The City of Hialeah celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with La Mano Hispana, an art show at the Milander Center with work by 85 artists from 12 Latin American countries that each exalt their respective cultures and reflect its idiosyncrasies through art.
Pati Vargas, curator of the event, has expanded the diversity of the exhibiting artists, which in the last 10 years mainly consisted of Cubans.
More than 60 artists are of Cuban origin, plus six Venezuelans, six Colombians, two Mexicans, a Nicaraguan, a Chilean, an Argentine, a Puerto Rican and an Ecuadorian will also participate. There will even be artist work from Spain, María Pilar Geada, Russia, Inna Moostovker, and Morocco, Dina Hindi.
Women coffee workers
Colombian artist Oscar Esteban Martínez creates sculptures and paintings depending on what the person inspires, according to “their role in society. Whether they contribute or destroy,” he told el Nuevo Herald.
He will participate in this exhibition with a work entitled “Chapolera,” which represents the coffee women of Colombia, an enterprising woman who works in the field. “It is a tribute to my country,” he said.
For Martínez, participating in La Mano Hispana is very important. In his opinion, it helps to make things easier for Hispanics in the United States. “It’s very nice to be part of this exhibition,” he said.
The artist has previously participated in groups of Hispanic artists in New Jersey and Florida, mainly with paintings, although he does not rule out exhibiting some of his sculptures that remain in his workshop in Cali, Colombia, later.
The Argentine Susana Cícero started as a sculptor but about 20 years ago she began to paint pictures of magical realism, a series of stories that have a symbolism based on her experiences.
She assures that her paintings are not social, nor for children. “My works have a poetic, introspective perspective,” she commented.
Her painting “Alice’s Choice” evokes the moment she was living when she painted it, when she was forced to make decisive decisions in her life and it is this work that will represent her in the Milander Center exhibition.
Vision of reality
Although Cuban Omar Corrales Mora has been painting nonstop for 66 years, he has never felt so free to express his ideas on canvas as in the last seven years in which he has lived in the United States.
Corrales Mora explains that since he left his country he has gone further into the surrealism of his works because “now I have freedom of expression.” He recalls that despite winning a prize from the National Youth Exhibition of Plastic Arts in 1968, his career was limited because he did not paint what the Cuban regime expected of him: “Paint farmers,” they told him.
The painter wanted to capture his dreamlike vision of reality, but surrealism was not respected in Cuba, so since he arrived in Miami he has continuously exhibited his works at La Mano Hispana.
“It is a gift to have the opportunity for one of my works to be exhibited in a gallery like Milander’s. I am the happiest man in the world,” he stated.
This year he will exhibit “La mano hispana vino de España” (The Hispanic hand came from Spain), which shows how the encounter between Spain and America “brought enlightenment, faith, science and also slavery,” he said.
The Portal to Death
Ten years ago, Anaiz Azaman decided to change professions. She had been in the Mexican restaurant business in Hialeah for 30 years, but she “wanted to be selfish and think about what I wanted to do,” she explained.
Azaman is inspired by everyday experiences, “what I see when I breathe. For me, painting is an extraordinary therapy. I painted as an escape from my work, until I decided to do it professionally,” she said.
The Mexican artist will exhibit her work “El Portal,” a representation of what she imagines it feels like to cross from life to death.
Azaman says that in her native Mexico there is dark humor and the celebration of death is part of her culture. “Death is the safest thing we have. We enter another dimension and I wanted to paint over the entrance to the portal, the peace, the tranquility, the paradise that must be felt,” she said.
La Mano Hispana
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 (through Nov. 4)
Where: Milander Center, 4800 Palm Ave., Hialeah