STORY WRITTEN BY TARA LYNN JOHNSON
For 21st Century Media
A group of Latino artists showcase their art, therefore making their voices heard, in the exhibit “Gotas Hacen Mares/ Raindrops Make Oceans.”
Artist Marta Sanchez curated the exhibit. The title she chose is one of her favorite sayings. To her, it means that many small steps can lead to monumental events. And in the exhibit, the sampling of works by several artists (raindrops) makes up the unique collective (ocean).
The six featured local artists are: Doris Nogueira-Rogers, a Brazilian artist who works for the Philadelphia Museum of Art Education Programs; Anabelle Rodriguez, a Puerto Rican artist, educator, and independent curator who teaches art history at The University of the Arts and Rutgers University; Dino Vasquez, a Puerto Rican who creates robot assemblages from found objects; Henry Bermudez, a Venezuelan who’s a nationally recognized artist, muralist, and gallery owner; Salvador Di Quinzio, also a Venezuelan, who has been featured in exhibitions locally and internationally; and Sanchez, who’s from San Antonio, Texas, and considers herself a Chicana artist. Her work is deeply inspired by traditional Mexican folk art expressions. Her works on paper are mostly linocuts and monotypes, which follow the social and cultural traditions of Mexican and Chicano/a Art.
In curating the exhibit, she acknowledged that the group members share similarities — choices in color palette, the fact that they are all transplants to America or a region of the U.S., she said — but they have different dialects, languages, and social and environmental upbringings.
Sanchez, who teaches art at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and St. Joseph University, wanted to share her work along with these artists because each is a great contributor to the community, she said. “Some work alone, while others work with the community as muralists, curators, educators, and more,” she said in an email interview.
Rodriguez, who teaches Art History at The University of the Arts and Rutgers-Camden University, has several pieces in the show. Two watercolors are inspired by her love of nature and the Caribbean, where she’s from, as well as a series of small-format digitally manipulated prints based on her research and general interest in representations of women in art history.
Art has been a major part of her life since she was a child. “I never tire of the process or practice, and yet I feel it’s a renewable mode of expression from time to time,” she said in an email interview. “Art matters to me because it allows me to, in some ways, measure the passage of time as well as change in my life.”
Nogueira-Rogers, a teaching artist for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has several small- to medium-scale works on paper in the show. The compositions are mixed media combining block print, pastel, ink, serigraph, and cotton fiber. She’s happy to be in the exhibit.
“This one is a bit special for two reasons: for the opportunity to show with a wonderful group of sharp Latino artists; and for being in a commercial gallery setting, not to mention at Borrelli’s Chestnut Hill Gallery. Isn’t this great?” she said in an email interview.
Nogueira-Rogers has been focusing on two-dimensional works lately. Sometimes, she works on a series of pieces. “This way, I can ‘talk’ more about something,” she said. She’s inspired by travel, especially when she visits her home country of Brazil, she said.
Art is an integral part of who she is. “I can’t separate it from my being,” she said. “It’s my voice.”
Art is Sanchez’s way to voice her thoughts, too. It’s also the means by which she gains understanding. “It’s the best way that I can process the world,” she said, “and it’s the best vehicle for me to voice my responses to it all.”
IF YOU GO
What: “Gotas Hacen Mares”
When: Oct. 25-Nov. 15. An artists’ reception is planned for 6-8 p.m. Oct. 25.
Where: Borrelli’s Chestnut Hill Gallery, 8117 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia.
Info: Call (215)248-2549 or check www.chestnuthillgallery.com