Curator: Ciléia Miranda-Yuen
Artists: Artists: Fabio Rodriguez, Ashley Reese, Emily Thebeau, Haley Smith, Joseph Lambert, Kiliegh Meredith, Steve Poole, Eliana Cristancho, Luisa Otero, Marlene Lewis, Henryk Ptasiewicz, Gabriela Toujas, Carmen Dence, Bianca Azevedo , Eliana Oliveira, Biljiana Erdeg, Vlatko Erdeg, María T. Balogh, and Lauren Wilmore
One of Latin America’s most vibrant cultural celebrations is brought to Saint Louis with the Regional Arts Commission’s exhibition Latinicidad. The exhibit presents the rich culture of the annual Carnaval holiday, showcasing a variety of local artists whose work honors the spirit and heritage of the celebration. Curated by Cileia Miranda-Yuen, the exhibit embraces traditional works including masks, paintings, costumes, performances, and much more.
The celebration will begin with the exhibit’s opening reception on Friday, February 28 from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Both Latino and non-Latino artists will be featured, presenting a collection of visual artworks as well as live performances such as poetry, music, and dance. Following in true tradition, the celebration continues on with a community Carnaval festival on Sunday, March 2.
With each event curator Cileia Miranda-Yuen honors the immense diversity that comes from the varying customs of each Latin American region and combines them in the communal spirit of the holiday “This project brings the opportunity to share with the general community the diversity and richness in which carnaval is lived and experienced throughout the many countries and cultures of Latin America. With such a vibrant subject, we can pull art expressions through a variety of media and put (them) together in a form of “kaleidoscope,” which represents the large variety of colors and concepts…”
For many Latin American countries, the significance of the holiday compels months of preparation. Through the exhibition, Saint Louis can participate in this same enthusiasm. “From Colombia to Brazil, Carnaval is the year’s most anticipated event for locals, and scores of tourists also are drawn to the destinations to celebrate alongside them. Each place has its own, history, culture and customs incorporated into the festivities, which make it one of the most interesting – not to mention fun – times to visit. However, those who can’t go there will have a chance to be part of this vibrant celebration here in St. Louis”
The exhibition will additionally serve as an element of the Latino Legacy Project. This initiative encourages the advancement Latin American culture through its three main goals “To educate and provide insights to the community in order to demystify stereotypes against Latino/Hispanics; to bridge the gap between the Hispanic communities and the community in general; and to promote leadership development among young Latinos”
Latinicidad opens at RAC on Friday, February 28 from 5:30 – 7:30pm. The community Carnaval event will be held at RAC on Sunday, March 2 from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Curator and artists will give a gallery talk on Wednesday, March 26 from 5:30 – 7:00pm. The exhibition continues through March 29 and is free and open to the public.