“You get to see it through your own perspective. Art speaks to everybody differently,” says Jessica Cavazos, president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce, of the annual Latino Art Fair. “I hope that people not only celebrate these artists and support them as entrepreneurs, but I hope they also come to the art fair and take away how beautiful the community is if we just allow each individual to exist in their space and in their authenticity. This is a beautiful place to celebrate art and talent. I really want this year’s Latino Art Fair to be all about unity.”
The Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County will host its 6th Annual Latino Art Fair at the Overture Center on Saturday, Oct. 6, 5-9 p.m. It’s an event that celebrates the rich roots of Latino art in culture where Latinx artists will show and sell their artwork with international influences.
“We are in our 6th year for the Latino Art Fair and it’s coming back more robust and full of life than ever,” Cavazos says. “It has a lot of different components to Latino art and vibrancy in our community.”
There will be at least 23 artists at the 2018 Latino Art Fair from throughout south-central Wisconsin showing off their unique pottery, paintings, music, jewelry, prints, photographs, wood carvings, blown glass, recycled media, textiles, carved fruit, and more.
“What we’re really trying to showcase is that no matter where you come from as a Latino, whether you’re hear undocumented of documented, we are here in solidarity with each other,” Cavazos says. “We all should support each other.
“The event has always been a great marketplace for entrepreneurs but this year the Latino Art Fair will have more of a social justice and advocacy role since we have this great platform and this beautiful space to showcase all of these artists and what they do,” she adds.
A special Overture Gallery exhibit, Immigration X, will be displayed in Overture’s rotunda lobby highlighting works by Richie Morales, Juan de Hoyos, Evelyn Galindo, and Andy Villanueva who will talk about themes of colonialism and displacement.
Poet Araceli Esparza will also present a spoken word performance in Promenade Hall.
“This year we are looking to have three spoken-word artists at the event. The theme of this year is around the important of immigrants and art,” Cavazos says.
“I really enjoy the diversity of Latin culture at the Latino Art Fair that will be on display this year,” she continues. “We have Veronica Figueroa who will be displaying the suffering of the Puerto Rican people after Hurricane Maria. That is a display that is really important because I think we’re fast to forget these catastrophes. We need to be reminded that although that hurricane was a year ago, people are still suffering.
“The [ICE] raids happened just last weekend [in Madison] and people are still resilient,” she adds. “We know that there are different things happening and the community continues to evolve and we should not forget that it’s important to support each other no matter what country you come from.”
All events associated with the 2018 Latino Art Fair are free and open to the public. Afro-Peruvian group Golpe Tierra will be performing in the Promenade Hall from 6-8 p.m. It’s a fun event, Cavazos says, with plenty of networking and camaraderie.
“Latinos really make great contributions to our community and to Wisconsin to increase the vitality. How boring would it be if there were no Latinos?” Cavazos laughs. “And how boring would it be if there would be no Latino Art Fairs?
“During Hispanic Heritage Month, I think this is a great way to pay homage to that great month holiday we have by celebrating our talents,” she adds. “We really want this to be a celebration of life and of the beauty of the Hispanic heritage in Dane County and the state.”