Victorio Reyes

Poetry & Prints!

Collar City Mushrooms and Bliss Arts NY are kicking off the creation of limited edition prints of a select number of Armando Soto‘s pieces with an evening of poetry on Thursday, August 19, 6PM to 9PM, at Collar City Mushrooms, 333 Second Ave., Troy, NY

We will have two featured poets and an open mic for poetry / prose.

Armando Soto‘s paintings reflect Taino, Nuyorican, and Jazz cultures. An exhibit of his work is currently being displayed at Collar City Mushrooms until the beginning of September.

The Featured Poets for the evening:

Julia Soto Lebentritt (“Leben” for short) is a writer with a background in arts administration. As the director of a Poetry/Theatre/Dance Series in Hartford, CT, she worked with Allen Ginsberg, John Cage, Maureen Owen, and Peter Schuman’s Bread and Puppet Theatre. Her published poetry appears in literary journals and chapbook collections. She favors spoken word and shared experiences. Known for her celebration of language as music and the revival of oral traditions (especially lullaby practices), her “Melting Poet Trio” in NYC featured a world percussionist, jazz singer, and the poet herself in original works exploring the deconstruction of lyrics and playing with sounds and syllables as poetry. The fire hydrant is a very important object in the life of Julia who was born in Troy, NY, where they were (maybe still are) manufactured. Now she is most famous for bringing artist Armando Soto home with her to live in Troy since 2000. 

and poet Victorio Reyes Asili. Victorio is an activist and author who teaches writing at the University at Albany. As a poet, former Hip Hop artist, scholar, and social activist, Victorio Reyes Asili focuses his research towards expanding established conceptions of literary poetics to broaden the representation of marginalized voices and the work of artists that utilize poetry as a platform for questioning stations of power. He is the winner of the Phyllis Hurd Liston Prize presented by The Academy of American Poets. His creative work has been published in a wide range of literary journals including The Acentos Review, Pilgrimage Magazine, Word Riot, and Obsidian. His poetry on Hip Hop and other matters has been anthologized in the following collections: It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip Hop, Black Lives Have Always Mattered, and Chorus—A Literary Mixtape. He also is a former executive director of the Albany Social Justice Center.

plus you! Bring a poem or two to share!

Armando will be in the house and rumor has it he may share a poem or two as well! 4 of his paintings will be made into limited edition prints and will be available for purchase.

Born in New York City, Armando Soto is a graduate of Pratt Institute NY. He received his BFA in Painting, Drawing and Art History. He also studied Bilingual Special Ed. at the Bank Street School of Education NYC.

For many years, he taught in lower Manhattan for a community organization called Arts Resources for Teachers and Students which collaborated with teachers in developing art projects within the school district.

He is a collaborative member of the Action Alley Project in which a mural was created with the artworks of children of the Troy Area United Ministries with the color and arrangement of the artist. He has also assisted with art projects at Public School 1 in Troy.

His recent show, “Los Tainos Through Nuyorican Eyes,” featured a retrospective of his work at El Taller Boricua, a Puerto Rican Art Workshop in East Harlem, New York City.
He has been featured as an Artist Educator at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. From September to October 2014, he was in an art show called Points of Entry Through Folkloric Expressions, which showed an exhibition of his work based on the Indigenous people ( Los Tainos) of Puerto Rico and the Folkloric influences in his art works.
His work is consistently shown at the Martinez Gallery in Troy NY which had an exhibition called Nuyorican Pilgrimage in March 2016, and has displayed his work at the New York State Museum.

Currently, Armando monitors the Open Studio and teaches Abstract Painting and Studio Concepts at the Arts Center in Troy NY.

As an Independent artist, he also teaches privately at the Ilium Building in Troy NY and presents art workshops throughout the capital region.




Aug 19 2021


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Collar City Mushrooms
333 Second Ave., Troy, NY 12180

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