PRLAAC displays Latino art for Hispanic Heritage month
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 00:09
Most art galleries often display the art of working professionals. Of course, most people would gladly take the art of workers. However, in this case, an art gallery has chosen to display student art projects rather than projects from professional artists.
On Monday, the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) opened its art exhibit in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, however it decided that instead of showcasing the work of local artists, it would showcase the work of UConn’s Latino students. “This specific year we showcased student work,” said Jen Morenus, assistant director of the PRLACC. “I think it is a fantastic way to feature our students work.” But the focus isn’t necessarily student but Latino student work. “The purpose is to showcase the art work of our Latino students as well as showcase the talent of the students.” said Fany Hannon, director of the PRLACC.
Kevin Young, a 5th-semester fine arts major (sculpture concentration), showcased an interesting work “Self Portrait, Ode to David Hule.” It was a picture of a human head being dissected into different layers. One layer showed the skin, the next layer showed the skull. The final layer showcased instead of a brain cortex three animals, which according to the artist represented different meanings. The snake, which according to some can be considered evil, was in his words “wisdom,” the owl represents spirituality and the wolf represents independence. There was also a copy of that same picture. However the only difference between the copies was that one said “Peruviano,” (Peruvian, which is Young’s background), and one titled “Americano.” “When I came to America, I would be labeled Peruvian, but when I went back to Peru, I would be labeled American,” said Young. “It’s based around Latino identity.”
Latino art is varied, and the art gallery proved no exception. “I think it’s really cool how this gallery shows a bunch of spectrums of different art techniques,” said Joey Ferraro, a freshman. Kiana Gonzalez, a 5th-semester art history major, also understood this, and decided to create abstract watercolor art paintings, and displayed several of them on a wall. “Watercolor is my favorite medium, I decided to do these paintings, because they went in a different direction from my old style,” said Gonzalez. Many of these paintings were indeed abstract. An example was “After the Rain,” in which the only distinguishable object in a red and orange background was a rain cloud. “I was tired of looking for references,” said Gonzalez. “Abstract became a refuge for my mind.” In a sense, the art gallery isn’t merely about Latino art; it is about finding our identity, and finding the style of art that makes a person unique. “I strongly believe in empowering the students,” said Hannon.