Converging Cultures: Works by Latino Artists

Ridderhof Martin Gallery
September 5- October 6, 2013
Opening Reception: September 5, 5-7pm
Juror, Lenny Campello

Juror’s Statement

Although over the years I’ve had the honor and pleasure of judging my fellow artists many, many times (by my last count almost 300 times now!), one fact is always a constant and solid, never-changing, ever-present, add some more metaphors for “you can count on this” fact: It is never easy!

A second constant is that I am always refreshed and surprised by the spectacular diversity and pluralism of visual ideas that artists can deliver. This is the main reason that I really, really like putting together, organizing and jurying art shows.

And even after all these years and all these shows, I was still astounded by the quality and wide ranging of sources used by the artists who gave me the honor to review their work for Converging Cultures: Works by Latino Artists .

And I can honestly say that this was not only one of the most difficult (and most fun) shows to whittle down to a select few, but also one which truly puts together a remarkable sampling of the evolving capacity of the artistic mind to educate, entertain, baffle, lead, record, interpret, upset, delight and make us proud to be part of the visual arts component of the human race. The exhibition also underscores a mostly overlooked fact within the subset of humans labeled as Latino/a: our own wide-ranging diversity and multicultural make-up.

This show also surprised me by how far the artists went to explore contemporary issues of all flavors – in some cases by delighting the viewer with a new and delightful take on traditional “lucha libre” as well as exploring a Latinizing angle to advertise-driven pop art with a unique Latino flavor.

When you come and see this show, you will walk away (as with any group show) with a variety of thoughts all fighting to control your private reaction to it. You may have come with a pre-conceived idea of seeing “Latino” art and trying to understand what people mean by adding that label in front of the word “art.” But you will walk away also with multiple new reactions, hopefully including a realization that art, regardless of the label, should and must always stand as art, first and foremost. And you will also walk away with the refreshing and never-ending breath of fresh air that good art injects into our daily lives.

Come see this show and join me in applauding the always-evolving skill and intelligence of contemporary artists who wield brushes, pencils, charcoal sticks, palette knives, computers, metal, stone, found objects and ideas to punch the solar plexus of our minds with ideas and reactions.

Lenny Campello

Posted in Exhibitions.