Latinx artists recall childhood homes in Jan. 24–Feb. 28 exhibit

"Aún Recordamos Aquel Hogar”
Wright Gallery

Five contemporary Latinx artists shared their culture through intimate personal memories in “ A ún Recordamos Aquel Hogar ,” or “We Still Remember What Was Once Home,” an art exhibit held Jan. 24 – Feb. 28, 2018 at the Texas A&M College of Architecture’s Wright Gallery, located on the second floor of the Langford Architecture Center, Building A on the Texas A&M campus.

The exhibit delved into methodologies of visual narrative, investigating the use of place within visual story telling.

An opening reception, Jan. 24 at the gallery was followed by a panel discussion with the artists.

“As any shared culture provides, these artists have analogous locations and experiences in common, but individually, they each have personal identities that feature intimate settings and narratives,” said curator Sean FitzGibbons. “This exhibit is meant to share unique narratives of a common culture.”

Each artist will present “home” as an essential character to their story, bringing their own experiences, feelings and style into the exhibit.

Albert Alvarez of San Antonio works outside the status quo art world, rendering narratives showcasing a hyper-attention to detail of gruesome, thought-provoking images with undercurrents of world events, social decay, and glimpses into his life.

“I confront myself and all reality as I paint,” Alvarez said. “I try to make paintings that are a heaven for the mind. A place for the mind to play, unadulterated, the art speaks on its spiritual, symbolic level; unabashed, the personality can shine through, and the humanity is embraced. Flawed, I realize, in pain, paintings are done.”

Fernando Andrade of San Antonio by way of Acuna, Mexico, creates abstract paintings and figurative drawings inspired by his tumultuous childhood where it was unsafe to play outside, drugs and cartels were rampant, and people he cared for disappeared, never to be seen again.

The artist said he views his process as a kind of “spiritual meditation,” where he becomes free to imagine cosmic visions that have rhythmic affinities with music or dance, and “which celebrate the splendor and preciousness of life itself.”

Ruth Buentello paints from a bi-cultural lens documenting her experience with familial interactions in South Texas and creates visual biographies reinventing and recreating narratives from her life and drawing from her identity as a woman of color.

“The life of a daughter of immigrants living in South Texas can hold its own unique idiosyncrasy and, can contrast sharply in expressions of gender, culture, and place, as compared to the mainstream American family unit,” she said. “I am interested in focusing on what sets my family apart and at the same time through that focus finding what makes us, immigrants, Americans as well.”

Joe De La Cruz of San Antonio works in drawing, watercolor painting and large-scale mural painting. He is known as a facilitator and consultant in art presentation and exhibitions fabrication at his Silkworm Studio and Gallery.

Jenelle Esparza of Corpus Christi is a photographer who also works in multimedia installation and abstract photo-based pieces. She finds inspiration in landscapes, found objects, natural textural and historical anecdotes as she attempts to describe the identities that are tied to inanimate things.

“There are stories written in the lines of our palms and in the tree trunks, leaves, and mountain ranges of the world,” she said. “As I work with this theory I find myself studying the ancestry and identity of people, landmasses, and other organic forms of life as they relate to the culture and communities of a society.”

Sarah Wilson

posted December 11, 2017