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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!

Immigration: Borders, Boundaries, Beginnings

Sara Friedlander and Jane Gregorius

The art work of Sara Friedlander and Jane Gregorius addresses the current and historic issues of migration and displacement.  What does it mean to belong, and who controls who stays?

Each artist brings their wise and thoughtful hand to their art.  Read what they have to say.

Birds of im/Migration by Sara Friedlander

I have created these visual narratives to honor the courageous women, who left their homeland and their families, often under great duress and traveled to America to start a new life. Most of them spoke no English; and holding steadfast to their hopes for a brighter future, faced daunting challenges in order to establish themselves in this new world.

I began with photographs of my maternal grandmother, born Masha Bornstein, who in 1908 at the age of 15 left her family behind in Petrikov, Belarus (background image) and traveled alone in steerage to Boston. She soon made her way to Providence, Rhode Island to begin anew. She was an accomplished seamstress who designed and made all the clothes in the photographs you see of her. Warmth and integrity emanate from her face. I’m told that she worked in and then ran a small sewing shop. And after marrying, she and my grandfather sent for her mother and three siblings to join them. She died before I was two and by creating this piece, I feel more connected to her life and my own history.

At this critical time, immigration is seen as a national and global threat throughout the world. These portraits can help us remember and reflect deeply on the reality that most Americans, most of us, are relatively recent descendants of or immigrants ourselves.

 

 

Artist statement by Jane Gregorius

Even the noun “immigration” has started to fill me with sadness. It used to stand for adventure, for courage, for the will to survive, the right to a choice. With politicians trying to capitalize on xenophobia, the word has become a two-part description as in “illegal-immigrant,” and it is often said that “that person is illegal.” Really, an illegal person?

I can’t imagine the poverty and squalor, the fear, the political terrors, the life of the persecuted that force populations to escape from the mother country. One of my pieces visually describes the wall and the border patrol who keep an eye on it, another describes the home that was left behind and another the homeless and anonymous wanderer without roots and home land.

Hablamos Juntos: Slow Art Day 2016

Join Museo on Slow Art Day, April 9, 2016 to view the new series titled Hablamos Juntos. Click the image below to view the exhibit , then return here to read what other slow lookers have written and add your comments.

Note: (if you are on a mobile device, you may be prompted to download the exhibbit app)

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slowartday-logos

Click the images to view full size. Add your responses below in the comments


Broadside6JuanFuentes-1-copyArtist: Juan Fuentes

“My muscles ache, too. His labor goes unnoticed by many, but not by me.”

—Yesenia Matias Chavez, UCSC Student and Writing Project Assistant


ivan-rubio-1-copyArtist: Ivan Rubio

“The picture I picked out reminds me of my Uncle Georgie. My Uncle Georgie is a buff, ‘tall ass foo’ and he’s all tatted up from his neck down to his legs.”

—Chris Rosete, Young Writers Program


judithe-1Artist: Judithe Hernandez

“Maria’s childhood was difficult. She grew up in a neighborhood where guns were like fireworks at night. Houses were falling apart, with broken windows. It was a very lonely neighborhood.”

—Alexis Rangel, Young Writers Program


xavierjiramontes, our gangArtist: Xavier Jiramontes

“When my family immigrated to Watsonville from Michoacán, Mexico, they bought a house in a white neighborhood. [Their neighbors] would drive by in their cars and yell out all kinds of racist names like ‘beaner,’ ‘wetback,’ ‘greasers,’ and ‘aliens.’ But despite all that my family stayed on the block.”

—Anthony Garcia, Young Writers Program


CarmenPortal-1-copyArtist: Carmen Leon

“The title of this artwork is called “The Portal.” This symbolizes the transformation I made from being a kid to the high school teenager I am today.”

—L.R., Young Writers Program


Broadside5JesusMelanie-1-copyArtist: Jesus Barraza & Melanie Cervantes

“I’m Mexican and I’m proud of that—I wouldn’t change it even if I could.”

—Jose Antonio Ortiz, Young Writers Program


hector-mendoza-1-copyArtist: Hector Mendoza

“The barb wires in this picture made me think of a lot of difficult times I’m still going through.”

—Elizabeth Albor, Young Writers Program

At Your Door : The Art of Myra Eastman

“This is my story,” says Myra Eastman in her studio overlooking a garden of flowering trees in a neighborhood where a small California beach town sifts out into quiet-seeming streets of old farmhouses. Her back is to the garden; she’s facing a formidable collection of artworks representing years of prodigious output in which the color and shape of her world is indeed often brilliantly-hued, but the content mostly horrifying.

Read More of the essay by Maureen Davidson

Raised in an affluent Los Angeles suburb in circumstances that seemed protected from any hint of conflict or want, Eastman spent decades unraveling that comfortable bourgeois tapestry over an art life of vigorous enquiry, delving deep into issues she “can’t stop thinking about.” Such issues have driven the slender, gracious, bespectacled former schoolteacher to create with almost obsessive speed and relentlessness a museum’s worth of works so breathlessly immediate they can be cartoonish or chaotic, dripping with gesture, spilling over with ironically cheerful color that fails to overshadow the grist of human inhumanity that is consistently the content.

In works ignited by the successive wars in the Middle East, Eastman transubstantiated war photojournalism into her own stream of consciousness. Working quickly, as if unwilling to dwell on singular incidents, she created score after score of paintings mostly in black gouache on paper, reframing headline news, tightly composing the humans within the action. In such work as “Soldier and Woman” the image is dynamically bisected by a progression of steps that forms a barrier as well as a frame for the soldier’s torso as he reclines with machine gun above a woman with bowed head, below. In “Baghdad Funeral” a procession praying for peace forms a jagged horizon between coffin and mosque. “Woman Behind Wire” stares defiantly from behind a pattern of barbs which almost tear at the surface. The lines carry an urgency and intensity that a more belabored work would not.

The violent acts of human upon human moved from photojournalism into the artist’s life when her sister was gruesomely murdered in 2012 (?). Eastman moved from stultifying sadness into the studio when the trial of her sister’s accused murderer began. “And So the Trial Begins” became the first of 25 small paintings that imagined with cartoonish simplicity the horror of the murder and the events that led to it. The nightmarish invasion, fear, betrayal, brutality of the act are simplified in flat bright, graphic colors, perhaps better to convey or to understand the incomprehensible.

Like the war series, moments are frozen in terrifying tableau. On jewel-colored backdrops, figures often float in relation only to each other as if “real” life is suspended: there is no architecture that can hold a murder. “Ice Pick” crystallizes the horror like a retablo of a Christian martyr—the victim resigned, while “Wall Safe” lays the victim flat as a shadow: the simplified space leads the eyes to a figure escaping through a closing door.

Another opened as Eastman wondered on canvas about the roots of this murder, in which the victim’s daughter was involved. She turned to those posh hills of her childhood Los Angeles in the Mulholland Drive series. Using pop colors and graphic sensibilities of the Sixties, she teases out the possessiveness of possessions, the pose of privilege and its consequence of alienation while a city grid dominates the disconnected humans within.

“Everyday I am bombarded with an overload of human misery and unspeakable horror that pierce my heart with sadness. I can only make sense of it all if I tear off a tiny piece and create works of art that speak to our common humanity and dignity,” Eastman comments.

—Maureen Davidson

 

Text © Maureen Davidson, all rights reserved.
Artwork © Myra Eastman, all rights reserved.