93-Year-Old Widow Finds Passion in Mosaic Art
After the loss of her husband, Brunilda Molinari Jimenez sought solace and enrichment at the Atelier del Mosaico. Now, six years later, at the age of 93, she has become one of the most remarkable students, with several of her pieces showcased at the Expo 2023 Mosaic: “Evolution, Transformation, and Transcendence”.
A Remarkable Journey from Rio Pedrera to the University of Puerto Rico
Born in Rio Pedrera, Brunilda was among the few women who attended the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in the 1940s. She pursued studies in Humanities and worked as an editor at the UPR Publishing House for 32 years while raising her eight children alongside her husband. Reflecting on that period, Brunilda fondly recalls it as the golden age of the university, working under the guidance of Mr. Jaime Benítez, the esteemed rector and later president of the institution.
“I had the privilege of working with exceptional bosses. Dr. Francisco Ayala, in particular, appreciated and acknowledged my editing work in his book,” reminisces Brunilda, whose late husband, José “Pepito” Rexach García, was a renowned basketball player for Los Cardenales de Río Piedras.
After retiring and caring for her ailing husband, Brunilda found herself at a crossroads. At the age of 87, her eldest daughter encouraged her to explore new interests. She reached out to Luis Rivera, the owner of Atelier del Mosaico, and embarked on a new chapter in her life. Despite her initial reluctance towards smartphones, she adapted to the modern world and even used Uber to travel to the workshop.
A Therapeutic Journey of Self-Discovery
Since joining the Atelier del Mosaico, Brunilda has not missed a single Friday at the workshop. Mosaic art has become her therapy, providing a much-needed respite from her caregiving responsibilities. With no prior knowledge of crystals or glasswork, she embraced the art form with open arms, thanks to the support and guidance of her daughter and the workshop instructors.
“Working with glass allows me to shape and infuse life into something cold and hard. It’s a way for me to express my emotions and create something meaningful,” explains Brunilda. Her dedication and talent have not gone unnoticed, as she was recognized by the Atelier del Mosaico in 2021 for her exceptional contributions to the world of art. Her works are known for their strength, creativity, originality, sense of humor, and fearless demeanor.
“I want to inspire others who are in a similar stage of life, showing them that they can pursue new passions and discover hidden talents,” declares Brunilda, who serves as an example and inspiration to mosaic students of all ages.
From Architecture to Mosaic: Luis Alberto Rivera Torres
Luis Alberto Rivera Torres, an architect by profession, has become a mentor to countless individuals seeking to explore the art of mosaics. His journey began with a desire to pursue his artistic aspirations, leading him to enroll in a basic mosaic class at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico 18 years ago.
Although the museum did not offer advanced classes, Luis took the basic course multiple times and created a series of 40 works that were exhibited in New York. Impressed by his talent and dedication, the museum teacher recommended him as a teacher, and he spent three years imparting his knowledge while further educating himself in various mosaic techniques and trends.
Fifteen years ago, Luis founded the Atelier del Mosaico to expand his creative freedom as a teacher and offer a broader range of educational opportunities. Over the years, he has developed 15 different courses and has trained over 10,000 individuals. His impact extends beyond teaching technical skills; he instills architectural concepts such as depth, scale, and proportion in his students.
Luis takes pride in the diverse group of students he has nurtured, including those who had no prior experience in mosaic art. He encourages them to explore unconventional materials, such as nails, washers, straws, and pencils, resulting in unique and captivating works. The ongoing exhibition at the Plaza Las Américas shopping center showcases the remarkable creativity and innovation of his students.
“I challenge my students to think outside the box. By giving them unexpected materials, I push them to unleash their creativity and create something extraordinary,” explains Luis, who continues to inspire and empower aspiring mosaic artists.
N find new passions and continue to grow and create, regardless of their age,” Brunilda expressed.
Recognition and Success at Expo 2023 Mosaic
Brunilda’s journey and talent have led to her participation in the Expo 2023 Mosaic exhibition, a significant event in the art world. Several of her mosaic pieces were showcased at the event, which focused on the themes of evolution, transformation, and transcendence. This recognition at a prestigious exhibition demonstrates Brunilda’s remarkable skill and dedication to her craft.
At the age of 93, Brunilda Molinari Jimenez has found solace, enrichment, and a new passion in mosaic art. Her journey from being a university editor and wife to becoming a recognized and celebrated artist showcases the power of pursuing one’s interests and embracing creativity at any age. Brunilda’s story serves as an inspiration to others, proving that it’s never too late to discover and excel in a new artistic endeavor.
What can younger generations learn from Brunilda’s journey of pursuing a new passion later in life
Brunilda’s journey of pursuing a new passion later in life can teach younger generations a few valuable lessons:
1. It’s never too late to start: Brunilda’s story showcases that age should not be a barrier to pursuing one’s passions. No matter how old you are, it’s important to remember that opportunities can come at any stage in life. It’s never too late to begin a new chapter and follow your dreams.
2. Embrace change: Brunilda’s decision to pursue a new passion required her to step out of her comfort zone and embrace change. This can be an important lesson for younger generations, who often face uncertainties about their future. Being open to change can help in exploring new interests and discovering hidden talents.
3. Persistence is key: Pursuing a new passion later in life can be challenging, but Brunilda’s journey highlights the importance of persistence and perseverance. It’s essential to keep pushing forward despite any obstacles or setbacks that may come your way. Embracing a growth mindset and staying determined can lead to personal fulfillment and success.
4. Don’t be limited by societal expectations: Society often places expectations and limitations on individuals based on their age. However, Brunilda’s story shows that it’s essential to defy these societal norms and follow your heart. Choosing a path that brings you joy and fulfillment is more important than adhering to societal expectations.
5. Continuous learning: Brunilda’s pursuit of a new passion required her to gain new knowledge and skills. This highlights the importance of continuous learning throughout life. Regardless of your age, being willing to learn allows for personal growth and opens doors to new opportunities.
6. Find joy and purpose: Pursuing a new passion later in life can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Brunilda’s journey serves as a reminder to younger generations to prioritize finding joy and purpose in their lives. It’s important to follow your passions and engage in activities that bring you happiness, regardless of when or how you discover them.