Veronica T. Avendaño
Movimento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana’s (MACLA) annual Latino art auction and exhibition turns sweet 16 this year. MACLA’s doors are open for the annual art exhibition ‘Latino Art Now!, while the auction portion takes place later this month, April 26th. The past couple years, the annual event has been reworked to become ‘Latino Art Now!’, which features artists in various ranges of their career from fresh university graduates to world renowned and locally established artists. The exhibit will showcase a variety of paintings, mixed media, sculptures, photography, as well as a light installation.
“The idea is really to help people understand what it is to collect ‘Latino Art’ and to find buyers for these artists’ work, and get them excited by the variety and the range of work that we see with contemporary artists” said MACLA’s Executive Director Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez.
The silent auction is the nonprofit’s only fundraising event for the year. Last year, through art sales and corporate sponsorships, the organization raised almost $50 thousand which they hope to match at this year’s auction.
“The art auction serves a couple of different purposes,” said Alvarez. “It serves from a financial point of view. Being a non-profit it’s our annual fundraising event to provide proceeds for the organization. The idea is to bring together collectors as well as have a great exhibition for the artists.”
To participate in the auction and exhibition each artist must be invited by the curatorial department. The almost 25 year old organization has developed relationships with many artists, some of whom had previous MACLA exhibits, who were invited to participate. Others sent in packages of their work and artists statements in hopes of receiving an invitation to participate.
East Bay based artist Melanie Cervantes of the art collaborative, Dignidad Rebelde, is one the artists who returned to participate this year. “MACLA has a really strong multi-racial, intergenerational base of supporters. That is something that is important to me because my work gets to be seen across a lot of different identities,” said Cervantes. “I’m surprised at how little infrastructure there is in all of the state of California, given that we’re [Latinos] increasingly becoming one of the majority populations in the state. That’s why it makes it even more critical to have spaces like MACLA.”
Cervantes’ piece this year, “Tejiendo el amor y la justicia” is an artist proof from a print in the theme of corazon, created to support a friend and colleague, the late Chicano painter and screen printer Sam Coronado of Coronado Studio in Austin, Texas.
The event also features what Alvarez called a “triple threat”, local San Jose artist Sam Rodriguez. Rodriguez paints, works with public art projects mostly recently the Edenvale Public Library, and is a clothing designer and co-founder for clothing line, Cukui, located in Japantown. “He’s an interesting artist to watch, not only for the San Jose connection but because he is working in three different mediums,” said Alvarez.
Photographer Luis Gonzalez Palma also has his work up for auction. Alvarez said Palma is one of the most recognized and well known photographers working for Latin America today.
Proceeds from the auction will help MACLA continue to serve 30 thousand people annually through visual arts, performance and literary arts, youth arts education and community development through the arts. Gallery hours: Wednesday and Thursday 12:00pm-7:00pm/Friday and Saturday 12pm-5:00pm
501 South First St.
San Jose, CA 95113