Face To Face: International

Face To Face: International

Welcome to our 2021 collection of community portraits resulting from Face To Face: International

In 2021, The Bridge partners with Speak! Language Center and the Charlottesville Sister Cities Commission for Face To Face: International to connect Charlottesville artists with global citizens. Portraits are exhibited at the Bridge and then gifted from the artists to the community members.


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Alice Pinzi & Bryce Yates

Portrayed: Alice Pinzi

Alice is 46 years old and from a Poggio a Caiano family dating back generations. Her father is Tuscan too, from the Monte Amiato region. She is a true Tuscan DOC, half Medici and half Etruscan! Alice has a partner going on 10 years and a 6 year-old son named Achilles. She graduated from the Institute of Prato and works in a high fashion yarn/textile shop in Prato. Alice admits to having lots of hobbies, including photography, embroidery and sewing. She is very community driven and leads her neighborhood in an annual sports competition against the other neighborhoods of Poggio. Additionally, she volunteers at an environmental preservation organization in Italy, working to protect the integrity of the relationship tying humans to nature.

Artist: Bryce Yates

Bryce Yates is a sophomore in high school and has lived in Charlottesville his whole life. Despite being young, his interest in the arts drives every aspect of his life, and he hopes to help others value the beauty of creativity through his work. While he loves experimenting with all types of mediums, his primary preference is colored pencils.

In this portrait, done with colored pencils, ink, and markers, he aims to represent Alice in a chic way through incorporation of abstract elements from her photography. These elements’ extending past the main artwork and to the frame signifies the impact and contagiousness her creativity has in her community. Bryce would like to thank Alice, Stella Mattioli, who worked as the pair’s translator, and all who helped make this project possible!

Manuel Mishiwo & Sarah Miller

Portrayed: Manuel Mishiwo

Emmanuel “Manuel” Mishiwo lives in Winneba, Ghana. After many years of working in the hospitality industry in Accra, Manuel ended up back in Winneba to start his own guest house, gradually increasing the number of rooms over time. Manuel’s Guest House now hosts groups from Charlottesville that come to observe local festivals a couple times a year. Apart from running his business, Manuel really enjoys playing table tennis and cooking delicious meals like Groundnut Soup with rice balls or fried plantain with Red Red Stew. 

Artist: Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller is a painter who works primarily in gouache and watercolor. Since getting a BFA in drawing, painting, and printmaking, Sarah has been very interested in seeking more understanding in portraiture and color theory. In her everyday life, she tries to observe colors, shadows and patterns in order to learn more about how to integrate them into her work. 

For this painting of Manuel, Sarah used gouache and metallic ink on a round wood panel. She gives hints of his Ghanaian clothing, but really wants the focus on his soft, strong gaze. Her conversations with Manuel allowed her to realize that he is not only hard-working, but that he also loves to enjoy the people around him. 

Lorenzo Coppini & Ramona Martinez

Portrayed: Lorenzo Coppini

Lorenzo has been working in the sweater/knitwear industry for 20 years. More specifically, his job involves joining yarns and organizing the shop. Outside of work, he tries not to leave even a single thread unspun, since he has a beautiful 3 year-old child and a new wife to whom he wants to devote his time.  Lorenzo is passionate about volunteer work and is very proud of the group he created with his friends called  ODV I Giullari. He loves sports and adores running and road-biking.  He studied art for two years at the Petrocchi in Pistoia, which is perhaps another reason why this project appealed so much to him. 

Artist: Ramona Martinez

Ramona Martinez decided to teach herself to draw in 2015 and has been making art ever since. Somewhere along the way she fell in love with linocut printmaking and Catholic iconography. She is currently hand-carving a Virgin Mary oracle deck. Ramona is also an arts organizer and Country music songwriter. She is co-publisher of MALA LECHE — a quarterly radical art zine featuring art & writing by women, non-binary, and genderqueer artists — and serves on the board of The Bridge PAI.

During the zoom call with Lorenzo, Agnese and Gino popped into the frame. Ramona thought they looked very much like the Holy Family, and this print was created from a screenshot she took to capture the moment.

Morgane Maillarbaux & Jae Johnson

Portrayed: Morgane Maillarbaux

Morgane is a 28 year old working as a coordinator in a social services office. She studied sociology and has a passion for understanding the society in which she lives. She loves to read and considers it a welcome escape from daily life. Morgane also enjoys nature and hiking in the mountains. She values friendship and sharing beautiful moments with the people in her life. And, like any good French person, she adores good wine! 

Artist: Jae Johnson

Jae Johnson grew up in the Fifeville area of Charlottesville, Virginia. He attended Venable Elementary school where his art instructor and favorite teacher, Ms. Joanne Curry, first pushed him to be the best artist he could be. During elementary school, however, he stopped drawing and didn’t start again until his freshman year at Charlottesville High School. After graduating in 2006, Jae went on to Virginia State University where he majored in studio art. Jae Jae has numerous pieces in private collections in places ranging from Maryland to Oakland, California. His preferred medium is currently Copic markers with a touch of graphite but has recently started to do mural work.

Paul Lo Papa & Nicholas Hall

Portrayed: Paul Lo Papa

Paul teaches at the Lycée Jules Haag in Besançon. He’s studied art in France for much of his life and his current passion is teaching filmmaking to his students as a way to help them build self-esteem. He’s currently also working on a project to build a museum with his students to teach them some of the challenges faced by artists and arts administrators.  Paul visited Charlottesville with a group of representatives in 2014 and truly loves Virginia. As he said himself: “I think I’m gonna be your man for this project!”

Artist: Nicholas Hall

Nicholas Hall is a painter from Charlottesville, VA whose work seeks to reorient the significations that produce subjectivity.  This project involves drawing visual signs from the past, cultural and personal, and painting them into an abstract landscape in which they can interact and draw out the holes in subjectivity.

Roger Felix & Tori Cherry

Portrayed: Roger Felix

Roger is a 31 year old born and raised in Guatemala. He works for an engineering company that serves the local community by providing structural analysis for anyone interested in building in the area. Roger also owns a hotdog stand called ‘Que Chèvre!’  that offers a unique menu. Family is incredibly important to Roger and he is proud to be a loving father to his three children. He is a big fan of soccer and enjoys hiking. Roger’s portrait painting is based on a photo taken during a hike of a local volcano! 

Artist: Sarah Miller

Tori Cherry is an artist based in Charlottesville, VA. She is a 2021-2022 Aunspaugh Fifth-Year Fellow at the University of Virginia (CLASS’21). Her paintings and drawings serve as sites for personal documentation, reflection, and connection. Through portraiture and still life inspired by her loved ones, her surroundings, and herself, she highlights the paradoxical uniqueness and universality of experience. 

Yolanda Pablo & Chicho Lorenzo

Portrayed: Yolanda Pablo

Yolanda Pablo was born in Todos Santos Cuchumatán (Huehetenango, Guatemala), where they take pride in wearing their traditional outfits on a daily basis. She wanted to be a doctor, but became a lawyer instead. She loves to learn and to help, and gets plenty of chances to do so mediating in court for people who only speak Mayan. Ch’jontey! (thank you in Mayamam)

Artist: Chicho Lorenzo

Chicho Lorenzo is an artist known for his murals and sculptures that portray the communities they’re in, with surreal additions that interactively inspire us to dream. His most famous projects include giant Dream BIG, the Open windows mural that helped a whole town healing, the Nest Love sign, and the Monuments to Yourself, interactive bike unicorn permanent installations, in Richmond and Charlottesville, Virginia.

His work is based on mutual inspiration, and he coordinates whole schools and communities to participate in public art projects, and leads inspirational workshops to transmit the joy of art and life.

Ernestina Yawson & Erin Root

Portrayed: Ernestina Yawson

Ernestina Yawson, or “Auntie Tina”,  was born from the ocean. Her voice, staccato, moves up and down like waves. She loves the salt air, and is motivated by the seaside landscape she grew within. When asked what she loved about Virginia after visiting, she commented on all of the trees. She took the landscape memories home with her and implemented them at her school. In video chatting with her, she showed me the density of tree canopy she has contributed to the campus.  Tina believes strongly in contributing to her community. In 2016 she won the National Best Teacher Award from the Republic of Ghana’s Ministry of Education. She is a joyful and powerful spirit passionate about being part of the administration of a well established school. Tina has political ambitions, and is working towards a political seat. Tina is ageless, with a laugh and hope of a nine year old girl, and the rootedness of someone who has lived lifetimes. 

Artist: Erin Root

Erin manages her own studio in Architectural and Landscape Architectural design, in addition to being the Executive Director of SCAN (Scottsville’s Center for the Arts and the Natural Environment). She received a Masters in both disciplines from the University of Virginia in 2013, and a Bachelor in Fine Arts, from the Corcoran School of Art and Design in Washington, DC in 2002. Following graduation, she sat on the board of the “Washington Sculptors Group” and worked at “Red Dirt Studio” while teaching Middle and High School Art practice, history, and theory at The Washington International School, in addition to an inaugural course in parallel with the exhibition ”The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas” at the Hirshhorn Museum. After leaving DC, Erin completed a Ceramics Residency at the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, VA.

In graduate school Erin found ways to overlap her love of making and designing and apply them to her interest in social justice and environmental advocacy. After graduation, she received a Postdoctoral fellowship, from the Center for Global Health at UVa (funded by the NIH), to continue her research in flexible water infrastructure that is adaptable to the landscape and the needs of the communities in the Limpopo region of South Africa. Erin’s love of Architectural and Landscape Architectural design was born from a passion for creating and interacting with communities. Her love of people intersected with creative thought informs the work she does today.