Saludos Amigos Exhibition at CCAI Courthouse Gallery

The Capital City Arts Initiative [CCAI] presents its exhibition, Saludos Amigos, by artist Justin Favela at the CCAI Courthouse Gallery. Favela will install his work with community assistance from September 30 – October 4. CCAI will host an opening reception on Friday, October 4, 5-7pm; the artist will give a brief talk about his work at 5:30pm. The exhibition will be in the gallery from October 4, 2019 – January 29, 2020.

The Courthouse is located at 885 E Musser Street, Carson City, NV 89701. The reception and the exhibition are free and the public is cordially invited. The gallery is open Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm.

In this installation, Favela will collage imagery from famous animated films that depict Latin American culture. Using his signature “piñata style” Favela will make large-scale murals with tissue paper and glue that will break down images from films like “The Three Caballeros”, “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Coco”. These films celebrate Latin American culture but through the investigation of the imagery, Favela will highlight the exoticism and Hollywood fantasy that falsely represents an entire culture.

Favela makes work in a piñata style exploring his identity as a Latino from Las Vegas with Mexican and Guatemalan parents. He makes his work with traditional craft materials like tissue paper and cardboard, making anything from sculptures to large scale paper installations. A lot of his work is labor intensive and benefits from assistance and creative input from community members who help build and conceptualize his projects.

Previously, Favela has worked with school groups to seniors to develop some of his larger scale installations. To assist Favela with this project’s construction, CCAI will coordinate with Western Nevada College’s Latino Cohort for its students to serve as interns and work with Favela to create the work and learn his decision-making processes. Favela said, “Sometimes, When I do an install I will get community input. For example, when I made the last lowrider at Museo de Las Americas in Denver I had the teens help me pick out the colors and the imagery for the car.”

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and known for large-scale installations and sculptures that manifest his interactions with American pop culture and the Latinx experience, Justin Favela has exhibited his work both internationally and across the United States. His installations have been commissioned by the Denver Art Museum in Colorado, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling in New York and many more. His latest major project, Puente Nuevo, is on view in Fort Worth, Texas, at The Amon Carter Museum of American Art through June 30, 2020. He is the recipient of the 2018 Alan Turing LGTBIQ Award for International Artist. Favela hosts two culture-oriented podcasts, “Latinos Who Lunch” and “The Art People Podcast.” He holds a BFA in fine arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Favela will give talks about his art practice to high school art students and faculty during fall semester.

Essay writer, Emmanuel Ortega, is a curator, podcaster, and visiting professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ortega has lectured nationally and internationally on images of autos-de-fé and nineteenth-century Mexican landscapes. He contributed the chapter “Hagiographical Misery and the Liminal Witness: Novohispanic Franciscan Martyr Portraits and the Politics of Imperial Expansion” to the edited volume Visualizing Sensuous Suffering and Affective Pain in Early Modern Europe and the Spanish Americas (Brill, 2018). Also, an essay titled “Spanish Colonial Art History and the Work of Empire,” was published this summer by the UCLA’s Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture journal.

This exhibition is supported by a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The artist and CCAI thank the NEA for its generous support of this project.

The Capital City Arts Initiative is an artist-centered organization committed to the encouragement and support of artists and the arts and culture of Carson City and the surrounding region. The Initiative is committed to community building for the area through art projects and exhibitions, live events, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online projects.

The Capital City Arts Initiative [CCAI] is funded by the John and Grace Nauman Foundation, Carson City Cultural Commission, Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, NV Energy Foundation, Southwest Gas Corporation Foundation, U.S. Bank Foundation, and its members.

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