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BIOGRAPHY

Amneris Fernandez was born in Santa Apolonia, Venezuela, in 1950. The oldest of 10 children, Fernandez grew up on a family farm in the Andes. Though his family was poor, there was always sufficient food on the table.

When Fernandez was six years old, his mother noticed his artistic gift when she saw a remarkable drawing of Jesus drawn by Fernandez in the dry earth next to the coffee plants. Fernandez remembers this moment well. She instructed him not to erase the figure with his feet, but to use his hand instead.

Fernandez's father wanted him to spend his life helping the family and working on the farm. Hehad hoped his son would become a farmer, like himself. But his mother, recognizing her son's desire to explore his artistic gift and to live a different life, convinced his father to let him go. At the young age of 13 years old, Fernandez moved to Merida, Venezuela, to attend secondary school.

At the age of 18 years old he moved to Caracas, Venezuela where he worked for one year as an elevator operator. During idle moments he would draw while waiting for passengers. One day a gentleman, unknown to Fernandez, named Pascual Navarro – a Venezuelan arts master entered the elevator. Noticing Fernandez's sketch he requested to see it. Impressed by his gift, he invited Fernandez to explore and perfect his gift with him and later to teach in his Art Studio, where Fernandez's artistic gift blossomed.

When Fernandez turned 19 years old his life became filled with activity. For a period of three years, his daily routine included morning work at the Air Force where he worked as a draftsman of aircraft, afternoon studies at the Venezuelan School of Fine Arts "Cristobal Rojas," and evening studies at the School of Technology, where he studied electronics. Wishing to perfect his gift further and to learn the English language, in 1975 Fernandez moved to London, England, to attend "Saint Martin's School of Fine Arts."

In 1981, Fernandez returned to Venezuela. In 1985 he won first prize at the Annual Symposium of Fine Arts. At this time, and up until 1987, Amneris used to sign his paintings as "Annerys." In 1983 Fernandez made his fist visit to Canada to see a cousin. In 1988 he moved to Quebec. With him he brought his South American experiences, subject matters and colors, which were at odds with the Northern environment he now found himself in.

For a period of time he lived in the uncomfortable state of doubt. However, local galleries recognized his artistic gift and encouraged him to paint subject matters and colors reflecting the North American experience. During his first year in Canada, Fernandez worked as a street artist in Old Montreal, where people from all over the world stopped to have their portraits painted (medium: pastel). This is a time Fernandez remembers fondly.

He also examined the indigenous peoples and animals of North America. As a result, his early work depicted the historical lives of Native North American Indians, the Inuit and the polar bear (medium: oil and acrylic on canvas or wood). His style was mostly realistic, however, also created surrealistic images of motion, human form, earth, water, fire and air. Up until 2005, Fernandez's work in Canada consisted mostly of realism with an occasional surrealistic piece. Today, as he and his art evolve, he is blending the surrealistic with the realistic.

Education:
London, England Saint Martin School of Fine Arts
Caracas, Venezuela School of Fine Arts Cristobal Rojas

Prizes:
2004 Artist spotlight, PBS 2004 Arts Auction, United States
2003 First Place Award, PBS Arts Auction, USA
1985 First Prize, Annual Symposium of Fine Arts, Venezuela