Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Since the gallery closed . . .

Retirement is another opportunity for Latino art adventures. It's been almost a year since Onda closed but I've continued working with artists I showed there and have found good places for them to exhibit their work.
Claudio Alberto Soriano, Peruvian artist living in Ecuador, returned to the Portland area last spring exhibited and demonstrated his painting technique at the Hillsboro Latino Cultural Festival, at Artists Among Us at Trinity Cathedral and at Angst Gallery in Vancouver. His work was also shown at Teatro Milagro.
Angelina Marino showed a remarkable series of new paintings at Trinity called "Stirring the Pot". The images were powerful and graphic.

For the holiday show at Trinity, the group that went to Cuba in April organized an exhibit and sale of Cuban art and craft - "Una Fiesta de Esperanza". This exhibit of fine art and folk art offered creative expressions of Cuban culture - community life, sports, music, dance - in a variety of media. Internationally recognized artists such as Manuel Mendive, Alicia Leal and Montebravo were represented in paintings and self taught artists such as Carlos Caceres, Luis Ramirez, Marisol Hernandez and Sandra Dooley brought their intuitive design skills and personalities to their work. Alejandrina Cue's tapestries were brilliant examples of how an artist can re-use materials. The exhibit was produced in collaboration with the Cuban Art Space in New York City and benefits their art programs for children with Down Syndrome.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cuban Poster Art at Teatro Milagro

For the past two years, Teatro Milagro has shown art from Onda Gallery in a program called Onda at Milagro. The next production of the theater - "Ana en el Tropico" (Anna in the Tropics) - will be complemented by an exhibition of Cuban posters from the last thirty years.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the history of the Cuban Revolution could be told graphically. Since the beginning, posters have been designed to communicate important social messages - posters meant to instill revolutionary consciousness in the public ("Emulación," "Mas productividad," "Reparación consciente," "Limpieza, una tarea permanente"), posters that call people together for important gatherings ("Todos a la Plaza con Fidel!"), posters in solidarity with liberation movements around the world, posters that revile (Nixon was a favorite) and posters that praise, posters that advertise film, theater, dance and art exhibits, posters that commemorate historical moments, posters in celebration of women, children, students -- and much more. The poster artists are among the most well known in the country. Most of the earliest posters were hand silk-screened, and many still are.

The posters and prints shown in this exhibit are from the collection of Beverly Walton, who has strong ties to the older and younger generations of Cuban artists.

"Ana en el Tropico" will play from February 11 to March 5.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deck the Halls with Art that's Jolly

Festive art from the Pacific NW, Cuba and Ecuador
November 20-December 31, 2010
Opening and artists' reception - November 20, 6-9 PM
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6, Sunday 12-4
(closed November 25-26 and December 25-26)

Digital poster "Margin" by Tim Krause

Painting "Poppies" by Maureen Andrade

Painting "Arrow" by Layla Elam

Mask "Recognition" by Brita Gould

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Everything Dead is Alive Again

Celebrating the Days of the Dead, November 1 and 2
Paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, prints and mixed media

Latino artists from Oregon and Washington - Analee Fuentes, Cristina Acosta, Gene Flores, Alejandro Ceballos, Susana Espino, Paulina Hermosillo, Hampton Rodriguez, Roberto Herrera, Armando Olveda and Pepe Moscoso - will exhibit their work, and other artists working within the genre, including Joan Darling, Nancy Watterson Scharf, Gregory Carrigan, Clay Hoffman, Sue Burnett and Kat Keating, will also have their art in the show. Other highlights are an altar by Justine Avera and Vincent Ramirez, a shadow puppet play by Shiney Penny Productions and art from Zarco Guerrero of Mesa, Arizona.

The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage (and others) living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day which take place on those days.

Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Observance of the holiday in Mexican-American communities in the United States has become more important and widespread as the community grows numerically and economically.

October 28-November 14, 2010
Opening and artists' reception - October 28, 6-9 PM
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6, Sunday 12-4

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Children of Darkness and Light

Drawings by Mabel Astarloa Haley
Mixed media by Heidi Marie Balmaceda

Paintings by Maite Tobon

Mabel Astarloa Haley began her series of drawings called "Grunge People" as an experiment, an emotional reaction to the frustrating situation in politics. She spotlights individuals in the crowd in a dramatic way which reflects her forty years of creating sets and costumes in Argentina, France, Switzerland and large American cities. She taught in the Departments of Theater Arts at Brandeis University in Boston and Portland State University. She has also exhibited her paintings in galleries and showcases in the Pacific Northwest, including Beaverton Arts Commission shows, The High Desert Museum in Bend, Klamath County Government Center, Oregon State University, and a one person show at the BICC Gallery, Oregon Health & Science University.

Heidi Marie Balmaceda is an artist from Portland, Oregon. As a little girl she spent time with her family in Chile and Colombia. Her Latin heritage lends itself to vibrant and rich colors in her artwork. She studied at Portland State University and has lived in the area for the last 30 years. Her current pieces are metallic acrylic paints layered with metal leaf pieces. It is a technique she developed over the last few years. Due to the nature of the materials used and their application, no two works are alike. Unique in their patterns of heated foils and designs, they change as the light around them changes, from softness and depth to brilliant flashes.

Maite Tobon brings an energetic, vibrant and simplified view of figures from her native country Colombia. She immigrated to the United States about fourteen years ago. As an artist, she has distilled her memories into figurative paintings which blend influences of the Colombian Pacific coast life and the African culture. She likes to show through her paintings a culture and life style where the people work hard yet seem to be happy much of the time. They show it through the rhythm and movement of their bodies and the vibrant colors of their clothing. They have no faces because they are anonymous people that represent a part of the world that is not easily comprehended and rarely listened to. Acrylic is her preferred medium and she uses a base of hard molding paste that gives the painting realism and movement, as well as visual and tactile effect.

September 30 - October 26, 2010
Opening and Artists' Reception - September 30, 6-9 PM
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6, Sunday 12-4

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Between Places and Spaces

Paintings by William Hernandez
Photographs by Pepe Moscoso

Two young artists - Hernandez originally from Peru and Moscoso from Mexico - are deeply involved in creating and sharing their vision in Portland.

Artist statement by William Hernandez:

This show is about the relationship between space and national identity. I left Peru, my native country, about a year ago and now I live in Portland. Sometimes I wonder if there is a space/time connection between here and there. How exactly does this dislocation affect an artist's work?

Because so many things have changed, I think it's very important. Portland's colors contrast with the beautiful landscapes of the interior of Peru, but the gloomy backdrop of Lima also contains magic and rituals beyond what we find in a more intimate city like Portland. These are the kinds of differences that I observe daily and I try to capture these flashes of insight in sketches for new projects that find their way to canvas.

This creative freedom is flowing through my work, putting together memories, experiences, lessons learned, friendships, achievements and feelings. The new journey that began with the "return of chasqui" connects the "national" feeling of my homeland to the "local" flavor of my so-far satisfactory stay in this place of pines, snow, rivers, people, rock-n-roll, trains, cafes, green, rain, bridges and more bridges and far off in the distance something called Peru.

Artist statement by Pepe Moscoso:

This photographic study called "En conjunto" seeks to create a visual metaphor, to find new meanings in tiny fragments of life, and, by revealing them, create an almost impossible moment. An essential element in this photographic work is the fusion of images, where each one speaks and expresses a stolen moment in the past. The greatest merit of photography is its ability to preserve those small moments, those unrepeatable fragments of life.

The main objective of this photo series is to create a new image. I seek to reveal a new and hidden perspective, an ephemeral reality that begins with its creation and ends in the moment you see it. It is a fleeting instant which is preserved and maintained in the subjective essence of our being.

Duality plays an important role in this study, as it serves to create a harmonious equilibrium between the subjective and objective, as well as a connection between realities and unrealities. It represents the place where the observer becomes the middle ground, an intersection between perception and visual representation. In this way, it generates both concrete and abstract thoughts of the image.

This study compiles images of various places such as Portland, Oaxaca and other parts of Mexico. It was inspired by a search for reality and by the photographer’s constant quest for detail.

August 26-September 28, 2010
Opening and Artists' Reception - August 26, 6-9 PM

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Materials Old and New

Collages from recycled print media by Hampton Rodriguez
Sculptures in autoclaved aerated cement by Carole Murphy and students

Hampton Rodriguez celebrates his tenth year in Portland with new works inspired by the Alberta Street scene he's been part of since he arrived. The decade has been marked by increased consciousness of environmental impact, and he has created collages made from recycled printed materials for this show.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez developed a loyal following from Bohio Studio, his Alberta Street work and exhibit space. He received his art education at the Altos de Chavon School of Design in the Dominican Republic and at t in Hillsboro. In 2004 he was the Alberta Art Hop Featured Artist with over 200 works in galleries and businesses along the street. In 2005 he was part of "People, Places and Perceptions - A Look at Contemporary Northwest Latino Art" at Maryhill Museum in Goldendale, WA. He has also painted murals on the walls of commercial businesses and non-profit organizations and created sets for Teatro Milagro's production of "Men on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown."

Carole Murphy, raised and educated with a family of lawyers in Vermont, began sculpting at the age of 40. It was not long until the forms began to take shape, and she has exhibited her work in galleries and museums from Portland, the Oregon coast and the state of Washington to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Scottsdale, Arizona and Burlington, Vermont. She is president of the Pacific Northwest Sculptors Guild.

What distinguishes her current work is the experimentation with a unique material, Autoclaved Aerated Cement. Although created for the construction industry, AAC is perhaps even more ideal as a sculpting medium. Yet there are only a few artists who have discovered it. Even though the artistic use of the material is in its infancy, AAC outperforms many other well know and widely used alternatives.

Murphy talks about the creative process with this new material. "My work is leaning at this point towards sensual organic forms, and this material has assisted me in traveling far from the genre I began with. At the very least, it has made my journey here more straightforward. I look forward to seeing what is possible for others and the directions they travel to."

Some of the "others" using the material are sculptors who have taken classes with Murphy. Their work will also be part of the exhibit.

July 29-August 24, 2010
Opening and artists' reception - July 29, 6-9 PM
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6, Sunday 12-4