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Hispanic Research Center set for arts festival

March 30, 2007

ASU's Hispanic Research Center will bring nationally recognized poets to the Phoenix area and will conduct two art exhibits as part of the fifth annual Arizona International Latina/o Arts Festival.

Brenda Cárdenas, author of “Boomerang” and “From the Tongues of Brick and Fire,” will give a free reading at the Kerr Cultural Center, located in Scottsdale, at 7:30 p.m., April 6, and also at 4 p.m., April 9, at the University Center's room 286 on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

From April 2-30, ASU Kerr Cultural Center will play host to the exhibit “Art From the Gallista Community.” The exhibit's opening reception will take place at 6 p.m., April 6.

The opening reception will include a screening of the new video “Yo soy!/I am – Chicano Artists in Historical Context I: Three Northern California Artists.” The video features interviews with and art by Chicana/o art movement icons Juana Alicia, José Montoya and Malaquías Montoya.

Cárdenas, who earned a master's degree in fine arts in creative writing from the Univeristy of Michigan-Ann Arbor, is co-editor of the anthology “Between the Heart and the Land/Entre el corazón y la tierra: Latina Poets in the Midwest.”

Drawing from her interdisciplinary study, she creates what she terms “interlingual literature,” seamlessly blending English and Spanish to create fluid, musical poetry.

“Art From the Gallista Community” was curated by Joe López, owner of the Gallista Gallery and Studio in San Antonio . López, who also is an artist, is credited with helping transform San Antonio's southside neighborhood from “downtrodden to art haven.”

“We're excited to bring the Gallista exhibition and these poets to Arizona for this year's festival,' says Gary Keller, Regents' Professor of Spanish and Chicano Studies, and director of the Hispanic Research Center. (Poet Tim Hernández read March 22.)

The festival also will include an exhibition in Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor Airport through July 8, titled “Connecting Cultures: Art From the Hispanic Research Center Collection, Arizona State University, Tempe.” Featured are paintings, sculpture, mixed-media pieces and works on paper by Latina/o artists.

Keller says the festival “celebrates the works of deserving artists and authors who may otherwise lack exposure, and encourages the community – and especially minority youth – to appreciate and explore the arts.”