Artist Teruko Nimura does her part to add to our society’s collective memory while at the same time becoming more in touch with her cultural roots. In her exhibition “Residual,” Nimura explores several ghosts that continue to haunt her including a miniature replica of the Japanese internment camp her father, Taku Frank Nimura, was forced to live in.
“Lucha Libre is ingrained in our culture. Like you watch that on Sundays. It’s like going to church,” says Melissa Cervantes a.k.a. Thunder Rosa, wrestler and co-owner of Sabotage Wrestling, a wrestling promotion that prioritizes female wrestlers and supports them on their journey to wrestling stardom. Working within an industry that is predominantly male-focused, Sabotage Wrestling has become a powerful venue for women to explore the art of wrestling, disrupt stereotypes regarding female wrestlers, and showcase their immense talent to fans everywhere.
When did you first realize you were an artist? Were you born an artist, or did you discover it later in life? We asked a bunch of Arts in Context alumni these questions and compiled the best answers into this video. These inspiring stories will help any artist remember why they fell in love with art in the first place!
“You don’t see a lot of times, I think, women allowed to sort of have fun in this way, where you dress up like a clown and go in public and just see what happens,” says Cynthia Muñoz, co-creator of Payasa, a collaborative photography project in which she and fellow co-creator, Andie Flores, dress up as clowns and capture surreal imagery all around Austin, Texas. Not having anything more than a desire to explore themselves creatively, Payasa has become a powerful outlet for both artists to bond, elevate one another, and create a space that is free of judgements and inhibitions.
How do you turn a symbol of division into a symbol of love? Nick Ramos created Build Hope, Not Walls to answer that question. Instead of using bricks to build walls, he’s invited 150 artists from across the United States to use them as their canvas. All 150 bricks are unique works of art representing the diversity and unique voices that make up American society.
“I think that when women get together there is MAGIC, period,” says TK Tunchez, founder of Frida Friday ATX, an artisan market centered around women of color. With the goal of promoting and supporting WOC, Frida Friday ATX has created a sacred place that allows women to connect, celebrate themselves, and truly form community.
“It’s really important to me that the people I know and love…are represented in the culture,” says playwright Lisa B. Thompson. She creates works from a wide range of genres that all have one thing in common: being unapologetically black. She balances her artistic life with her life as a professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas as well as her life as a mother – all of which feed into and inform one another.
“I looked at the absence of Latino voices as a reason to do what I was doing,” says Adrian Villegas, artistic director of The Latino Comedy Project. Living up to their mission of providing a voice for the Latino community, Adrian and the LCP troupe have been providing audiences with political satire that provoke big laughs and offer insight into societal issues affecting communities of color.
Don’t miss a special screening of KLRU’s Arts In Context documentary Plastic Planet at 4 pm, Sunday, December 3, at Central Library Special Event Center (1st floor), 710 W. César Chávez St. Artist Calder Kamin and AIC producer Christopher Hwisu Kim will be in attendance at this free event.
Artist Calder Kamin always loved sculpting animals but it wasn’t until she started using plastic bags that her medium matched her message. The Plastic Planet project is a series of animal sculptures made entirely out of plastic bags, highlighting the fraught relationship between nature and humanity – all while making a positive impact on the environment.
“… it’s just part of learning from our ancestors and learning who we were and where we’re heading to,” says Nayeli Miranda, a sugar skull instructor for the ESB-MACC. With the intent of preserving and sharing her culture, Miranda teaches the art behind sugar skulls, along with its rich history within the Day of the Dead celebration.