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Cueto uses app to turn Sudburians into art

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | May 23, 2014 - 3:45 PM |
Photographer and artist Jorge Cueto shows off some of the sketches he created, based on photos he took of people at the first ever Downtown Sudbury Art Crawl March 20. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Photographer and artist Jorge Cueto shows off some of the sketches he created, based on photos he took of people at the first ever Downtown Sudbury Art Crawl March 20. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Exhibition of sketched portraits on display at downtown cafe

As crowds of art lovers flocked to downtown Sudbury on March 20 for the first ever Downtown Sudbury Art Crawl, local photographer Jorge Cueto ushered them into his Durham Street studio to take their portraits.

He ended up taking photos of 70 people during the art crawl event and in subsequent portrait-taking sessions.


Although Cueto isn't a professional artist, he used the portraits as the subject of a series of electronic sketches he created on his smart phone using a software program called Sketch.

These sketches — he's done about 35 of them — are now on display at 84 Station on Elgin Street, a cafe located across from the Laurentian University Architecture School.

They'll be at the cafe until late June as part of an exhibition Cueto has dubbed “I Will Make You Into Art.”

Cueto said that when he takes people's photos, he often feels the shots aren't really a reflection of the subject's personality.

He said he used the sketches to reveal a little bit more about the people he's depicting — or at least his interpretation of who he thinks they are. “This allows me to have more control of that,” Cueto said.

An example is Sudbury Living Magazine editor Vicki Gilhula, who had her portrait taken by Cueto during the art crawl.

Cueto drew her sitting at a desk to reflect the fact that she's a journalist. The sketch shows her laughing, as she had started to laugh as he took photos.

Another sketch subject is local artist Larson Heinonen, who's depicted wearing his favourite hat, and with a camera strap around his neck. Heinonen is often seen in the downtown with his camera as he snaps photos for his blog.

Cueto said his favourite sketch so far is of local artist Mary Green, whose studio is in the same building as Cueto's. It shows Green in her studio with her legs crossed, wearing her favourite sandals.

He added some hearts and stars on the wall to express his friendship with Green. “I put in what I felt expressed her essence,” Cueto said.

Although Cueto has dabbled in sketching throughout his life, he said he'd never done very much of it before this project.

He said he thinks his work in photography has helped his fine art skills, as it's given him a better understanding “of what people look like, and people's forms.”

The “I Will Make You Into Art” project wasn't just a one-time deal, Cueto said, as he's enjoyed creating the sketched portraits so much, he wants to continue doing them in the future.
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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