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Akus Gallery Highlights Puerto Rican Artists

Written by Jack Meltzer

 

Willimantic, Conn. - The Julian Akus Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University kicks off a  statewide celebration of Caribbean and Latino art and culture in August that will also include events in Akus Lucha Exhibit Ortiz LUCHA 3 Camacho Untitled.JPGWillimantic, New London, Norwalk, New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury.  The celebration begins on Aug. 20 when the Akus Gallery presents "La Lucha Por La Identidad: Puerto Rican Artists Struggle for Identity,"   The Akus Gallery is located in the lower level of Shafer Hall at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.  The public is invited.  Admission is free.  For more information regarding this and other exhibitions at Akus Gallery, please call (860) 465-4659 or visit www.easternct.edu/akusgallery. a survey exhibit of more than 50 Puerto Rican artists, including the work of José Alicia, Myrna Baez, Antonio Martorell, Rafael Rivera Rosa and Rafael Tufiño, just to name a few.  The exhibition runs through Oct. 4.  An opening reception takes place on Sept. 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the gallery.  The public is invited.  Admission is free.

 The exhibition draws from several prominent collections of Puerto Rican art including  Benjamin Ortiz, Nilda Morales, Eastern Professor of Art Imma Arroyo, the Ortiz Oilvera Collection and Eastern's permanent collection.

On Sept. 23, from 3 to 4 p.m. in Eastern's Shafer Auditorium, world-renowned percussionist Carlos "Go Go" Gomez will explore the interweaving of creativity and Puerto Rican identity as he and four members of his band perform with cuatro, guitar, bajo and percussion as part of Eastern's University Hour. Gomez, a musician of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, has played and recorded with a long list of artists such as Eartha Kitt, Mariah Carey, Tito Puente, Sade, Airto/Flora Purim, Charlie Palmieri, Gypsy Kings, Gato Barbieri, Arturo Sandoval, Jose Feliciano, Manhattan Transfer, Mickey Hart, Pharaoh Sanders and Grupo Afro-Cuba de Matanzas.

Exhibits and Events in Norwalk

Beginning Sept. 8 and running through Oct. 31, Yolanda Vasquez Petrocelli's "30 Years of Self-portraits 1979 to 2009" will be on display at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk at 188 Richards Ave.  An opening reception and artist talk will be held Sept. 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The public is invited. Admission is free.  For more information, call Susan Hardesty at (203) 857-7000 or e-mail shardesty@ncc.commnet.edu.

Also in Norwalk, starting Sept. 24 and running through Nov. 7, "Creative Dialogues: Latin American Printmakers," will be on display at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk at 2299 West Ave.  These exhibits will showcase the works of Imna Arroyo, Antonio Marerro and Antonio Frasconi, as well as Cuban artists and others from Latin America.  The opening reception begins at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 24. The public is invited. Admission is free. For more information, call (203) 899-7999.

 

Exhibits and Events in Bridgeport

Starting Sept. 9 and running through Oct. 16, "Transplanting Roots/ Transplantando Raices: Caribbean, Latin American and Latino Artists Living and Creating in Connecticut," will be on view from 5 to 8 p.m. daily at the City Lights Gallery and Frame Shop in Bridgeport at 37 Maple Court. The opening reception is on Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.  The public is invited.  Admission is free.  For more information, call Suzanne Kachmar, at (203) 334-7748 or e-mail citygallerybpt@yahoo.com.

Cuban Art - Mendive - Espirit.JPG 

Eastern Professors Arroyo and Gelburd Featured in New London

From Sept. 12, 2009 to Feb 10, 2010, "Ajiaco: Stirrings of the Cuban Soul," will be on display at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London at 625 Williams Street.  Eastern Professor of Visual Arts Gail Gelburd will speak on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. about the stories behind the art and the artists in the exhibition. The lecture is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.  The opening reception will start at 1 p.m. on Sept. 12 and is free and open to the public.  For more information, call (860) 443-2545 or visit www.lymanallyn.org.

Also beginning on Sept. 12, 2009, and running through Feb. 21, 2010, "Imna Arroyo, Ancestral Passage," will be on view at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London at 625 Williams Street.  Arroyo, professor of art printmaking at Eastern, will discuss her work, heritage and art on Feb. 7 at 2:30 p.m.  The event and lecture are free and open to the public.  For more information, call (860) 443-2545 or visit www.lymannallyn.org.

Exhibits and Events in New Haven

From Sept. 18 to Oct. 23, "Through the Architect's Eye: New Haven and the World" will be at City Hall in New Haven at 165 Church Street. This exhibit presents photographs from around the world through the eyes of Latin American architects. An  opening reception on Sept. 18 begins at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited.  Admission is free. The event is sponsored by ARTE, INC. For more information, call Daniel Diaz and David Greco at (203) 469-4536. 

Also in New Haven, beginning Sept. 27 and running through Oct. 23, "Through the Eyes of a Child Photography Exhibit" will be showcased from noon to 5 p.m. in the Arte Gallery at 19 Grand Ave. in New Haven. The public is invited.  Admission is free.  The opening reception begins Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. and the cost is $30.  Advanced ticket purchases includes dinner, drinks and entertainment.  For more information, contact David Diaz and David Greco at (203) 469-4536. 

Exhibits and Events in Willimantic and Waterbury

Starting Sept. 25, 2009, and continuing through Feb. 7, 2010, "F. Luis Mora and the Expression of Beauty at the Mattatuck Museum," will be on display each day from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center in Waterbury at 144 West Main Street.  The opening reception will be on Sept. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The public is invited.  Admission is free.  For more information, call (203) 753-0381, or visit www.mattatuckmuseum.org

On Sept. 26, The Eighth Anniversary Celebration of the Julia de Burgos Park will take place at the Poets Corner, 319 Jackson Street in Willimantic, beginning at 1 p.m. The celebration will showcase live music, poetry readings and Latin food. The public is invited. Admission is free.  For more information, contact Colectivo.mestizal@snet.net.

 

 

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