There are some talented Latino artists in Madison, Dane County, and beyond, and the Latino Chamber of Commerce’s annual Latino Art Fair at the Overture Center is the place that has showcased these artists for five years.
The Latino Chamber is in the process of solidifying that Latino Art Fair Committee to plan the Latino Art Fair 2018 and are currently looking for artists and art-loving community members to join.
“We’re open to Latinos and non-Latinos,” Jessica Cavazos, the president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County, tells Madison365. “You don’t have to be a [Latino] Chamber member either, you just have to want to impact the arts and to support Latino artists. We are open to all artists but we do look for either Latino artists or people who have an affinity for the appreciation of Latino art. A lot of our Madisonians who participate in our Latino Art Fair have lived in a foreign country or have been inspired by a Latino country.”
The Latino Chamber just wrapped up another huge signature event – its annual gala that saw about 500 people in attendance, but Cavazos says that they ready to get back at the planning.
“That was a whole lot of planning that we did for that. But now we are back at it. As soon as we wrapped that up, we get ready to move on to our annual Latino Art Fair,” she says. “We’re in the midst of creating a committee of people who are passionate about art and who want to take on this huge event and who want to promote artists.
“So, right now, we are not only looking for participants,” she adds. “And we’re also looking to complete our volunteer organizing committee that would help organize and carry out this event.”
The Latino Art Fair showcases the richness of Latino culture and heritage through an exhibit of local Latino artists’ work. Cavazos is planning to have about 40 artists who will exhibit and sell their artwork, including paintings, photography, wood carvings, pottery, textiles, jewelry, prints dolls, music and more.
“This year, we hope to give an endowment to one of the artists because we really want to support them locally,” Cavazos says. “We give them a venue at the Latino Art Fair but we want to give them some funding so they can continue their artistry. We know how hard it can be to be an artist.”
Admission is free for the Latino Art Fair which takes place during Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs September 15th to October 15th.
“The Latino Art Fair started five years ago to give a platform to Latino artists – and, actually, all artists – to display their art as a business and to go and develop the platform to develop art as a business,” Cavazos says. “A lot of people don’t realize that artists are also business owners because they are also representing themselves and promoting and selling their arts. It’s hard to live off it, but those who can are very successful.”
Cavazos says that she is appreciative of the Overture Center for always being their home.
“The Overture Center wanted to support the Latino Chamber and its role of promoting Latino business owners as artists and they provided the Overture Center as our home for the Latino Art Fair,” she says.
Cavazos says her favorite part about the Latino Art Fair is the diversity.
“I love seeing so many diverse people from diverse backgrounds and diverse ages. Even seeing people come from as far away as Milwaukee and Beloit to come and celebrate our Madison and Dane County artists,” she says. “It’s just great to see all the support and the artists really appreciate it and love it.
“And those artists at the Latino Art Fair have amazing creativity and beauty. They are so talented,” she continues. “So many of the artists really bring a part of themselves with their art. Some have social activism and some are beauty driven and they create art that is amazing.”
The first meeting for the Latino Art Fair organization committee will be the last week of April.
“We’re hoping to have a breakfast meeting on April 30 with all of our committee members,” she says. “We are a fun group. Art is an expression and celebration of life. This event is truly that. Last year, we had 600 people come to the Latino Art Fair and we hope to equal or exceed that this year.”
Interested in joining the 2018 Latino Art Fair committee or learning more about the event? E-mail Info@lccmadison.org