About the Exhibit
Artistas De Somerville
Artistas de Somerville, una exhibición celebrando la cultura Hispana. The exhibit is meant to highlight the work of outstanding and renowned creatives in our city! Artists featured: Consuelo Perez, Fermin Castro, Laidy Saenz, and Mario Quiroz . Their work will be on display from September 8th through the end of October 22nd, 2023. Experience this unique exhibition space at the CVS window in Davis Square.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual observance in the United States that celebrates the rich culture, history, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. It takes place from September 15 to October 15, encompassing the independence days of several Latin American countries, and serves as a time to recognize and honor the diverse and impactful achievements of this vibrant community.
We are extending collaboration with another Arts Council driven space, at the BIPOC Pop up exhibition and event space, which will be featuring Las Chicas Artistas. An arts exhibition in all Spanish. Local artists will be showcasing their artwork from September 15 through the end of December 2023. This exhibit features all women and women identifying individuals.
About the Artistas:
Mario Quiroz - As a Salvadoran-American, bilingual and bicultural, and socially engaged citizen, the main goal of my photographic practice is to be a witness of my time. Using images, I translate economic, political and human experiences into narratives that announce, denounce or call for better social conditions. I make my art political, and I tell my political views through art: graphics and balanced compositions are just the outline to showcase people’s challenges and experiences as immigrants in the US.
My practice has meaning when the subjects that I photograph celebrate and embrace the images that I make of their everyday lives. From street photography and candid snapshots to elaborated and staged portraits, my photographic practice is of this and for this world.
Laidy Saenz is an interdisciplinary artist investigating themes of hybrid identity, migration, and memory. She often draws from Peruvian and New England cultures to create paintings, sculptures, and installations. Stitching materials like waxed Japanese paper and manipulating them with needle and thread, Saenz uncovers hidden metaphors and properties embedded in her media at the nexus of heritage and modernity
Consuelo Perez - When I left my country Peru, I left behind part of my life, love, friends, family… And Choosing what to bring to the USA was a challenging decision. Strategically I packed portraits of friends and families that play important roles in my life growing up, hugs and kisses from innocent friendships that made my heart bounce of joy, disappointments and pain, smiles and tears that helped me growth with time, and most important skills passed to me from my ancestors that have helped me to survived then and now and are available at any time and place.. For example, These pieces were taken from my luggage of memories and as an instrument to help my special needs daughter to visualize my personal history while describing my hometown Arequipa’s landscape, clothing, traditions, and materials used back then.
My daughter is my inspiration. She is a visual learner, learns by seeing, touching, doing it furthermore she feels empowered showing my creations. Whenever there is an opportunity, furthermore it has helped with her social skills, speech and provide opportunities to be part of the community. She loves talking about my country, although she was born here in the USA she tells everybody that she is Peruvian.
Making these pieces together has also sparked her, my family friends and community curiosity to know more about me, my life back home but also was followed with questions like what, when, how, who… for my Latino community to talk about our kids' disabilities which is a taboo for many of us. As a Latina mother I want parents to feel proud of who they are and support their kids, to focus on their habilitéis and be proud of who we are the richness of our cultures the importance of our history that define and connected as a family, culture influence who we are and to have balance in a country is difficult if we don’t have the right support.
Through my art I have been able to teach and learn valuable lessons at different levels. I use it mostly as a tool and to give a voice and opportunities to people who are invisible like my own daughter and immigrant community. Our system focuses on material and has their own perception of beauty.
Fermin Castro is an emerging self-taught artist whose abstract sculptures evoke both fantasy and mysticism, rediscovering the beginnings of evolution. Castro’s sculptures portray images conceptualized in abstract-figurative forms, transcending both the imagination and awakening fantasy.
Castro was born in Havana Cuba and emigrated to the United States in 1994. He graduated from the University of Havana in chemistry, but always had a special interest in art and explored different mediums whenever possible. In 2017 he formally began his artistic career, pursuing his life-long dream of sculpting.
Castro found his true interest and passion was working with a variety of beautiful woods, including reclaimed woods from a wide range of geographical areas. He was impressed with the amount of cut and fallen trees and the abundance of woods unavailable to him in Cuba.
Resourceful, as Cuban islanders tend to be, he uses woods from fallen forest trees, purchases from land owners, receives gifts and donations from family and friends, and reclaims woods from pieces of discarded wooden objects to create his sculptures.
Castro’s art is influenced by his Caribbean roots, from Cuban and Afro-Cuban sculptors and painters, connecting both primitive and modern Latin American and contemporary European artistic expression.
His sculptures recreate an evolution between reality and fantasy, of mythical shapes and forms, playing with symmetry, frequently influenced by Cuban stories and legends. His creations portray both simple and complex movements of angles and forms often associated with marine life, having lived almost thirty years next to the Caribbean Sea. It is in this movement of forms that the viewer can find a symbolic harmony.
Using both texture and the color of the woods, Castro suggests his expression of geometric fantasy of pre-historic, animal, and human forms. “Each [sculpture] is unique and has its own story to tell. The…different shades and grains of wood, and the [formation] of each piece is shaped by his inspiration and interpretation of the natural growth of the wood itself. Fermin Castro is truly a master sculptor-his love for the work and different shapes of wood [is fervently expressed in his sculptures].” J.E.
Castro resides with his wife and maintains his studio in East Somerville Massachusetts in an 1850s Greek Revival home which he and his wife restored, a project of some twenty years.
About the Inside-Out Gallery
Initiated in 2009, The Inside-Out Gallery is located in the CVS Window in Davis Square, a unique space that allows the public to view an eclectic array of works from artists and local organizations each month. The mission of the Somerville Arts Council is to cultivate and celebrate the creative expressions of the Somerville community. Through innovative collaborations and quality programming we work to make the arts an integral part of life reflective of our diverse city.