ArtReach GW Presents Creating Casa Siempre Aquí at THEARC

By Editorial Team on June 7, 2021
J’Nae White, family photo, 1990s, White Oak, MD.
Virtual Artist Talk: Saturday, June 12  from 11am to 12:30pm

Exhibition open by appointment only. RSVP here: https://form.jotform.com/211223689790158

Creating Casa’s newest exhibit, Siempre Aquí, which maps the memories of Latinxs in the Washington metropolitan area through the community’s personal photographs, opens at The George Washington University’s ArtReach Community Gallery at THEARC in Southeast Washington, DC.

Through an immersive gallery experience that emulates and honors grandma’s house as central to community life, this community-based exhibition will provide the public with the opportunity to celebrate the rich memories Latinxs have made in their everyday life throughout the decades.

“In curating this show I often think of my grandmother. She had everyone’s pictures on her walls—her children, grandchildren, in-laws, everybody. In this sense, her home was a museum. Creating Casa wants to do this for our Latinx community in the DMV. We want the Latinx community to see themselves on the walls of the gallery.” Said Creating Casa co-founder Wanda Hernández.

Moreover, Siempre Aquí hopes to highlight the cultural vitality in Latinx domestic spaces through diaspora-specific objects and artworks. The exhibiting artists include but are not limited to:

Veronica Melendez is based out of Washington, DC and received her MFA from the University of Hartford and BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. From illustrations of iconic household products to photographs documenting the diaspora of Central Americans within the DC metro area, her work is greatly influenced by her Latinx upbringing. Having been raised in D.C within one of the largest Central American communities in the United States her work gives a platform to a voice that is often marginalized and serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of culture and representation in art. Veronica also co-runs La Horchata Zine–a seasonal magazine featuring artists with Central American ancestry.

Homie House Press is a skeleton bones crew of femmes creating and publishing in the foto book medium. They are photographers, bookmakers, and educators holding space for and with QTPOC artists and other underrepresented communities. Homie House Press is a playground where fotos become books, a safe space for secret stories, and an open house for honest content. Find them migrating through the in between, the world wide web, and al otro lado del charco.

Luis Peralta Del Valle is an award-winning artist born in Nicaragua in 1980 and migrated to the US in 1985. At the age of 13 he started painting graffiti murals in the District, Maryland and Virginia. A few years later at Bell Multicultural High School he began his formal artistic education, continuing his studies at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. The murals, portraits, and landscapes Del Valle creates tell stories in vibrant colors and realistic figures. They draw the viewer into the long traditions of art and yet speak to the viewers’ modern sensibility. Luis continues to grow his unique personal artistic sensibilities while remaining an active leader in the metropolitan arts world.

About Creating Casa

Siempre Aquí is Creating Casa’s second art show. Their self-titled inaugural show opened in Spring 2019 at The Hive 2.0 and received a lot of attention from DMV locals, which is exactly what the all-Latina, DMV-native curatorial collective wanted when they formed Creating Casa. From its inception, Creating Casa aimed to foster community and empower Latinx creatives through culturally relevant art and public humanities programs that explore questions of space, place and identity amongst Latinxs in the District, Maryland, and Virginia.

About the ArtReach GW

ArtReach GW builds programs and partnerships that foster community connections and civic engagement through the visual fine arts. As a part of the Honey W Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service at George Washington University, ArtReach free art programs and collaborative art projects are a vehicle to strengthen cross-cultural understanding, activate citizenship, and develop valuable art and design skills. ArtReach provides a safe, supportive, and enjoyable environment where DC youth and families make connections between art and their lives.