Maryland Hall Presents Perspectivas Latinas

By East City Art Editorial Team on September 19, 2022

Thu, September 8 2022 — Sun, October 30 2022

Courtesy of Wilfredo Valladares.

Perspectivas Latinas is an exhibition exploring the complexity within the social, cultural, political construct and artistic identities of Latin American Art. The exhibition features work by 19 local Latino artists creating in different genres. The exhibition includes paintings, printmaking, sculpture, assemblage video and mixed media installation art. The dialogue of this collection of works is interconnected by common threads that reveal a powerful tapestry of life experiences supported conceptually and esthetically. As the viewer travels through the gallery space, they will be confronted by complex narratives layered by cross-cultural experiences, childhood memories, migration issues, displacement of native communities, environmental impact, spiritualisms, symbolism, sustainability, resiliency and vulnerability of underrepresented communities, racial segregation, immigration and injustices.

Curator: Wilfredo Valladares

Wilfredo Valladares is an award-winning, internationally known artist, educator, and curator. Valladares is the founder of Arte Studio 28 and Perspectivas Latinas, initiatives that promote and foster Latino and Caribbean artists, traditions, and cultures. His artwork is in collections in the U.S., Latin and Central America, South Korea, and Italy. He serves as Visual Arts Academic Chair and Coordinator of the Sculpture Program at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC). He is a board member and co-chair, as well as the Visual Arts Curator, for the American Poetry Museum in Washington, DC. A tenured Full-Professor in the Visual Arts Department, Valladares holds the following degrees: MFA (University of Maryland College Park); BFA (Maryland Institute College of Art); Teaching Certificate (Normal Mixta Matilde Cordova Viuda de Suazo). His international installations include: “Terzo Millenio” (Milan, Italy; 1997), and “Near and Far” (Exhibition; Outdoor Installation: Daegu, South Korea; 2014). Valladares’ notable art commissions include: “Petalos Reflejantes ” (Silver Spring, Maryland; 2009); “Journey: Anacostia” (Washington, DC; 2013).

Valladares was born in Trujillo Colon, Honduras, where he began his career as an artist and teacher. His perspectives in the role of educator challenged the status quo during a time of conflict in his country, necessitating his pursuit of political asylum in the United States. Adopting a new country came with its own challenges, which Valladares met and overcame as he continued forging his path as an artist. Transcending the traditional paradigm of cross-cultural art, Valladares’ work respectfully bridges boundaries and connects multiple cultures, incorporating history and heart in each piece.

Artist Statements

Carolina Mayorga
Carolina Mayorga is a Washington DC-based interdisciplinary artist who has exhibited her work nationally and internationally for the last 20 years. Her work is part of national and international collections and has been reviewed in publications in South America, Europe and the US. Mayorga’s artwork addresses issues of social and political content. Comments on migration, war, identity, translate into video, performance, site-specific installations, and Two-dimensional media in the form of photography and drawing. The series of sculptures presented at the Maryland Hall honor wood blocks that belonged to sculptor Marisol,1930-2016).

Edgar Reyes
Many of my projects are autobiographical and a reflection of my personal journey as an undocumented youth in the United States. My work focuses on the precious and difficult moments my family and community face. Overall my practice is inspired by our shared experiences and my passion to highlight connections between the art of our ancestors and the contemporary Mexican diaspora. I explore how the blending of Indigenous and European traditions is an ongoing process of conquest and resistance. My art making is centered around building compassion and understanding around the complex history of forced and volunteering resettlement throughout the Americas. I emphasize the beauty of being Mexican American, yet question my national and cultural traditions. I usually create pieces in a collaborative platform as an act of healing and as a resource to creatively engage others in our connection to the land and our narratives of survival.

Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin
I utilize what human progress sheds. My work repurposes obsolete recording materials, like typewriter ribbon and video and audio cassette tapes. Art is my way of translating between the disposable synthetic world, and the cyclical natural world. I use hi-tech residue to question the sustainability of a society based on consumption.

The panels, cages, and nets that I weave respond to systems that want to keep us under control or within certain limits. By building metaphors I explore the caging relationship of our current immigration systems and expose their dehumanizing effect. My installations mimic landscapes, even though they are made with materials that were entirely manufactured by man.

My work lives between my intuitive home of Mexico and my rational home of the United States. I feel empowered by my bilingualism. My compulsion to make things with my hands guides my energy to ask questions that expand our understanding of the interdependence we have to all living systems.

Francisco Rosario
Leaning into a bias toward abstraction/intuition, artist Francisco Rosario works in geometric sculpture to create power objects that hold space, acceptance, and ownership. Utilizing repeating forms and woven texture his work is inspired by elements of sound, timing, repetition and the reverse engineering of rhythm and pattern. Through his use of techniques and materials employed in modern and indigenous building trades, his process is an intuitive exploration of the effort of immigrants and first generation Latino citizens to distinguish themselves within a sea of statistics and establish a home, a contribution, and an expressive self. Rosario’s work acknowledges the privilege of a creative practice, and represents interests, experiences, and cultural contributions of people of color and the working class. The repetition prescribes a sense of order to the chaos of anonymity and the fragility of our participation and identity.

Gerardo Camargo
Gerardo Camargo is a self-taught artist born in Mexico City. He began working as a cartoonist at the age of 12. In 2004 he founded Zarco Gallery, an independent space for contemporary art that offered a program focused on involving the artist community with local processes in the society. In 2002 he was selected by the Mexican National Council for Culture and the Arts as a Promising Emerging Artist.

His work has been shown in galleries and museums in Mexico and the United States, including: Aceptar, Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Washington DC, 2020; Underlying Borders, Mexican Cultural Institute, Washington D.C., 2019 (co-curator and participating artist); After Eden, Siqueiros Museum, Morelos, Mexico, 2016; Mary B. Howard Artist Member Exhibition, Greater Reston Art Center, Reston, VA, 2016.

His art is part of numerous private collections as well as part of the permanent collection of the RISD Museum.

In my current work I pay attention to the use of materials, tools, and labor in domestic architecture construction sites.I find labor represented as a group of segmented small gestures that unite compound the way of making, transforming, or demolishing a structure.

I am interested in the aesthetic appearance of discarded materials, seeing the traces they have been collecting through their history of manipulation – cuts, scratches, finger prints, or dust – as signals of the existence of a forgotten energy, and the representation of desires of many kinds.

While assembling those materials, I refer to narratives that can go so far in the past of generations of minority groups, as well to the contemporary architecture and its relations of power.

Thinking in my work as alternative imaginaries and constructs in which different worlds interact, I pretend to reveal part of the identity and origin of materials, and places, and speak out for the bodies implied in processes that are taking place in contemporary society.

Heloisa Escudero
Heloisa Escudero grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, but relocated to the United States in 1987 where her interest in Fine Arts developed. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art and a Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. She holds American, Italian and Brazilian citizen-ships. She is interested in conceptually based art that is both tactile and interactive. Her most recent art projects focus on art that emphasizes the participation of the viewer. In 2007 she moved to Sweden where she worked as a full-time artist, creating four successful projects and exhibiting in Sweden at the Uppsala Art Museum and in Spain at the University of Valencia. While in Sweden she built the first three BackPack Gallery Sculpture Units, starting the BackPack Gallery Project.

One of her BackPack Gallery exhibitions/ performances was held at the popular urban park, The High line. In the beginning of 2013 Heloisa set up her studio in Arlington, Virginia, where she works on several different art projects. When Heloisa Escudero is not in her studio making art she is working at the Hirshhorn Museum as an Exhibit Specialist and as Curator for Betty Mae Kramer Gallery and SoloLab 5 Project at Visarts. Escudero has been showing in the DC area, New York city and Boston on a regular basis and her recent solo exhibition is part of the lecture artist program at the NOVA College in Woodbridge, VA. Every year she participates in the Governors Island Art Fair in New York City where her performance engages the audience to interact and become part of the art. In the Fall of 2017 she completed an Artist In Resident at Montgomery College in Silver Spring, MD. In January 2018 Heloisa began a five months Bresler Artist Residency at Vistart where she ended the program with a solo show in 2019. Escudero has had numerous solo exhibitions including, Arlington Art Center (Arlington-VA), Object Center Gallery (Boston-MA), The New Gallery at NOVA Woodbridge Campus (Woodbridge-VA) and many more. Her art was mentioned at the the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Resource Magazine, Harvard University Archive and etc.

Irene Clouthier
Irene Clouthier is a Mexican/American Artist living and working in the Washington DC area since 2000. She studied her bachelor of arts at the Monterrey University, in her native Mexico and her MA at George Mason University. Her work unfolds from the remembrances and notions of childhood plays and games. She works with a variety of media from digital photography to sculpture, installation art and drawing. Her work has been shown widely around the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and Europe. She had 14 solo exhibitions in her +25 year career in different countries, such as Mexico, The United States, Cuba, and Spain. She has also participated in numerous art fairs across the globe such as Art Paris, Art Salamanca, Art Toronto, Scope New York, Scope Miami, Pulse Miami, Arte Americas, Pinta, Zona Maco, Art Miami, Diva NY, and Art Chicago among others. As wells as Museum, Art Centers and galleries around the world in Paris, Spain, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Italy and many other countries.

Irene Clouthier is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked exploring the memories and longings of children’s games and toys, as well as and art series where she analyzes words of opposite concepts and that create tension and coincide with lyrics, making a visual analogy of how opposing feelings can also have points of coincidence. She has also worked with sculptures made of paper maché and other concepts inspired not only by Mexican toys, but also by the great work and use of color in Mexico’s artisanal traditions and the urban landscape. Clouthier is also an entrepreneur, writes about art, and has curated and worked on productions of several exhibitions in Mexico and the United States, using her immigration experience as a way to create bridges and to connect countries through culture and art.

Joan Belmar
Joan Belmar was born in Santiago, Chile in 1970. He left Chile for Spain at the age of 24. He began painting professionally in Spain, using the Catalan name Joan for his first name John. He came to Washington, DC four years later in 1999, was granted permanent residency in the U.S. based on extraordinary artistic merit in 2003, and became a citizen in 2010.

Joan Belmar is well known for his unique technique of 3-D paint. He combined his former painting and collage techniques with both painted and untreated Mylar/paper strips in circles and curvilinear shapes. This technique produces variations in transparency, as light and the viewer move in relation to the work. The sheer quality of these translucent materials captures and reflects light and encourages an up-close viewing of the work to reveal the different layers within.

He was a Mayor’s Art Award Finalist in 2007 as an outstanding emerging artist in Washington, DC. The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities recognized him with an Artist Fellowship Program grant in 2009, and in 2011 he was awarded an Individual Artist Grant by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, MD. He is a two-time recipient of the Maryland Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in Visual Arts: Painting, in 2010 and 2013.

Belmar’s work is part of many private and public collections, including the University of Maine Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection. In 2016 he won first place, from among 2240 received artworks, for best Original Work in the prestigious Osten Biennial of Drawing in Macedonia, and in 2020 he was granted with the CSA grant by the Barret Art Center, Poughkeepsie, New York.

Lázaro Batista
Is a Cuban-born painter. “My work looks at how you get to a place and how you feel once you get there. It is a journey into how art allows you to share who you have found yourself to be. The paintings I am producing allow me to be sure of why I am here. They are a way of identifying myself, not as an artist, but as a human being, allowing me to leave footprints that cannot be easily erased.”

Luis Bello
My work explores my own emotions, experiences, & perspective.

I portray a mixture of these studies all at once in most, If not all of my work. I gain much influence from the late artist Jean–Michel Basquiat. My technique ranges per piece, I like to create, destroy and to rebuild from the remains. As an immigrant in the United States, I believe that sums up a great majority of my community’s experience in this country, As well as my experience as an individual.

Luis Peralta Del Valle
Luis Del Valle explores various subjects in his works. He paints family,friends, and everyday people as well as historic events and icons, such as Frederick Douglass, Misty Copeland and Martin Luther King Jr. 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.

Among the works presented are everyday street signs, transfigured from one symbolic vocabulary to a new one rooted in love, hope, and art. Visions of strength, determination, prosperity, and beauty, are created using refined elements of traditional portraiture and the embedding of positive messages.

Luis continues to grow his unique personal artistic sensibility remaining an active leader in the metropolitan arts world. His commitment to the arts community is well known in the District of Columbia and abroad. He believes that artistic development is a critical element in community development; the arts facilitate improvement in quality of life by providing tools to modify behaviors through the channeling of self expression into productive work.

Maria Luz Bravo
Maria Luz Bravo (1975, México) is a Mexican photographer who holds a bachelor in Architecture and a Master of Arts in New Media Photojournalism by the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.

Her body of work revolves around the use of space, both urban and architectural in the contemporary urban landscape to highlight major social phenomena, focusing primarily on cities in conflict, political boundaries, and community resilience.

In Mexico, she has photographed the effects of violence in Ciudad Juarez and the political boundaries of México City. In the U.S. she has documented urban decline, racial segregation and socioeconomic contrasts mainly on the east coast and the south.

Her work has been exhibited, published in Mexico and abroad. Her series “Reclaims” was selected to be part of the XVI Photography Biennale in México. She is currently part of the 2020-2022 cohort of the Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship.

Maria Luz lives and works between Washington DC and Mexico City.

My body of work explores the contemporary city, with a particular focus on the intersection of physical space and social dynamics. Each of my projects speaks to different aspects of the human condition that can be observed in the built environment. My continuous challenge is to understand and document how the built spaces and the human activity in them interact and influence each other.

Motivated to document the imprint of social phenomena and dynamics on space, my photographs intentionally omit the presence of people. My use of geometry, shape, and perspective creates movement that encourages the audience to explore the image. My preference for using wider angles allows the viewer’s eye to travel through the details as well as view it as a whole. In every image, I hope to provide the viewer with enough elements to be able to stop and discover smaller fragments of the reality photographed that provides one with a better understanding of a place.

My background as an architect provides me with a unique angle on the way I understand and interpret the built environment. I embark on deep dives in communities that traditionally are hard to penetrate and additionally converge disciplines and practices such as urban and social studies, design, and city walking to inform my projects. Placing myself in these spaces I observe and research so that I can incorporate complementary conceptual and spatial perspectives that reveal new angles to old problems and speculate from different points of view.

In my projects, I aim to encompass fact gathering and storytelling to engage the viewer in a closer dialogue with the subjects of my photographic interest. As I continue the process of understanding and documenting how the built environment and human activity interact and influence each other, I hope to invoke reflection on underrepresented views about race, politics, and social justice in my work.

Marité Vidales
Marite Vidales is a Costa Rican-born Washington, DC-based painter with a career that spans over 30 years. She received her BFA from the School of Fine Arts at the Universidad de Costa Rica in 1987 and completed Graphic Design studies at the Universidad de Centro America in 1983. She has exhibited widely in the United States, Germany, Peru, and Costa Rica. She maintains an active studio practice in the Shaw Neighborhood in Washington, DC and teaches art at two non-profit senior centers in the city.

Painting is my life, my occupation, and my greatest satisfaction. I use symbols to communicate the content of my work. Through colors and textures, I strive to create a harmonious and balanced image. My painting styles range from figuration to geometric abstraction. I develop thematic series of work based on my life experiences as a Costa Rican immigrant to the United States, as well as my travels and social concerns. I have spent over 30 years experimenting techniques to enhance my acrylic paintings.

Marta Perez Garcia
My recent work in sculptural papermaking enables me to push my creative boundaries and to further my reflection about ways to bridge art, social activism, social justice and civic engagement. This transition from my usual solitary two-dimensional woodcut prints works (color woodcut, reduction process) to making my own paper and structuring it into sculptural figures allows me to play with textures and shapes, adding a tactile quality to my work. The various textures originate from my use of different types of paper pulp such as abaca, cotton, flax, jute, and hemp to which I also incorporate substrates like hair, clay, pins, bullet shells, wire, read coil, nails, teeth, and film negative.

I aim with these recent works to continue to contribute to raising awareness about how gender-based violence has become an integral part of society, and the mechanism through which power is imposed upon a woman’s body.

The hand-made paper sculptures of women’s torsos and bodies created during the on-going Covid 19 pandemic, talk about the deafening silence and invisibility women victims of gender violence have found themselves surrounded with throughout the pandemic. These sculptures talk about the troubling yet rarely discussed dramatic increase in domestic gender violence towards women and children due to “shelter-in-place” policies and stay-at-home orders.

These torsos and bodies are the memory of the physical presence of the women who have been lost to gender violence. Their stories are written on -and throughout- their bodies. The paper I make and sculpt with becomes a very powerful medium to express the fragility and vulnerability, but also the strength and eventual resilience of the skin and self.

Through this new body of works, I also want to provide an esthetic space for a cathartic experience where viewers are led to reflect about their own story.

Muriel Hasbun
Muriel Hasbun’s expertise as an artist and as an educator focuses on issues of cultural identity, migration and memory. Through an intergenerational, transnational, and transcultural lens, Hasbun constructs contemporary narratives and establishes a space for dialogue where individual and collective memory spark new questions about identity and place.

Hasbun is the recipient of numerous distinctions, including: a FY21 AHCMC Artist & Scholar Grant, 2020 Sondheim and 2019 Trawick Prize Finalist, a 2019 Archive Transformed CU Boulder Artist/Scholar Collaborative Residency, Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards in Media (2019 and 2008) and in Photography (2015, 2012), CENTER Santa Fe 2018 Producer’s Choice and 2017 Curator’s Choice awards, a FY17 Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County Artist Project Grant, a 2014 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, the Howard Chapnick Grant of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund (2014); a Museums Connect grant of the U.S. Department of State and the American Association of Museums (2011-2012); Artist in Residences at the Centro Cultural de España in San Salvador (2016), and the Escuela de Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (2010); the Corcoran’s Outstanding Creative Research Faculty Award (2007) and a Fulbright Scholar Grant (2006-2008).

Hasbun’s photo-based work has been internationally exhibited. Venues include: Tufts University Galleries and Notre Dame University (2022); Rutgers University, Filter Photo Festival, and RoFa Projects (2021); George Mason University, Brentwood Arts Exchange (2019), Turchin Center for Visual Arts, the Athenaeum (2018); Betty Mae Kramer Gallery, MICA Meyerhoff Galleries (2017); PINTA Miami and Civilian Art Projects (2016); American University Museum (2016, 2008); Centro Cultural de España in San Salvador (2016, 2015, 2006); Smithsonian American Art Museum (2013, 2011); the Maier Museum of Art (2012); Light Work, Mexican Cultural Institute (2011); the MAC-Dallas and Michael Mazzeo Gallery (2010); NYU’s Hemispheric Institute at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires (2007); Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego (2007); Houston’s FotoFest (2006), Corcoran Gallery of Art (2004); 50th Venice Biennale (2003); Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City (1999); Musée de l’Arles Antique at the 29ème Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles (1998).

Similarly, her photographs are in numerous private and public collections, including the Art Museum of the Americas, D.C. Art Bank, En Foco, Lehigh University, El Museo del Barrio, International Development Bank, Smithsonian American Art Museum, University of Texas-Austin, Turchin Center for the Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Building upon her socially engaged art and teaching practice, Muriel Hasbun is the founder and director of laberinto projects, a transnational, cultural memory, and education initiative that fosters contemporary art practices, social inclusion and dialogue in El Salvador and its U.S. diaspora. She is the 2021-22 Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist at Rutgers University, visiting artist with the Nomad MFA program at the Hartford Art School, and professor emerita at the GWU Corcoran School of Arts & Design. Previously, she was professor and chair of photography at the Corcoran College of Art + Design.

Hasbun received a MFA in Photography (1989) from George Washington University where she studied with Ray K. Metzker (1987-88), and earned an AB in French Literature (1983), cum laude, from Georgetown University.

Nadia Lezcano
“My work revolves around a lot of processes and processing. I spend a lot of time in between thoughts, and it takes a long time to really understand what’s really going on. Challenging my art is one way to ground myself and my thoughts. Considering the physical aspect of working in art, I challenge myself to build up pieces and tear into them, processing and reprocessing each mark along with my thoughts.”

Osvaldo Mesa
I was born in Cuba and grew up in Miami. I started to take painting classes at the age of ten with a Cuban artist who had studied in Spain. So, my training was pretty traditional. When I went to college I was introduced to Abstract Expressionism and rejected much of my academic background. I began to rebel against painting itself. I started to break up the canvas stretchers and tying them together with canvas and finally adding paint to its surface.

I moved to Baltimore to attend Graduate School at MICA (Mount Royal). I had lived almost all my life in Miami in a prominently Latin environment and I really noticed that I was different than my “American” classmates. And Baltimore was a culture shock for this Cuban boy. I began to investigate my culture and personal history. I began to recall Sunday dinners at one of my many surrogate grandmothers. I would sit in a rocking chair and stare at her household Santeria shire. I loved trying to figure out what all the different components meant. I would also recall the local Botanica and the smell of the incense that would travel out into street. My work was basically made up of would canvas and paint; it also had a spiritual element to them especially an Afro—Cuban feel.

I continued to work in this way for several years after are graduate school. I even started to do installations. My work was even featured in the book Santeria Aesthetics in Contemporary Latin—American Art published by Smithsonian Press. A few years later I started teaching full time at a Community College in Baltimore. I remember sitting in a painting class and watching my students painting still—lives and saying to myself, hey that looks fun. At that same I felt that my work had it a wall and that wanted to move into another direction. I decided that I would paint whatever I wanted. I didn’t care about style period technique. I paint what I enjoy; I mix Baroque, especially Latin American Baroque with Surrealism and Abstraction. I put together things that make sense to me visually and come together demonstrate who I am.

Rafael Rodriguez
Rafael was born in Santa Rosa de Lima, a small town in El Salvador, and raised between the villages Copetillo and La Joya. He went to the schools in Canton Copetillo Caserio La Ermita and Canton La Joya. In 2013, He decided that he needed to move to the United States so that he could find a safe place far from violence. He arrived at Maryland and enrolled in Northwestern High School. He discovered his love for art when he took Art 1 class in his sophomore year and this led to being part of the Visual and Performing Arts Program. In his senior year, he attended the CreativeWorks job training program at Joe’s Movement Emporium. He graduated from Northwestern in May 2017 and he apprenticed at Art on the Block during the summer then he worked as a studio manager. The arts that he creates not only reflects his life as an individual but also the lives of many other young immigrants in this country who work hard towards their dreams. He graduated from Montgomery Community College, teaches visual art at Joe’s Movement Emporium and has a studio at Red Dirt Studios. His goal is to become an art professor, and contribute through the arts, to make a better place for the youth who are still in El Salvador. He hopes to keep creating art about immigration injustices, exploring different mediums.

Sami Miranda
My work is built on memory, sometimes my own and at others the memories of people who share their stories with me. This body of work is built from images my grandfather took and the construction of these pieces is meant to be an homage to the cabinets he would build in his apartment to hold records, objects or tools. When asked to tell me stories about his life, my grandfather would respond, “For what, its not important” this work is meant to make that statement as untrue as possible.

Maryland Hall is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD.