Multi-site exhibition resists isolation among Southwest artists

Jaylen Pigford, “El Negrito” (2022), acrylic on canvas, 20 x 30 inches

Artists and art scenes in the American Southwest share common ground, with a dialectic of culture emerging at the intersection of demographics, experiences, materials, and iconography. Three contemporary artists who identify with Mexican, Chicanx, and Latino backgrounds, and who hail from and have connections throughout the Southwest—Ricardo Islas from San Diego, Rigoberto Luna from San Antonio, and Vicente Telles from Albuquerque—have set together their regional artistic knowledge and financial resources to organize the multi-city and multi-location exhibition Sound of Allá and Sound of Acá / They are from there, and they are from here.

In an interview with Hyperallergic, the curators talked about the impetus and goals of these shows. In addition to enhancing the visibility of the region’s color artists, Islas, Luna, and Telles also discussed the importance of creating pathways and brotherhood for Mexican-American, Chicanx, and Latino artists throughout the Southeast. west.

Alejandro Macias, “Out of Sight (Conceal)” (2022), oil, acrylic and found wood on panel, 30 x 30 inches

Luna explains that the struggle against isolation of artists in the South West also served as an inspiration for the exhibition. “Artists can see other artists working the same way across the region and the Southwest in the same lexicon,” he said. “It also inspires the next generation, who are starting to see names that sound like our names. These artists look like us and understand what we’re doing, and that’s a big part of why we’re doing this. I don’t think everyone has seen what contemporary Latinx art looks like in Texas, Albuquerque, San Diego – so we’ve gathered it all in one place and hope to take it somewhere else.

The Sound of Allá and Sound of Acá The iteration in Albuquerque — itself the second phase of the interstate art exchange — brings together the works of 60 emerging and established artists of color living and working in the Southwest. The exhibition has found its way to Burque in four galleries that are integrated and sensitive to their communities: Tortuga Gallery in the neighborhood of Barelas, El Chante: House of Culture downtown, and Piece/208 and the South Broadway Cultural Centerboth located in the South Broadway neighborhood.

Beyond community engagement, Telles notes that the South Broadway Cultural Center and El Chante were also selected because they are spaces led by people of color. Burqueño Telles said, “These are mostly Brown-curated spaces or Brown-run spaces,” pointing to Augustine Romero of the South Broadway Cultural Center, an artist in the exhibit and the city’s only male curator of color. , and praising the organization of El Chante founder Bianca Encinias. and outreach work.

Adrian Delgado, “Cherries” (2021), oil on canvas

While Luna curated San Antonio’s Presa House Gallery for more than a decade and also worked on the latest multi-site iteration of the Texas Biennale, two-thirds of Sound of Allá and Sound of AcáThe curatorial triad of ‘s – Islas and Telles – is more recent in the organization of major exhibitions. The culmination of this freshness of vision with a strong experiential and procedural foundation is evidenced in the breadth and breadth of the show’s composition.

Whatever modern state these artists now call home, similarities of experience abound. As Luna says, “We all come from different states, but we have so much in common. There are so many parallels between our upbringing and the status of our communities. Here in the border region, people come from everywhere. I’m Mexican American and we have a complicated relationship with the border — there was no border. Now we have physical boundaries to get these artists to see the similarities – not only in theme but also in medium.

The works in Sound of Allá and Sound of Acá boast of a multiplicity of materials. Ethereal or avant-garde – Original site-specific performance by artist Paseño José Villalobos El agua that our cargo – to the traditional – colcha, pewter work and natural santero pigments from Telles – to the contemporary, the art included testifies to a passionate exploration and experimentation within the mediums.

José Villalobos, “La Necesidad y Su Peligro” (2022), photography on glass

Islas said: “It’s not just a painting exhibition – there’s sculpture, there’s sculpture, there’s everything. Seeing artists work in all sorts of media also inspires other artists, opening up their ideas of what art can be. Perhaps they thought of themselves as painters and are now considering expanding into sculpture or textiles.

At the South Broadway Cultural Center, the Sound of Allá and Sound of Acá The exhibition runs until September 29 and presents a discourse between expressive pictorial works, including “Cherries” by Adrian Delgado (2021), “Mercado San Juan” by Guadalupe Hernandez (2021), “El Negrito” by Jaylen Pigford (2022) and “Ahí Viene” by Telles Vicente” (2022). Jenelle Esparza’s “Landscape Tapestries” (2022), an exquisite textile art composed of rosaries, metal fences and cotton and acrylic threads, are on display, along with objects referencing the performance “El Agua Que Nos Carga” by José Villalobos and an accompanying glass photograph, “La Nécessité et Su Peligro.”

As of press time, three exhibit sites — El Chante, Exhibit/208, and Tortuga — have run their course. Above and straddling the chimney of El Chante, contemporary art dialogues on the colorful walls of the gallery. Created from pine, cottonwood root, gesso and natural pigments, and sealed with trementina varnish, Frank Zamora’s “El Quinto Sol” (2020) evokes the thorn-crowned face of Jesus flocked by demons disguised as a rooster or a cobra. Straddling “El Quinto Sol” were Alvarez’s “The Expulsion” (2022) and “The Condemnation of Pig Man” (2020-2021), acrylic painted panels that depict apocalyptic scenes representing the community and justice – both divine and artificial.

Daisy Quezada Ureña, “Untitled” (2020), unfired clay, steel, fabric and concrete, 52 x 15 x 16 inches (all images courtesy of Presa House Galley)
From left to right: Jenelle Esparza, “Landscape Tapestry 1” (2022), cotton yarn and acrylic, wood, 52 x 15 x 16 inches; “Landscape Tapestry 2” (2022), cotton thread and acrylic, wood, 52 x 15 x 16 inches; “Landscape Tapestry 3” (2022), wire fence, rosaries, cotton yarn, 24 x 15 inches

Highlights of the Tortuga exhibition included works that showcase creative construction, works by Elena Baca in cyanotype, cochineal and mica, “Germination” (2022) and “Golden Hour” (2022) in tin traditional jerry montoya rejected (metal embossing) with oxidized patinas, “San Juan Diego” (2022) and “La Dolorosa” (2022). At exhibition 208, an untitled 2020 work in unfired clay, steel, fabric and concrete by Daisy Quezada Ureña shared the space with Jocelyn Salaz’s stylized nostalgic oil portraits, ‘Mi Madre’ (2011 ) and “Mi Padre” (2011), as well as Alejandro Macias’ vibrant multimedia works “Out of Sight (Conceal)” (2022) and “El Guerito” (2022).

Thanks to the avant-garde vision of its curators, the closure of three exhibition sites almost coincided with the satellite show Son of Aqui, Son of Aca’s opening in Santa Fe. Select artworks on display at the Hecho Gallery through October 2 have also been featured at El Chante, such as Eric J. Garcia’s Prickly Pear Ink Paintings of the Alternate Conquistador and natural stories – “Alien Species (the one with the cow)” (2022) and Alien Invasion (the robot)” (2022) – and Audrey Montoya’s grotesque watercolor and acrylic set “Cough Cough” (2022). Among the pieces circulating from Tortuga to Hecho are “La Baile de Las Flores” (2022), a work in colcha wool and wood by Yvonne Vanessa Zamora Vazquez as well as the warm and spectral oil painting by Rachel Tapia ” At San Felipe de Neri” (2022).

Guadalupe Hernandez, “Mercado San Juan” (2021), oil on canvas, 42 x 32 inches

At the Hecho Gallery, Son of Aqui, Son of Aca centers a cross-section of stellar works by color designers – including its curators, the previously mentioned artists, and 2Hermano, Gabriela Campos, Alexandria Canchola, Laurie Garcia Jones, Desireé Beltrán González, Sal Gonzalez, Ernie Lucero, Brandon Maldonado, Jazmine Puentes , Sonia Romero and Sabrina Zarco – in Santa Fe, an international art destination where works of art, traditional and contemporary, are widely presented as consumables.

At the time of writing, a video of workers protected by a tarp tearing down Gilberto Guzman’s Santa Fe mural circa 1980 Multicultural – paving the way for Vladem Contemporary, a new branch of the New Mexico Museum of Art – broadcast on social networks. Telles explains, “Why not put this badass show in the heart of a city that’s trying to whitewash our walls? We go there and show the skills and talent that this fantasy land is erasing.

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