Artists share skills, visions, inspiration at Latino Artists eXchange
By Olga Sanchez, El Hispanic News
Latino artists from as far away as Eugene joined artists from Woodburn, Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Vancouver at the Latino Artists eXchange 2012, held at El Centro Milagro on June 16th. Writers, painters, sculptures, actors, dancers, photographers, musicians, and more spent the day in creative camaraderie, learning from each other, building their skills, and sharing their professional visions.
The day began at 9 a.m. As artists arrived they were greeted by paintbrushes and rattles and invited to take up either or both. Performing artist and arts activist Erubiel Valladares Carranza spearheaded the welcoming activities. Working with painter Marta de Teresa and muralist Tomás Rivero, they created the beginnings of a collaborative mural, setting out a rainbow of paints and brushes for artists to add their touches to the wall.
In the center of the room, Kenya Hyde Márquez and Jessica Lagunas danced to start the day with energy, accompanied by musicians Kildem Soto, Johnny Villalva. and Erubiel Valladares, along with all the artists who picked up shakers and rattles to fill the space with rhythm, sound, and movement.
The morning performance was followed by professional workshops, held in a variety of spaces of El Centro Milagro. In the rehearsal studio, writers Ivonne Saed, Cindy Williams Gutiérrez, Kelly Carlos, and José Carlos led a literary conversation held in honor of the late Carlos Fuentes. In the Zócalo, painter Alejandro Ceballos spoke on the history of art to the 20th Century. In the Milagro Theatre, a conversation on professional development was led by performance artist and arts consultant Carolyn Campbell; Jessica Zapata, dancer, photographer and director of Eugene Arte Latino; and Maria Damaris, singer, musician and lead organizer of the Bajo Salario Collective.
After lunch the artists attended the first round of creative, collaborative workshops. In the Zócalo, singer/songwriter and chef Joaquín López and writer and graphic designer Ivonne Saed presented Food:Photo:Phrase, during which participants used fruits, vegetables and sauces to create beautiful culinary platters, before responding with phrases that were woven into poems and songs. In the Milagro Theatre, performing artist Víctor Hugo Garza and singer/songwriter Edna Vázquez used music, costumes, and major arcana images to launch original performances in their Tarot Theatre workshop. In the scene shop, visual artist William Hernández worked with percussionist Johnny Villalva and musicians Erubiel Valladares and Kildem Soto to draw evocative portraits based on quick impressions and influenced by the shifting rhythms of drums and sounds in the room.
After a short break it was on to the second round of creative workshops. In the Zócalo, dancer and psychotherapist Kenya Márquez and sculptor Susana Espino created a soothing environment for their workshop on managing stress with artistic methods. In the studio, three artists worked side by side; Alejandro Ceballos shared new techniques for drawing and shadowing in his workshop Dibujo y Sombras, and Marta de Teresa and poet Juan Cervantes created an Encounter of Word and Image, in which poetry influenced the creation of colorful pastel drawings.
After the afternoon of arts workshops, the artists came together in the Milagro Theatre to share what the day had meant to them, how it strengthened their skills and their professions. The day ended with a reception in the Zócalo, featuring food, an open mic session with folkloric music, and a celebration of two guests of honor, painter Elvira Maciel Browning and poet Xahel Galicia.
The event was made possible by the efforts of an excellent team of volunteers guided by Blas Delascio and Estela Robinson, as well as support from the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Community Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, Safeway, Panadería Miranda de Woodburn, Pambiche, Pepino’s and Andina restaurants.
The Latino Artists eXchange/Intercambio de Artistas Latinos (LAX IdeAL) will carry on with monthly meetings and another large gathering in 2013. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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