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Slow Looking produces evocative writing by teens in response to Latinx Art.

The message I see in this painting is that we are all the same, no matter how or what you believe. Everyone in the world has something in common; it is that we are all human beings and that we should treat and respect each other equally.

Unfortunately, people have fights mostly because of what they believe or what they are. Back in the third grade, kids would say horrible things about my family and about where we came from. I was a little kid and didn’t know how to react to the awful things being said about the language we spoke. So I sat there and took it all in. I had to endure all these hurtful statements until I found a friend whose family also came from the same state in Mexico, Oaxaca.

I never told my family about these insults because I was afraid of how they would react, that they might tell the parents of the mean kids to stay away from me, and that it might cause trouble between all the parents. My parents weren’t that worried about me because they were working so much; I didn’t want to worry them.

People fight over the racism in this country, and I just hope one day everybody will see each other like brothers and sisters. We should all be free to be who we want to be and not be made fun of simply because we are different or come from a different place.

—J.L. , age 13, Watsonville California.
Excerpt from the forthcoming book, La Historia en el arte:  The Story in the Art.


 Students were given the chance to look slowly at Latinx Art curated by Museo Eduardo Carrillo. They then used that artwork as the inspiration for their writing. Working with the guidance of mentors trained by the Young Writers Program, they produced writing that was introspective and poignant.

Working in collaboration, Museo and the Young Writers Program have developed a classroom unit based on curated works by contemporary Latino/a artists. These thought-provoking images are a stimulus to teens for writing personal narratives under the guidance of their Young Writers Program-trained mentors. The 8-10 week unit results in full-color, hardbound books that demonstrate how fine Latino/a art and its cultural content can evoke strong emotional and intellectual connections and inspire a young writer. A third book will soon be made available. Preview the books and find out more in the Educator Resources section of our website or purchase from Bookshop Santa Cruz.

How Seeing Less Is Seeing More: Slow Art Day featured in the Wall Street Journal

Museo will be participating again this year – look for our invitation to explore the art of Frank Galuszka  on Slow Art Day, Saturday April 8th

Slow Art Day is an international movement to encourage slow looking and conversation. Look for our invitation to get your cell phones out and participate this Saturday – opening at 6am and continuing all day.

Click to preview or read the article in the Wall Street Journal:

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The Painting as World: Frank Galuszka’s self-refracting paintings through the edges of Borges and Velasquez

Las Meninas

He paints quickly, as if to make sure he captures the thought, the insight while it is still fresh. The very elision of the brushwork shivers with movement, if not urgency, at least a swiftness of purpose. And confidence.

On a winter afternoon the light pools down around the floor of the huge, empty room where the figures appear to be assembled. A thickening of texture, sfumato, permeates the upper reaches of the room. The chandeliers are no longer lit, only a few windows allow some illumination to pierce the cavernous interior.

Read More of the essay by Christina Waters

The child’s pale halo of hair arrests our gaze. For this one frozen moment it has captured what light there is in the room.

But something else is going on as well. Velasquez has caught the decline, the darkening fortunes of this house of Hapsburg. The king and queen are now seen, glimpsed actually, as indistinct, hazy reflections in a small mirror at the back of the room. They are in fact reflections of reflections, since the entire painting itself is an image captured in a huge mirror – the mirror that must presumably stand in front of the figures we see, as they see themselves.

Yet it is our gaze that is required to complete this picture. What Velasquez is painting is us looking at the figures reflected in the mirror. We see him painting – his hand is blurred with movement, the paint fresh and puddled on his palette. He looks up to check that we are paying attention.

This painting captures us, our gaze, the viewer – and once we begin to enter the space of the painting, it closes behind us. We are within it. Inside. Our gaze completes it. Velasquez has not only painted himself-painting-this-painting. He has painted our complicity with the act. He has painted us reflecting upon, and reflected within, the moment that he is making the painting. The process either never ends — in which case the moment of the painting is eternal— or it is one which has become a world, a perpetual Now. It is an aesthetic act of self-referentiality in which the artist painting has become simultaneously the object painted, as well as witness to the witnesses of both act and outcome.

La Vista Totale: a partial view

Just as in the uncanny event of Velasquez’ Las Meninas, the 20-year oeuvre of painter Frank Galuszka invites us to sample a point of view in which our viewing is already anticipated by the image. Each painting of his on-going self-referential series, La Vista Totale: a partial view,  is dialectically linked —by a subliminally embedded iconography—to every other. Much as two mirrors, placed just so, provide a dizzying sequence of curved reflections that seem to continue on into infinity — or into a world that is suggested and yet not fully visible — inhabitants of Galuszka’s LVT network (over 45 paintings so far) refract and reflect each other, yet from possible (or impossible) fictional futures (and pasts).

His interlocking network/narrative invites the viewer to complete a thought, or event just out of view. It is our presence that ignites the organism. Ours is the partial view that conspires with the totality of images. He, like Valesquez, has captured us and uses our embodied gaze to animate his cosmos-in-progress.

As with Borges’ The Garden of Forking Paths, Galuszka’s expanding series of inter-mirrored images begins not with an origin myth, but with a mystery. We are dropped into a saga that is already well underway. We are entranced even as we are perplexed.  Somewhere (we suspect) there is a missing explanation about which (we eventually realize) we are co-creators. What Galuszka’s richly-wrought enigmas intend is up to us, to our own desires and inquiry. And in asking about la vista totale, we are ensnared in its multiplicity of perspectives. It reveals to us as much about ourselves as it does the painter’s mercurial skill.

—Christina Waters

 
Text © Christina Waters, all rights reserved
Artwork © Frank Galuszka, all rights reserved

Going High

On behalf of the collaboration between Young Writers Program, Pajaro Valley Arts and Museo Eduardo Carrillo, we are proud to share this letter of thanks from Michelle and Barack Obama.

They received the educational materials based on Latinx Art which grew from partnership.

The two full color books “The Art of Who I Am” and “Hablamos Juntos: together we speak” exemplify how cross pollination between Latinx art and the significant writing mentor ship provided through the YWP can bring out the deepest feelings and profound reflections in fine writing by our community teens.

We continue. Together. 

Yes, We Can.

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Invisible Music: Eduardo Carrillo

Memories of the Artist I Knew
Article by Christina Waters in Catamaran Literary Magazine

Even now, almost twenty years after his death, it’s difficult to separate the man from his work. Both burned brightly, bursting with energy. Now only the paintings remain.

I was drawn to Eduardo Carrillo even before I realized that he was an extraordinary painter. Warm and genuinely comfortable in his skin, Ed personified the laid-back spirit of this coastal stretch of California. Although his ances – tral roots were in Baja, he was quite willing to pepper his unpretentious persona with plenty of Los Angeles hipness when the occasion required

Read the full article»

Museo Wins $10,000 Rydell Award Grant from Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County

Museo Eduardo Carrillo has received a grant of $10,000 from the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County to fund the First Watsonville Art Walk from September 3- November 3,  according to Museo’s Executive Director, Betsy Andersen.

artwalk-website

The Art Walk will feature the “Hablamos Juntos: together we speak/ Contemporary Latino Broadsides” series. Artists will be attending. It is a major educational project of Museo Eduardo Carrillo and Pajaro Valley Arts. The banners show Latino art in an array of mediums from artist throughout California. The series will be expanding. Each banner has text in English and Spanish, written by teens in the Young Writers Program.

Reception begins at Pajaro Valley Arts, 37 Sudden St, Watsonville at 6PM on September 16.

The grant from the Foundation gives us the resources to create a self guided walking tour and map in which Latino art is the main feature. This free event allows unlimited access to the art. We’re ecstatic about the support and vote of confidence from the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County and fiscal sponsorship through Arts Council Santa Cruz County!

Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond

Peter Selz
with an essay by Susan Laundauer
University of Berkeley Press in conjunction with the San Jose Museum of Art, 2006

Excerpt:

In 1979, using ceramic tile, Eduardo Carrillo (1937-1997) created a remarkable mural, forty-four feet long, as a commission for the city of Los Angeles. Born in Santa Monica, Carrillo studied at UCLA with Stanton MacDonald Wright and William Brice, and also spent a year in Spain, where he came to admire the paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, Diego Velazquez, and El Greco in the Prado, as well as the work of Giorgio de Chirico. As he matured, he combined the Spanish and Mexican Baroque traditions with European modernism, achieving work of highly personal authenticity. In 1966 he founded El Centro de Arte Regional in La Paz, Baja California, which he directed for several years. There he helped revive the regional crafts of ceramics, leatherwork, dyeing, and weaving for the production of fine salable items. In 1972 Carrillo joined the art faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he remained until his death in 1997. In 1976, as a gift to the community, he painted a mural based on the theme of birth, death and regeneration, in a vaulted passageway near a downtown shopping mall in Santa Cruz. The mural was obliterated, however, by a bank that later acquired the property, the manager claiming he had no idea of the value of the work. Carrillo’s ceramic mural for Los Angeles was done on a curved wall in front of the Church of Dolores, close to Siqueiros’s mural Tropical America on Olvera Street, in the original Mexican section of the city. Entitled El Grito, it commemorates the Mexican revolt against Spain in 1810. Father Miguel Hildalgo y Costillo, Mexican Creole priest, launched the revolt with his cry for independence, known as El Grito de Dolores. Leading an insurgent army in the early fight for independence, Hildalgo is said to have carried the banner of the Virgin of Guadalajara, but was eventually defeated by royalists. Hidalgo was defrocked and shot. But his grito, calling for the freeing of slaves and the redistribution of land was not forgotten. In Carrillo’s mural Hidalgo is the central figure. Next to him we see a woman carrying the standard of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and farther to the right Native men with arrows, women carrying baskets of corn, and children at play. Spanish grandees flee on horseback, and a black flag displays a skull and crossbones. The luminous glazes of the ceramics, predominantly in blue and ochre, endow the work with an amazing glow. Carrillo’s later paintings, shown in a solo exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento in 1986, were often preoccupied with images from Mexican mythology, history, and contemporary culture. Painted in closely hued vibrant colors, these depictions of human drama convey a sense of mystery, reminding the viewer of Surrealist imagination.

View book at University of California Press