'Young Latino Artists 17: Grafficanos'
A Snapshot of one generation at street level
No single art exhibition is going to tell you everything you need to know about an up-and-coming generation of artists, even when it restricts itself to, say, a certain geographic region or cultural heritage. The world's too big, the contemporary culture too fractured, the modes of making art too varied, and all of it is changing too quickly to wrangle everything worth anything into one museum space or gallery all at one time. The best one can hope for is the occasional show that gathers together some of the meaningful art being created by those artists still early on in their careers and provides a snapshot of what they're thinking about and how that's reflected in the work they make.
That's what the "Young Latino Artists" series offers. Every summer since 1996, Mexic-Arte Museum has been giving its exhibition space over to Latino artists under the age of 35, and it gives us a glimpse – a very valuable glimpse – into the minds of this rising generation of Latino artists and the diverse directions they're pursuing creatively. Depending on the curator, who changes from year to year, the show may be broader in perspective or more focused. The 17th edition, opening this Friday for an eight-week run, looks to lean toward the latter. Artist James Huizar – himself an alumnus of YLA exhibitions and Mexic-Arte's production manager – has tapped seven individual artists and one collective whose works have roots in the graphics of street art. "YLA 17: Grafficanos" explores the pop culture of both the U.S. and Mexico and how it crosses borders, along with the people of both countries who cross them, sometimes against the will of their governments. Drawn from Texas, California, and Mexico, "YLA 17" participants Daniel Anguilu (aka Weah), Eddie Castro, Jellyfish Colectivo, Antonio Diaz, Miguel Donjuan, Edgar Flores (aka Saner), Federico Fernández Guerra (aka Dsek), and Eleanor Herasimchuk (aka NIZ) will allow viewers to take the pulse of the world they live in and see it through their eyes – at least for this moment in time.
Opening the same evening and running concurrently with the YLA show is "Serie Print Project XIX," the latest iteration of Mexic-Arte co-founder Sam Coronado's ongoing program in which artists are invited to learn the serigraph printmaking technique and create a limited edition of prints under his guidance. Taking part this year are Ruth Buentello, Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo, Melanie Cervantes, Adriana Corral, Carlos Donjuan, Scherezade Garcia, Paloma Mayorga Girón, Jessica Hanolen, Poli Marichal, and Michael Menchaca. Their prints will be on display in the back gallery of the museum.
The opening reception for both exhibitions takes place Friday, July 20, 7-9pm, with food catered by Cafe Rebelde and music by DJ Gibb.
"YLA 17: Grafficanos" runs July 20-Sept. 9 at the Mexic-Arte Museum, 419 Congress. For more information, visit www.mexic-artemuseum.org.
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