Abstracted image of double headed snake in blue and red

Cornelio Campos, Serpiente doble cabeza, detail

Corrientes Latinas
// Latin Currents

Inter-Latin American Artists Collaborative

// September 2 - October 9, 2022

In April this year, a group of seven artists established in the Triangle area, got together to talk about art and some of the challenges that they face when it comes to starting a creative process and to deal with the aspects of actually making, exhibiting, promoting, talking, expanding, reaching out, and educating. “Art is still not a priority for many people,” was one of the first statements expressed by this group. 

During the conversation, the group called Inter-Latin American Artists Collective: ILAAC, brought up other matters that, for now, can be expressed in the form of questions: What is Latin Art? What barriers does Latin Art face locally and nationally? How well known are Black and Brown artists in Raleigh and North Carolina? What are we doing for the next generation of Brown, Black, and Immigrant Artists? What can we do to provide the same opportunities to all art creators: Black, Brown, people with disabilities, LGBTQ? All means all!

This exhibition is our first answer to these questions. We want to establish that, at least locally, Latin Art is not new, that we are here and that we want to be part of the process to make art accessible to all. We present to you this exhibition for your entertainment, for your art collection, and for all of us to start the conversation that we are proposing. By prioritizing art and artists, we have the power to lift up the voices of those who have been marginalized and create space to celebrate and understand particular cultural experiences as an essential part of the fabric of humanity.

Corrientes Latinas/Latin Currents is presented by ILAAC artists: Jose Manuel Cruz, Lety Alvarez, Cornelio Campos, Luis MacKinney, Antonio Alanís, Peter Marín, and Pepe Caudillo. In order to engage as many people as possible with our dreams, enthusiasm, needs, ideas, creativeness, and energy multiple iterations of the exhibition are presented at three sites simultaneously: Artspace, Raleigh, NC; Diamante, Raleigh, NC; and The Smelt Art Gallery, Pittsboro, NC.

This exhibition can be seen as a system of communication that ILAAC would love to use for the benefit of the Arts and the advancement of our communities. The door is open: welcome!

// PEPE CAUDILLO

En abril de este año, un grupo de siete artistas establecidos en el área del Triángulo, se reunió para hablar sobre arte y algunos de los desafíos que enfrentan al iniciar sus procesos creativos y cuando manejan los aspectos relativos a las exhibiciones, la promoción, las conversaciones, la expansión y la educación. “El arte todavía no es una prioridad para mucha gente”, fue una de las primeras declaraciones expresadas por este colectivo.

Durante la conversación, el grupo denominado Colectivo de Artistas Interlatinoamericano, ILAAC, por sus siglas en inglés, planteó otros temas que, por ahora, pueden expresarse en forma de preguntas: ¿Qué es el arte latino? ¿Qué barreras enfrenta el arte latino a nivel local y nacional? ¿Qué tan conocidos son los artistas afroamericanos e hispanos Raleigh y Carolina del Norte? ¿Qué estamos haciendo por la próxima generación de artistas de cualquier grupo demográfico? ¿Qué podemos hacer para brindar las mismas oportunidades a todos los creadores de arte, independientemente de su origen, sus discapacidades o su orientación sexual o de género? ¡Todos, significa todos!

Esta exposición, Corrientes Latinas, es nuestra primera respuesta a estas preguntas. Queremos dejar establecido que, al menos localmente, el Arte Latino no es nuevo, que estamos aquí y que queremos ser parte del proceso que pueda dar acceso a todos en el mundo del arte. Les presentamos esta exposición para su entretenimiento, para que amplíe su colección y para que todos seamos parte de la conversación que estamos proponiendo. Al darle prioridad al arte y a los artistas, también le damos el poder de levantar la voz a aquellos que han sido marginados y creamos un espacio para celebrar y comprender las experiencias culturales que son parte esencial del tejido de la humanidad.

Corrientes Latinas/Latin Currents es presentado por los artistas de ILAAC: José Manuel Cruz, Lety Alvarez, Cornelio Campos, Luis MacKinney, Antonio Alanís, Peter Marín y Pepe Caudillo. Con el fin de involucrar a la mayor cantidad de personas posible, en nuestros sueños, entusiasmo, necesidades, ideas, creatividad y energía, la exposición se presenta en 3 sitios simultáneamente. En Raleigh: Artspace y Diamante; en Pittsboro: The Smelt. 

Esta exhibición puede ser vista como un sistema de comunicación que a ILAAC le encantaría usar en beneficio de las Artes y del avance de nuestras comunidades. La puerta está abierta: ¡bienvenidos!

// PEPE CAUDILLO

Corrientes Latinas Localidades //
Latin Currents Locations

  • Artspace, September 2–October 9, 201 E Davie St, Raleigh, NC
  • The Smelt Art Gallery, September 1–October 29, 220 Lorax Ln, Pittsboro, NC
  • Diamante Arts + Cultural Center, September 10–October 21, 5104-B Western Blvd, Raleigh NC

Peter Marin, El laberinto y el tiempo

During the conversation, the group called Inter-Latin American Artists Collective: ILAAC, brought up other matters that, for now, can be expressed in the form of questions: What is Latin Art? What barriers face Latin Art locally and nationally? How well known are Black and Brown artists in Raleigh and North Carolina? What are we doing for the next generation of Brown, Black and Immigrant Artists? What can we do to provide the same opportunities to all art creators: Black, Brown, people with disabilities, LGBTQ? All means all!

Top: Pepe Caudillo, Face # 2292020. Above, l-r: Luis MacKinney, Monarch Souls; Leticia Alvarez, Soy Mexicano

Inter-Latin American Artists Collective

Antonio Alanís portrait

Antonio Alanís

Artist Statement

“The visual arts are an integral part of promoting cultural awareness about Hispanic/Latinx people in the United States.”

“Las artes visuales son una parte integral de la promoción de la conciencia cultural sobre las personas hispanas/latinas en los Estados Unidos.”

Bio

Antonio Alanís is a Mexican-American artist raised in Durham, North Carolina. His non-profit management and teaching background interest enable him to use the visual arts to build bridges between diverse cultures. He uses his Mexican-American background, education formation, and passion for the visual arts to create cultural awareness about Latin American people in the South. The intersection between Latin-American art and activism motivates him to use the arts as a conduit to strengthening his Hispanic/Latinx community in North Carolina. 

He seeks to strengthen the connection between people of all backgrounds; Antonio uses the visual arts to explore themes such as “Belonging,” “Growing up Latino,” “Home,” and “Identity” in a multicultural South. As an acrylic and oil painter, he enjoys portraying uplifting Latinx characters that celebrate the cultural richness, beauty, and humanity of Latinx people through painting and graphic designs. A visual storyteller, he enjoys using the arts to springboard conversations centered around cultural similarities rather than differences between groups of people.

photo of Leticia Alvarez

Leticia Alvarez

Artist Statement

“As an artist I believe in the importance of Collaborating with Museums or Galleries not only to exhibit my work but also to share my skills with others through teaching as well as to promote the traditions of Mexico like the Day of the Death by creating altars/ofrendas so the audience can engage and participate.”

“Como artista creo en la importancia de colaborar con museos o galerías no solo para exhibir mi trabajo sino también para compartir mis habilidades con otros a través de la enseñanza así como promover las tradiciones de México como el Día de Muertos creando altares/ ofrendas para que el público pueda involucrarse y participar.”

Bio

Leticia Alvarez is a Mexican artist. She studied Arts at the University of Monterrey (UDEM) and participated on numerous exhibitions in Mexico and in the United States. Alvarez obtained a Master degree in Education through Art, from the University of Nuevo Leon. She then married and moved to the United States, where she got a scholarship at the University of Virginia Tech, and received a Master Degree in Latin American Studies, History and Literature. Her love for Mexico and her roots were translated into art with different motives, traditional Mexican toys, “alebrijes,” religious images, houses, icons of the Mexican  Cinema’s Golden Age, evoke the culture, traditions, and memories for the Mexico that’s been left behind. Alvarez has collaborated with the NCMA as an art teacher, as well as with Artspace and the COR Museum where she has also made the Altar for the Day of the Dead for the past 5 years. She has worked with Maracas Montessori Preschool for the past year as the teacher of the Art Club. Alvarez lives in Raleigh with her husband David and her four kids, where she teaches Art in her studio.

photo of Cornelio Campos

Cornelio Campos

Artist Statement

“Revealing the truth through art.”

“Revelando la verdad a través del arte.”

Bio

Cornelio Campos is a self-taught Mexican-American artist based in Durham, NC. Campos immigrated to the United States from Mexico as a teenager—a journey and process that now influence many of his paintings. Vibrant colors, iconic American symbols, and intricate geometric patterns define Campos’ work. Through his paintings, he illustrates some of the harsh realities of immigrating to America that immigrants often overlook. Moreover, he highlights deep-seated political issues that contribute to Mexican immigration, including the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. As an artist with no formal training, Campos’ paintings exemplify  techniques that he has learned through observation, and often defy traditional color schemes. His paintings contain therapeutic, controversial, and enlightening elements that make them both unique and unforgettable.

photo of Pepe Caudillo

Pepe Caudillo

Artist Statement

“Art can save the world.”

“Con el arte se puede salvar el mundo”

Bio

Pepe Caudillo was born in Coyoacán, Mexico City, the same neighborhood where Frida Kahlo used to live. Pepe came to the US in 1996. He has lived in Raleigh, NC since then. From 1998 to 2004 he worked for different Spanish language, local media outlets. Currently, Pepe is the Director of the Brentwood Boys & Girls Club. He is in charge of the Photography and Art programs of all 7 Boys & Girls Clubs in Wake County, NC. He started painting professionally in 2018. He serves at the Artspace Board, he is member of the NC Museum of Art Community Advocacy Committee and founder member of ILAAC.

Photo of Jose Manuel Cruz

Jose Manuel Cruz

Artist Statement

“Soy un artista afrolatino de padres colombianos y puertorriqueños. Disfruto trabajando con una paleta de colores brillantes y me encanta probar diferentes medios. Trato de ser lo más versátil posible con mi trabajo. Creo que mi cultura está incrustada en mi trabajo y amo cuando otros tienen la oportunidad de abrazarla.”

Bio

Jose Manuel Cruz is a Puerto Rican/Columbian Latino Artist. He has a unique style and loves working with color and all mediums.  

Cruz graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Fine Arts in 1996 from New Jersey City University. In 1986 he started substitute teaching in the Newark Public Schools. It inspired him to pursue a career as an Art Educator. In 1998 he became a certified teacher in Art. 

For 38 years he has exhibited his works in the United States and abroad. His most recent works are currently featured in Humacao Puerto Rico. It started at the Newark Museum’s Elementary Art Exhibits to Galleries within the NJ/NY area and now in North Carolina. His influences as an artist is attributed to others which includes Professor Bernard, Eleta Caldwell, Mr. K, Russell Murray, Ben Jones, Keith Haring, Rascal, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Miro, Caldor, Peter Max, Gustav Klimt, and many others.

Photo of Luis MacKinney

Luis MacKinney

Artist Statement

“Making art is a peaceful way to change the world.”

“Crear arte es una forma pacífica de cambiar el mundo.”

Bio

Luis MacKinney found his passion for visual art in 2014. Since then the artist continued seeking opportunities for sharing his art, culture and traditions through colors, shapes and different materials to form a particular concept that characterizes him. 

The artist believes in the power of art to remark on the most important aspects of human existence. With his art, the artist goes beyond the strokes to infuse each canvas with emotions, believing that art is a universal way of expressing what one feels. This is why, although the emotions he expresses are unique, the way the artist conveys them is in the end special and unforgettable.

photo of Peter Marín

Peter Marín

Artist Statement

“Marín’s abstractions reference architecture, landscape, sacred geometry, identity and use the languages of color and structure. As a Latino artist, his intention is to further the discussion on abstraction, moving it from formalist, reductivist proposals to a more richly layered vision that renders personal sensibilities.”

“Las abstracciones de Marín hacen referencia a la arquitectura, el paisaje, la geometría sagrada, la identidad y utilizan los lenguajes del color y la estructura. Como artista latino, su intención es profundizar la discusión sobre la abstracción, moviéndola de propuestas formalistas y reduccionistas a una visión más rica en capas que reflejen sensibilidades personales.”

Bio

Peter Marín was born and raised in Mexico City. He has lived in San Francisco, Oakland, Madrid, New York City, and Raleigh, NC. Marín has been painting for 30 years, and exhibits both nationally and internationally. His work is part of public and private collections and foundations including Hunter College, United Way, Boys and Girls Club, The City of Raleigh and SAS. He is the owner of Peter Marín Artworks and is represented by Charlotte Russell Contemporary. Marín is also the Curator  of Exhibitions at Diamante Arts + Cultural Center in Raleigh.

l-r: Jose Manuel Cruz, Cultural Odyssey; Antonio Alanís, Big Cactus.

ILAAC
Artspace
Diamante Arts & Cultural Center
Smelt Art Gallery