New ‘ARTistas’ exhibit celebrates Hispanic artists

Shannon Bostic, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

to the window to the wall
Junior Laura Aguilera looks closely at a piece on display at the new “ARTistas” exhibit in Moon Gallery. Photos by Andrea Hill |Campus Carrier

On March 19, the new “ARTistas” exhibit opened in Moon Gallery to celebrate art created by Hispanic artists, the first exhibit of its kind for Berry’s art department. Senior and Vice President of Orgullo Carolina Ritcher pitched the idea for the gallery to Brad Adams, coordinator of the Moon Gallery, in September as a way to highlight the Hispanic community. Ritcher and Adams spoke at the gallery’s opening, along with senior and President of Orgullo Suleima Milan-Salinas.

“One of the things we [Orgullo] do is try to educate the Berry community about Hispanic or Latino cultures, struggles and obstacles,” Ritcher said. “One of the ways we wanted to do that was through art.”

Adams was immediately on board, and the two got to work on setting it up. Though the gallery was initially going to showcase art from Hispanic students at Berry, the project shifted nationally.

“We’ve never had a show like this, dedicated to Latin American artists,” Adams said.

Adams posted a national search on several popular art websites asking Hispanic artists to submit their work digitally. Though he did not get very many responses, he did get submissions from various states, including New York, Illinois, Utah, California and more. Once they received all of the submissions, Ritcher and Adams sat down together to go through each one and pick which pieces they wanted in the gallery.

phantom of the opera
This mask, by Andrea Castillo, is called “Sewing Girl.” It depicts stereotypes against underprivileged, female Hispanic immigrants.

“Obviously we’re from very different generations, we come from totally different backgrounds, so it was kind of fun looking at the works together,” Adams said. “Choosing which ones we wanted and seeing which ones we agreed on was interesting, especially the different levels of why.”

The final pieces chosen by Adams and Ritcher come from a range of Hispanic artists. Some are in graduate school and are just starting out in the art world, while others are already known and established.

“Some of these artists have some really crazy background stories, and they’re really impressive,” Ritcher said.

The gallery includes a variety of art media, including paintings, masks, drawings and more. Each piece is different in a unique way, commenting on a different aspect of Hispanic culture.

“Each of these pieces are so very different and I think that’s very representative of the Latino and Hispanic culture,” Ritcher said.

Although each piece is unique, they all represent the culture which the artists came from. Some of the pieces comment on minority women in the labor force and the stereotypes they endure, while others connect to and represent memory and a sense of longing.

“One issue, too, an idea that runs through the whole show is a sense of inferiority within a white culture,” Adams said.

Salinas also spoke briefly during the introduction of the show. She was there when Ritcher initially came up with the idea for the show and immediately encouraged her to speak with Adams about it. She stuck beside Ritcher throughout the entire process, encouraging her whenever needed.

“We just wanted to bring pride to the Latinx community,” Salinas said.

After the introduction to the gallery, a short video made by one of the artists was played, and students were then free to look around, ask questions or eat some food from a local Latin American supermarket.

The “ARTistas” gallery will be open until April 5 in Moon 102.

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