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The Chronicle

The Chronicle

The Chronicle

An Artwork Speaks Several Stories

With the Latinx Heritage Month going strong, one of the things that people in the Latinx community do is share their stories and pride for their culture. 

There are several different ways to communicate emotions and stories for other people to see and learn.

People can find these stories at the College of Lake County’s Latinx Artists Showcase, an art exhibition consisting of Latinx artists as they share their stories. Each work has a special message, whether it be a memory or a message.

One of the art pieces featured in the showcase is an eight-person project with eight CLC students. 

“Untitled” by Alene Backis, Robert Cooper, Joanne Heintz, Sharon Drawiec, T.J.Lomas, Margaret Novak, Eric Sauerman, and Joyce Sherman.

“Untitled” by Alene Backis, Robert Cooper, Joanne Heintz, Sharon Drawiec, T.J.Lomas, Margaret Novak, Eric Sauerman, and Joyce Sherman.

Together, with the guidance of instructors Reggie Coleman and Steve Jones, students Alene Backis, Robert Cooper, Joanne Heintz, Sharon Drawiec, T.J.Lomas, Margaret Novak, Eric Sauerman, and Joyce Sherman have spent two days create a mural with acrylic paint depicting the students’ vision of CLC campus life. 

Using multiple art references, such as the famous “Birth of Adam”, this painting attempts to depict the passage of time. This work does not have any formal title.

Travelling artist Mario Castillo also supervised this project. Coming to the United States in 1955, Castillo was one of the originators of the Latinx mural movement in the Midwest. 

His heritage helped become a stimulus to him as he creates Mesoamerican murals inspired by Ancient Mexico.

“Streets of Guanajuato, Mexico” by Linda Rodriguez.

“Streets of Guanajuato, Mexico” by Linda Rodriguez.

Another featured painting in this exhibition is Linda Rodriguez’s “Streets of Guanajuato, Mexico,” a mixed media art piece with oil paint as the primary art medium. Using traditional and non-traditional painting techniques, Rodriguez has depicted several Mexican traditions using her memories of being in Guanajuato as inspiration. 

Some of these include calacas and skulls painted on a woman’s face to represent Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead, and a potential depiction of concheros, or contemporary Aztec dancers, in the background. 

Some works wish to convey a sense of justice or a message for change. 

“Enrédame” by Nazareth Garcia

Enrédameby Nazareth Garcia

One of these works is Nazareth Garcia’s “Enrédame,” a wood panel piece with oil paint as the medium. 

Demonstrating how the bag is being examined by a hand in the painting, According to Garcia, they wished to show how the Hispanic working class has been being used as a source of cheap labor in the United States.

Also according to Garcia, however, the piece is also a celebration for workers who immigrate to the United States and continue contributing to their heritage, despite the challenging and unjust treatment.

In a sense, like how the work’s name is loosely translated to “tangle me”, this piece attempts to show the current situation of a working-class minority.

“MexiCAN’T” by Sam Contugno

“MexiCAN’T” by Sam Contugno

The last highlight from the exhibition is Sam Cotugno’s “MexiCAN’T,” a watercolor painting displaying Mexico and Italy’s flags in the background. At the same time, the silhouette of a person has the American flag. 

According to Contugno, she hoped to convey the struggle of finding an ethnic identity and the artist’s choice of identifying as an American to balance her Mexican and Italian heritage.

With the Latinx movement, the struggle of identifying one’s self can sometimes be challenging to overcome. This piece conveys how even if one cannot decide, mixed heritage’s cultural impact can shine in your identity. 

The Latinx Heritage Month has been a month of celebration for the Latinx community of all walks of life. This exhibition will remain open until October 26th.

For more information and to explore more works beyond this article’s scope, you can check out the Latinx Artists Showcase page on the CLC website.

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