Local man brings art appreciation to Riverside

By Jorge A Arizmendi-penaloza

Cosme Cordova (Jorge A. Arizmeni-Penzola)

By Jorge A Arizmendi-penaloza

Since 2003 at least 25 galleries in downtown Riverside stay open from 6 to 9 p.m. every first Thursday of the month, as part of the Riverside Arts Walk.

The concept of the Riverside Arts Walk started one day when Cosme Cordova was walking around the art district in downtown Pomona.Four years ago he saw the potential in promoting the arts in the Inland city where he resides: “I was tired of going outside Riverside to appreciate art and exhibit art,” Cordova said.

Cordova had a solo exhibition at the Riverside Community Arts Association Gallery in July 2002 and from that moment on he started conversing with Mark Stockley about having openings of art exhibitions simultaneously. But it wasn’t until September 2003 when the idea of creating a path for the arts became a fact.

Cordova started the concept of the Riverside Arts Walk with Division 9 Gallery in December 2001 while cleaning a basement in the Life Arts building, located at 3485 University Ave., which now opens Wednesday and Thursday.

Cordova dropped his academic career at RCC in 1995, a few months before his father passed away. The financial burden at home caused by his father’s addiction to alcohol forced him to quit college.

The Mexican-born Cordova shows in his work a mixture of colors that represent his biculturalism and bilingualism. His work is influenced by what he calls the key of personal development, and by having the opportunity to be able to go back and forth to the country of his birth.Cordova recently received an award from the Downtown Partnership for being one of the founders of the Riverside Arts Walk.

The last year exhibition of the Day of Dead will be repeated this year and he is working with city officials to have a week event starting Nov. 1st and 2 the exact days for the celebration of this pagan Mexican tradition.

For Cordova it hasn’t been easy to be an artist with family hoping to see him make as much money as his brother who works in construction, but for him fine arts is not only a source of income but a hobby and a way to express the person he is and who he wants to be.

“Even though I have six more classes to finish in order to get my Associate of Arts degree, I don’t see myself going back to school,” said Cordova. “I am too busy planning cultural events that we will be featuring the first Thursday of every month

For Cordova it is not easy to go back to school. He has to work a full time job and select the paintings to be exhibited every month, that’s why he thinks that there is no time left to go back to college.

Every month he welcomes students from different local universities and colleges. The First Thursday of March he had a group of art students from La Sierra University and hopes to see more students in the months to come.