The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Art exhibit fosters conversations between Latino artists and community

plumly-de-colores-2.jpg
“De Colores” ran from Aug. 26 to Sept. 26 at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.

Fabrizio Bianchi, one of the creators of The ArtsCenter exhibit “De Colores,” imagines group art exhibits as collaborative musical performances.

“De Colores,” which opened on Aug. 26 and ran through Sept. 26 at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro,  featured the works of five local Latino artists — Bianchi, Itala Flores, Anthony Garza, Natalia Lopez and Erik Valera.

“It's like a music album," Bianchi said. "And each song is coming from a different group or it's from a different country. When you put them together, you can still listen to it and still feel like it's one large performance."

The exhibit contained several mediums ranging from photography to clothing made of recycled materials. Each artist was able to showcase their individual style.

The Diamante Arts Leadership Institute, based in Raleigh, was the first organization to group together the collection this past summer. The creators and their art have been in conversation with each other ever since.

“They let the pieces speak to each other and have these really cool moments where some of the colors and textures from the pieces play with each other,” Caroline Haller, gallery coordinator at TheArtsCenter, said. 

She said that TheArtsCenter’s new gallery space allows the community to experience art in numerous ways, whether that is through art classes or group exhibits such as “De Colores.”

According to Haller, it was significant for The ArtsCenter to get to showcase the diversity of artists in North Carolina with such a lively exhibit. “De Colores” is the first art exhibit at TheArtsCenter’s new location and paves the way for future projects, she said.

Haller gave an example of a buyer’s experience purchasing a painting from the exhibit that depicted a mariachi band based in the Triangle.

“I think she was super excited to come in and see her culture, but then also get to support the artists that were a part of that,” she said.

Itala Flores, another artist in the exhibit, said she was pleased with the community's reaction to “De Colores." She admires that art can hold different meanings to each and every individual person, she said. 

Bianchi said each of the collaborators created their pieces separately. He found it surprising how well each piece coincidentally fit together, he said. 

He specifically mentioned a painting of his that matched a dress made of eggshells by Flores. 

“It's as if you took part of the painting and turned it into a dress,” Bianchi said. "So it was an interesting — and it was all happenstance. Once we put them together and we were trying to figure out where things went, it was like, you know, they were like two magnets. And so it was a nice, happy surprise."

In his previous work, Bianchi focused on different cultural icons shared between North American and Latin American cultures, such as the cowboy, or the gaucho; and barbecue, or asado. However, this past year he said he has started to create more cultural landscape paintings.

“It's an ongoing conversation and perspective to being a U.S. citizen never having lived in my country of heritage, Argentina, but referring back to my visits during childhood — using those memories as the background, backdrop, the foundation to which I can create, even if abstract, and can still pull from those memories of my Latino heritage and memories,” he said.

When artists from a variety of countries come together in an exhibit like "De Colores," it shows that a single definition of a Latino artist doesn’t exist, Bianchi said. 

Flores said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from the other artists.

“They're helping me understand how we can, as a group — with different backgrounds, with different languages — we can put everything together and it’s only one language: that is art,” she said. 

@melinsophia

@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.