March 1 – 30, 2019
Friday, March 1, 2019
6 - 7pm
Friday, March 1, 2019
7 - 10pm
No Me Olvides presents stories told by eight local established Latino artists. Through art, music, poetry, and food, these stories build a narrative of happiness, melancholy, sadness, and hope. Curated by Fernando Muñoz, No Me Olvides examines issues of migration, displacement, family, memories, and the importance of belonging.
Featuring artists Alejandra Almuelle, JC Amorrortu, Cecilia Colomé, Fidencio Durán, Carlos Lowry, Peter F. Ortiz, Elvira Sarmiento, and Liliana Wilson.
Fernando Muñoz is a self-taught artist and poet based in Austin, Texas. He has curated exhibitions for La Peña Gallery and the Serie Project.
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I. Disorder, II. Presence, III. Force
In creating this triptych, I started with impressions of police militarization in Ferguson, Missouri, and the separation of children at the border. I left room for the imagination. Although the stories residing in this triptych are familiar to the viewer, they do not entirely reveal themselves.
Two major life experiences influence my art: my Latin American upbringing and my work as an Austin muralist. My acrylic paintings—bold and graphic—are figurative and inspired by contemporary cultural, political, and technological themes.
I studied art at Southwestern University in Georgetown, under the guidance of Gus Farmer, and graduated in 1976 with a BFA in Studio Art. In 1978, I joined Interart-Public Art as a muralist. I trained with Puerto Rican artist Carlos Osorio, and painted several local murals, including the Varsity Theatre Mural. I have also designed covers for small press books, punk rock album jackets, and many political posters and flyers.
Angel de alas rojas (Angel with red wings)
A boy is on a difficult journey, the wings represent his strength and spirituality.
Forastera sin planeta (Foreigner without a planet)
The young girl represents a migrant on a journey to nowhere. No longer able to live in her land of origin, she cannot find a place to go. She is left without a planet. The decorations of skulls in her dress are a symbol for the death of other migrants that could not find a place on the planet. The owl is her companion because she is close to nature. The owl also offers the gift of wisdom. The red color in the background represents a warning of ever-looming danger.
My paternal grandmother removed dried corn from the cob by abrading it with another mazorca. She kept a wood fire burning for cooking and heating. She was married at age 14 and lived to bear 14 children. My father was the youngest son. She was always working to maintain her family. Under her watchful eye we liked to observe the cows as they approached the barbed wire fence near some shady Mesquite trees. She would often observe the end of the day with a hand rolled Bugler cigarette. This piece is inspired by these memories.
So the sea dawns, glory propagated, daily birth of the world
My father was a Urologist and a Sculptor. Growing up with him, I view the world with curiosity and full of options. As a child with that father, I never felt I had to choose between my passion for science and my passion for the visual arts. I grew up feeling I could have both worlds, both pursuits, both human endeavors. So, I did, and I still do. I hope I am reproducing this pursuit of a kind of dual life for my daughter. It is up to her—it will be her choice, her decision.
When I was 10 years old, I literally begged my parents to talk to the late painter Amalia Baquedano and ask her to have me as her student. I loved her work. She accepted only 18-year old students or older. Somehow my mother was able to convince her to give me a chance. I still remember that I never missed a class (on Saturday mornings), never got up from my chair during the class period, not even to use the bathroom. From Doña Amalita, I learned everything I know about drawing and painting. This is perhaps my most honest artist statement: how strongly I felt and wanted to be a student of Doña Amalita. I feel so honored and grateful.
The piece that I am showing in this exhibit is part of my series of seascapes. It is a series of paintings all in grey tones, from almost black to almost white. I chose this simple color palette to be closer to a dreamlike view. The title is part of the poem “Mar que amanece” (“The dawning of the sea”) of the late Mexican poet José Emilio Pacheco. He is the master of writing poems about places, land and sea.
Cecilia Colomé is a painter and printmaker who has made Austin her home since 1988. Cecilia was a student of the late painter Amalia Baquedano in Mérida, México, and studied printmaking with the late intaglio master Juan José Beltrán in México City. Cecilia holds a BS in Physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and a PhD in Astrophysics from The University of Texas at Austin. Cecilia is a Writer and Editor of Math and Science textbooks. As a visual artist, Cecilia’s primary medium is oil on canvas. She also works with gouache on paper. As a printmaker, Cecilia works on linoleum plates, and on zinc plates using dry point, engraving, aquatint etching, as well as intaglio and solar etching techniques. Cecilia has been exhibiting her art at La Peña Gallery in Austin, Texas, for the past 20 years.
Done using the alla prima (wet on wet) technique on a 30” x 40” linen canvas, “Closeness” is a visual homage to the idea of belonging. Mother Nature is represented as a woman who is being lifted up by a red cloth. The color red was chosen because it is a very strong hue. It symbolizes passion and love but also symbolizes caution and warning. My goal was to portray both the light and the dark; on one hand, the beauty of mother nature and on the other hand, the dangers we are facing by what we are doing to this planet. This juxtaposition creates a very unifying image that is both aesthetically and conceptually pleasing. Rose petals were placed on top of the woman and apart from her, symbolizing unity with all that surrounds us.
Born in Lima, Peru and living in Austin, Texas as of December 2000, JC is a firm believer that every artist should develop their technical abilities, but also their conceptual ones. Art is very powerful and it should not only please or disturb your eyes, but also communicate a message. JC is a traditionally trained artist in a variety of mediums whose goal is to connect the traditional and the modern to make a better future.
In reading the piece I narrate what I observe in Austin, Texas: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, HUMAN VALUES AND BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES
The present character I found on the road at IH-35 South River City, the scenery is what accompanies me every day outside of my studio. The sky is a composition of paintings that were inspired by the forces of rain, wind, and the light of the sunsets; all set the living space and humanity that represents the stage of Austin. “The cardboard that she holds expresses a wink of tenderness and a message of do not forget me.”
My artistic production is the result of living expressions and creating images that promote the existence of a totally free and respectful society, without prejudice towards any member of the community, where human spiritual values and conscience is exalted by recreating fantastic stories where now the look is different.
Peter F. Ortiz
Migration is a narrative about people’s innate need to strive for a better life, making sacrifices to get to a better place. The morning glory represents opportunity, hope and a new land. The water represents the oceans that people cross leaving their homelands or the Colorado River that divides Montopolis from the rest of Austin. The adults represent the foundation of our lives and the children are the present day helping one another, brother and sister or other people. One child has collapsed, another holds on. The third is slipping as we hold tight, taking care of one another. The last child is symbolic of all of the sacrifices made along our journey as we reach our new land. The drowning child reaches his new land, as his spirit leaves his physical body and is now part of the spiritual. This is shown by the spirit behind him holding the same flower being reached for by the first parent. The skulls at the bottom of the water are the generations past who sacrificed to give to us and to get to where we are today. Looking closely at the water waves, we see the waves are parts of the woman that is Mother Earth. Mother Earth makes the wave that kicked the baby out of the parent’s arms. That was destiny.
My art explores and tries to represent the mind, the intersection of dreams and memories.
Estado de Cosas / State of Things
This piece refers to the moment when the actual circumstance is accessed knowing the limitations of fragmented memory and interpretation.
Aliento / Breath
Based on the Peruvian and Mexican pre-Columbian Ceramics.
Retorno / Return
This is the last piece of the Journey series. Life as a series of transitions, it refers to the end of a journey but also the beginning of a new one.