known as Disney Springs. It is one of the most important outdoor art events in the entire USA, and he received an Honorable Mention. In 2011, he competed in the Osceola County, FL “The 7th Annual Exhibit The National Arts Program,” and in 2012, he exhibited at the Orlando City Arts Factory. In 2013, he exhibited at “Art: For God’s Sake” at the Audubon Park Covenant Church Exhibit. In 2016, he
participated in the “Artist Appreciation Award,” a collective exhibition for Hispanic Heritage Month at the City Hall of Kissimmee, FL.

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