Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mental Menudo Artists Exhibit New Work

Chicano: Pronouncing Diversity.
Mental Menudo Artists Exhibit New Work in Landmark Show.

It’s almost incredible that Chicano Art Shows keep getting better and better. An excited crowd is its own reward; energized by ambience, conversations flow among strangers sharing delighted moments of inspiration. In such moments, crowd and art fuse into the same thing, culture. Every show brings new talents to the walls, but for me, seeing the maturation of talent in new work by familiar artists offers the greater pleasure.

So it was at the opening reception for Chicano: Pronouncing Diversity, in Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock Cultural Arts Center. An encouraging display by a new generation of artists and a core of veteranas and veteranos from the old days. Holding it all together the familiar materials and attitudes of Chicanismo.

At one point during the exhibit, I was leaning against a pillar taking candid shots of Vibiana Aparacio-n Chamberlin speaking animatedly with Serg Hernandez about Pola Lopez’ irreverent piece combining loteria cards and la Virgen. Out of the blue, I remembered Salvador Plasencia saying he’s glad to be published outside the chicano mainstream. And here’s Pola Lopez placing her work squarely in the heart of that mainstream.

I asked Magu, who curated the exhibit, what qualifies a piece for the show? Not what makes the work “good,” but what makes it “Chicano.” I got the answer the question deserves: go inside and have a look! The excitement of the moment begins at the door with Raoul De La Sota’s painting of cactus pencas.

Hugely magnified and rendered in fanciful warm colors, the canvas evokes Rousseau’s “Magical Kingdom”.

Turning left into the main gallery, the visitor will be welcomed by the curator, who will nudge the visitor to take in the vendor’s cart, and photographer Oscar Castillo’s tribute to Frida.

To read more, click HERE.


Gilbert "Magu" Lujan

Vibiana Aparicio Chamberlin

Sergio "Serg" Hernandez

Upcoming Mental Menudos:

October 13th ~ 7pm
Eagle Rock Art Center
“Business, Galleries y Que"
Panel de Art Consultants
Patrick Ela
Howard Fox
Bob Squires

November 10th ~ 7pm
Mexican Cultural Institute
“Acting up y Que"
Panel de celebrities
Roseana De Soto
Evalina Fernandez
Jose Valenzuela
Herbert Siguenza

December 8th ~ 7pm
Eagle Rock Art Center
“Future of Los Angeles Art Centers”
Panel de Administrators
Jonathan Yorba
Lui Sanchez
David Tourje

For Info Contact:

Eagle Rock Art Center
Director: Jenny Krusoe
jenny@centerarteaglerock.com
2225 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock, CA 90041
323-226-1617

Mexican Cultural Institute
Chair: Abelardo de la Pena
Abelardo @ iconoculture.com
125 Paseo de la Plaza Por la Calle Olvera
Los Angeles 90012-2932
213-264-3660

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