Last weekend, the Mint Museum Uptown showcased a Colombian-born painter whose controversial art responded to political and social unrest in her country in the 1940s and 1950s.
On Thursday, local Latino artists will present paintings, photographs, poems, musical pieces and visual performances in reaction to Débora Arango’s work.
Arango is one of the pioneers of modern Colombian art.
Ana Lucia Divins, the Mint Museum’s Latino community education liaison, said Arango did not sell her art or display it in many exhibitions. Her art was meant for personal expression.
Arango was known to explore the female nude body in her paintings.
“We see the courage in how she was able to respond to the situation of her country,” Divins said. “She found a refuge in art.”
Claudia Pureco, one of the artists selected to participate Thursday, said Arango reminded her of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who painted in response to social injustice against women in Mexico.
Pureco said she found Arango’s graphic paintings of women with exaggerated features to be provocative. Pureco said she prefers to paint with hope as a theme, instead of just painting darkness and depression.
Pureco will be presenting her painting, “Out Of The Darkness And Into The Light.” Pureco said the painting shows a woman on a horse running out of a dark scene into light, with the sun shining through the horse. She said the painting offers a feeling of hope out of a depressing situation.
The reception is the closing event of the 10-year anniversary of ArtSí Charlotte’s Con A de Art, a community initiative to give Latino artists in Mecklenburg County a platform for their work.
Twenty-one bilingual visual and performing artists attended the Arango exhibition and will present their work.
Divins said the library started the event to promote the diversity of Latin American art 10 years ago.
“We didn’t have many outlets to express the diversity of the culture,” Divins said.
Divins said over time, the event has become part of ArtSí Charlotte’s broader community initiative.
“The demographics in this city have been changing dramatically and the Latino community is growing,” Divins said. “…It is important for the Latino community to have spaces to showcase art.”
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