“I love that I get to see old friends at this event. People come back to the Latino Art Fair just because they’ve made it a habit to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month here,” says Jessica Cavazos, president of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County. “The event really brings the community together. It’s just a great way to celebrate the beauty of our roots, our arts, and our culture.”

The Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County will host the 7th Annual Latino Art Fair-Art Heals at the Overture Center on Saturday, Oct. 12, beginning at 2 pm. It has been one of their signature events over the years that continues to become more popular.

“I’ve loved watching this event grow over the years and it’s now becoming more of a family event. I see a lot of kids and strollers. I love the commitment that the Overture Center has made to the event,” Cavazos tells Madison365.

The Latino Art Fair is organized and sponsored by the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County in partnership with Overture Center, Wisconsin Bank and Trust, DAMA, and the City of Madison. This is the seventh year that local Latinx artists will show and sell their artwork with international influences while celebrating the rich heritage of Latinx people. It’s a platform for artists who are also entrepreneurs.

“That’s why the Latino Chamber is involved … that entrepreneurship,” Cavazos says. “They are important to our ecosystem.”

Scenes from a previous Latino Art Fair at Overture Center

The theme for this year’s Latino Art Fair is “Art Heals.” Cavazos says that she’d love to take credit for the theme – but she can’t. It was a group effort.

“That was from a brainstorming session between Veronica Figueroa, Araceli Esparza and Beth Racette,” she smiles. “We were talking about how in a time when there is so much despair in the world that there’s so much need to create a safe space for people to be or something they can pour their emotions in. We came up with ‘Art Heals.'”

Art, she adds, in all its forms has the power to heal, empower, share stories, hold memories, and bring people together.

“You’re going to see images from people from all different countries. Veronica, for example, she’s from Puerto Rico. Her whole thing is how do you heal victims of domestic violence from art? How do you heal victims of racism through art? How do you heal families hurt by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico? There’s just a lot of hurt out there,” she adds. “But we just want to know that through human caring and sharing and through the unity that art creates – art heals.”

Attendees of the Latino Art Fair will be able to view unique pottery, paintings, murals, jewelry, prints, photographs, wood carvings, blown glass, recycled media, textiles, and more.

“You don’t have to be Latino to be a participant in the Latino Art Fair,” Cavazos says. “We encourage that whatever you do, have a Latino flair to it and Latin vibe or flavor to the art.”

Members of the Latino Chamber of Commerce at a previous Latino Art Fair

This year, there will be 21 artists showing off their work in all different fields at the Latino Art Fair.

“We wanted to make sure that we have a very diverse and varied talent pool of artists,” Cavazos says. “We have artists who will be exhibiting as young as 12 years old.”

The Overture Center for the Arts will be having a Latino theme all day on Oct. 12 starting with 9:30 a.m., 11 .m. and 1 p.m. Kids in the Rotunda performances by Angela Puerta on the Rotunda Stage and art activities with Sahira Rocillo

The actual Latino Art Fair – the visual artists’ exhibition and market in Promenade Terrace – will begin at 2 p.m.

“What we want is the artists to be present and to interact with the public, as well,” Cavazos says. “We want people to really be able to get to know the artist. This is a great place to do that, as well.”

During the Art Fair, three local Latino spoken-word artists and poets will perform in the Promenade Hall. At 4 p.m., Acoplados Latin Project will also perform in Promenade Hall

“The day is action-packed and we have a lot of volunteers, but we’re still looking for a few more. So if people would like to volunteer, they can contact the [Latino] Chamber.
Mariachi Herencia de México will perform in Capitol Theater at the 7:30 p.m.

“Food fight is our food sponsor this year and they will have some fine hors de oeuvres,” Cavazos says. “We’ll have a children’s areas where the kids can do crafts. There’s just so much going on. It’s gonna be fun and family-friendly. We hope to beat our numbers from last year where 600 people attended. It’s going to be an exciting day.

There will be a silent auction with great items to build on. Admission is free.

“This is really a place for community and to celebrate all that is good in our community when it comes to art.  “Every year, the Latino Art Fair gets bigger and better and it really shows the talent we have in this community,” Cavazos says.