Opening Celebration Raúl de Nieves: and imagine you are here
Bring the family to experience a day of beauty, exploration, and art-making inspired by the Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker Biennial Commission Raúl de Nieves: and imagine you are here. Explore the exhibition’s themes of transformation, emerging, and becoming through tastings of traditional Mexican foods and Latin American corn husk crafted by the Artesanas, and try a hands-on mask-making project led by artist Jessy DeSantis.
2 p.m.–5 p.m.
Art-making with Artesanas and Jessy DeSantis
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Food tastings by Artesana
Potato Quesadillas | Chicken Cristy Tacos | Vegetarian and Chicken Tamales
Raised in a Nicaraguan household in Miami, FL and now residing in Baltimore City, Jessy DeSantis is a self-taught artist creating meaningful, vibrant work. Their painting’s stark contrast of vibrant color and white space draws the viewer into their subjects. They are inspired by their connection to nature, food, family, and their Central American roots. Their paintings, which are sometimes described as magical realism and often depicting birds, are more than just visually beautiful, many carry in them intention with a story to be told. They seek to pass on these stories of heritage and truth with all its complexities to their children and future generations. The artist states that as they grow and evolve through life, that their art will evolve and shift with them. They are currently mastering the art of portraiture and storytelling through a cultural and historical lens.
The Artesanas are a group of talented women living in Baltimore who are natives of Latin American countries, such as Mexico, El Salvador, and Ecuador, who honor their Latin American heritage by demonstrating, sharing, and teaching traditional crafts.
Artesanas provides enrichment programs in area schools and community workshops at festivals, libraries, and universities. Artesanas produces bilingual programs for all ages that include piñata making, alebrije mask making, papel picado, sugar skulls, Day of the Dead altar making, corn husk art forms, paper flower making, and much more.
The Artesanas focus on artist exchanges, workshops, and public events. The program includes professional development training in Spanish for immigrant artists, after-school enrichment programs, and public community workshops at family festivals and area schools. They organize bilingual cultural events for all ages including Día de Los Muertos and Las Posadas!
The Artesanas are a part of Creative Alliance’s bilingual CIELO department, which honors the artistic traditions of community members and immigrant educators of Latin American origin. By engaging youth in learning and preserving these cultures and traditions, the program focuses on passing knowledge along to future generations through art, music, dance, and cuisine.
Artwork: Installation view of Comunidades Visibles (Visible Communities): The Materiality of Migration, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 2021. Photography by Brenda Bieger and Amanda Smith, courtesy of the artist and Albright-Knox