Series celebrates international diversity
KALAMAZOO, Jan. 25, 2013: A spring visiting artists series celebrating international diversity and featuring four eclectic artists will start Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 at Western Michigan University.
Each artist will present a free public talk or performance while on campus. The series was organized by the College of Fine Arts. More information is available by contacting Teresa Valdez in WMU's College of Fine Arts at: [email protected] or (269) 387-5810.
Monday through Thursday, Jan. 28-31, 2013: Gabriela León, who lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico, will be on campus working extensively with students in the Frostic School of Arts. León will present a public lecture on “Contemporary Artistic Practices Within Political and Social Realities of Oaxaca,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in Room 2008 of the Richmond Center for Visual Arts. She will talk about her multidisciplinary and collective projects, La Perrera and Ojo de Perro.
A multidisciplinary visual artist, she founded and directed Re-Active Art Lab: La Perrera, an artistic project focusing on “action art” and photography among diverse disciplines. She is interested in hybrid projects and creative collaborations, and explores ways to integrate contemporary artistic practices within political and social realities of Oaxaca, which is the second poorest state in south Mexico.
León utilizes unique metaphors and symbols of Mexican culture in her works to express her consciousness of being and perception of the world. She has shown those works in Mexico as well as abroad. She has received several national and international honors, including a Tierney Foundation Fellowship for photography and a grant from the National Foundation for Culture and Art for literature.
Friday through Monday, Feb. 15-25, 2013: Laurencio Carlos Ruiz will be on campus working extensively with students in the Department of Theatre and Frostic School of Art. Ruiz will give two public performances beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, in the Gilmore Theatre Complex's York Arena Theatre. He will first present “Shifting Strengths,” which employs puppets to display a new perspective of looking at, appreciating, and valuing the wounded, mutilated and different bodies with which we engage, but are afraid to make contact with or are unable to appreciate.
He will perform the sketch, “Give Me a Hand,” an interactive presentation. Audience members will have the opportunity to be the puppet's right hand while they and Ruiz complete a task together. In the process, the audience members will see and practice the opposite side of taking their bodies for granted.
Ruiz is an instructor of theatre arts and resident scenic designer at Penn State University Altoona as well as a freelance artist and designer, puppeteer, photographer and visual and performance artist. He studied visual arts and industrial design in Mexico as an undergraduate and has a master's degree in scenic design from Penn State.
His experience as a multidisciplinary artist and designer includes photography, installation and performance art, plus sets, costumes, props, puppets and masks for cabaret, theatre and television. Ruiz has performed in the United States, Germany, Japan, and Mexico and in recent years has come back into the international eye.