Friday, October 26, 2012

Leticia Roa Nixon (Ahdanah): Aquí Estamos

September 28th to December 8th, 2012 
El Vestíbulo

Carnival at Penn's Landing, 2012
Digital Print, 12 " x 15" 
Ahdanah was born in Mexico City and has lived in Philadelphia since 1985. She has a B.S. in Communications from Universidad Iberoamericana. Since 1992, as a photojournalist for Hispanic newspapers, she has been documenting the diversity of Latino immigrants in this city. / Esta exhibición documenta las vidas de mejicanos en Filadelfia, sus historias personales y sus esperanzas.

Immigration Reform
We Are America, 2006
Digital Print, 12" x 15"

 Leticia is the publisher of the blog “Las Recientes Noticias” (LRNews). She is a certified court interpreter for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and is a volunteer at the Latino Partnership Initiative, JUNTOS, and Casa Monarca.

With Laura Deutch and Carlos Pascual Sánchez, she produced the video documentary, El Sol Sale Para Todos (The Sun Shines for All), in partnership with JUNTOS and thanks to a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant (April 2009). She has also published Aquí Estamos/Here We Are, a bilingual book of South Philadelphia Mexican immigrants’ oral stories.

Ahdanah was co-editor of Mirrors and Windows/Espejos y Ventanas, Oral Stories of Mexicans of Kennett Square. She is finishing her book, Arándanos, Oral Stories of Philadelphia Puerto Rican Blueberry Pickers, to be self-published in 2012, and has published two biographical books for children, Blueberry Lady and The Mexican Lindbergh.

In 2009, with Dalia O’Gorman, she co-founded Casa Monarca, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserve and promote Mexican art, culture, and traditions through artistic and educational programs in South Philadelphia.

César Viveros Herrera: No Me Conformo

Poster - No Me Conformo
Poster for No Me Conformo

September 28th to November 10th, 2012
Lorenzo Homar Gallery

West wing view of the gallery

For this exhibition, César Viveros Herrera asked for the Lorenzo Homar Gallery to be painted a deep red so he could recreate a temple or “teocalli” of out of the memories of his youth. Born in Tejería, Veracruz, Viveros, working from the recollections of his childhood where he would come across ancient artifacts from past civilizations in his father’s cornfields, recreates precious iconographic pieces to construct an ancient place that is still alive and real. It is a world populated with relics of Coatlicue, the Aztec Mother God, to Kukulkan, the feathered serpent, and ancient ruins. To many of the people of his town, these relics did not seem valuable, but to him, the artifacts awoke an intense interest in learning about pre-Columbian civilization and his personal connections to them. Viveros perceives that connection with civilizations from the Olmecs to the Mayans, the Aztecs and Mexico, and with him here, a connection to Philadelphia. 


As a muralist, Viveros applies his keen sense for seeing these connections to each community he makes a mural for. He is able to listen to the people, opening himself to them so to comprehend their needs and desires. In this show, he is listening to his own voices, his present context, and his cultural and ancestral influences. Over the coming weeks, he will use the walls of the gallery to create a personal mural. On November 2nd, he will conduct a ceremony for the Day of Dead. During the reception, guests can go to a computer station, provide their name, and, by using the Mayan calendar, decipher their Mayan name. 
Reception for No Me Conformo.  Participants working on the mural. 
César Viveros Herrera has been painting murals in Philadelphia for the past 10 years in a wide range of communities. His photorealistic murals offer fantastical collages, often covering entire sides of buildings to create a reflective sense of place for the particular community it depicts and with whom he deeply engages. One of his murals is New Fire (Fuego Nuevo), on Girard near 3rd street, and Cops and Kids at S. 20th St. and Point Breeze Ave. He is also the president of the Mexican Cultural Center.

Other post on Viveros is here.

Interview with Viveros is here.