[bc] is excited to share the project proposals for our three Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator Artists-in-Residence. Celeste De Luna, Rigoberto Gonzalez and Nancy Guevara have been hard at work in their studios and throughout the city of Brownsville; meeting local stakeholders, longtime residents, historians and academics. In June & July, they synthesized the knowledge they have collected to generate an exciting series of proposals for projects for the City of Brownsville.
Their projects will unfold from August through November. Learn about each artist’s projects below and join in the workshops and programming that they have designed over the upcoming months. Be sure to stay connected with us on Facebook for future updates and opportunities to participate in forthcoming events!
Celeste De Luna’s project will center around historical and contemporary narratives of strength and resistance native to the Rio Grande Valley. Over the past months she has identified central figures from Brownsville history, including Americo Paredes and Juan Cortina. In partnership with members of the community, she will work to identify how local stakeholders connect with their stories and collaborate with them to generate visuals representing their own stories of protest.
De Luna will conduct a series of workshops beginning in August that will include a steamroller printing workshop, a storytelling workshop and a kite making workshop in Lincoln Park. In November she will exhibit 5 large scale prints representative of the stories shared with her by local residents and the history of the region. Prints from the large woodcuts will be wheatpasted throughout the downtown and the final carved blocks will be exhibited at the conclusion of the residency.
Rigoberto Gonzalez will work over the upcoming months on a large scale, moveable mural based upon a series of interviews he will conduct with Brownsville residents. As a longtime resident of the Rio Grande Valley, he is particularly interested in the cultural traditions of the region and the stories that accompany them. At the recent AVAI Open Studio event, Playing with Production, Gonzalez invited attendees to sketch their ideas for the mural and to share stories of their experiences downtown.
During his forthcoming workshops Gonzalez will hold personal narrative workshops to record oral histories and create portraits of the people whose stories he collects. The recordings will become sound installations to accompany Gonzalez’s murals in filling vacant spaces with the stories of Brownsville.
Nancy Guevara’s project, Intersections of Transformation on the Border will investigate the experiences that lead people to become activist leaders. Throughout the residency Guevara will work with local women and community leaders to create portraits using fabric from local ropa usada stores that reflect the leaders’ experiences of personal transformation, self-actualization and empowerment. By working closely with community leaders to create designs based on their experiences of struggle and complexity, Guevara hopes to engage aspiring artists and activists in using art as a tool for social justice.
Leading up to the presentation of these works to the public, Guevara will hold a series of workshops and discussions about catalyzing change and cultivation of leadership. Included in this series will be a manta workshop, in which participants will decide upon an issue that has deep personal importance to them and then make a banner representing a cause.
AVAI will continue throughout the Fall and will culminate in mid-November with installations, performances and exhibitions throughout the month. Follow AVAI on Facebook for updates on the Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator, important information on our monthly events and more details about the artists’ upcoming workshops.
Activating Vacancy Fall Calendar
8/27 Rebel Corridos: Corrido Writing Workshop with Celeste De Luna
8/27 El Círculo de Mujeres: Manta Workshop with Nancy Guevara
9/24 Make your own Chingona Outfit: Costume Making Workshop with Nancy Guevara
9/24 Kites Sin Fronteras: Kite Making Workshop with Celeste De Luna
10/7 Day in the Neighborhood: Brownsville’s first 24 Hour Film Festival begins
10/8 Painting Class Part 1 with Rigoberto Gonzalez
10/8 Work it Out: Open Lab Q and A for 24 Hour Film Festival
10/22Painting Class Part 1 with Rigoberto Gonzalez
10/22 Films from 24 Hour Festival Screened in Collaboration with the First Annual Brownsville International Film Festival
10/29 Steamrolling to the Future: Steamroller and Printmaking Workshop with Celeste De Luna
10/29 Platica Mujeres Líderes en Brownsville with Nancy Guevara
11/5Painting Class Part 1 with Rigoberto Gonzalez
11/9 Noche de Filosofía y First Brownsville Story Share: A Brownsville Symposium
11/12 Steamrolling into the Future: Steamroller and Printmaking Workshop with Celeste De Luna
12/3 Abriendo las Puertas: Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator Bridge Event with Artist Exhibitions, Charrettes, Panel Discussions, Performances and Live Music