Latinx artists to engage with as we close out Hispanic Heritage month

Cecilia Violetta Lopez
Photo courtesy of Johnathon Collins

Dr. William Nericcio, English professor and director of San Diego University Press, came to speak at Boise State at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage month on Sept. 16. His works attempt to engage with Mexican-American stereotypes in a humorous way.

William Nerricio's exhibition
[Photo of someone viewing Dr. Nericcio’s exhibit “Love in the Age of Hate” or “The Televisual Dominatrix”]
Photo by Julianne Gee | The Arbiter

“The future of America is brown,” said Nericcio, “and brown intellectuals, like myself, need to find a way to engage with all the colors. I hope to engage in a way that is humorous and light.” 

Like Nericcio, many Hispanic artists have found a way to engage and express themselves, albeit in different ways. Here are five artists to search for during Hispanic Heritage month:

Alma Gómez was previously an adjunct art professor at Boise State, and her art is featured here on campus. According to her website, her body of work represents the feelings of crossing between one identity to another, particularly as it relates to being Chicana. Mexican Catholicism is also an important aspect of her works. 

Director Alfonso Cuaron talks about the movie "Roma" on November 4, 2018, in Hollywood. (Armando Gallo/Zuma Press/TNS)
[Director Alfonso Cuarón talks about the movie “Roma” on November 4, 2018, in Hollywood]
Photo courtesy of Armando Gallo, Zuma Press

Alfonso Cuarón is a Mexican-born filmmaker whose films have received many awards. He wrote and directed both “Gravity” and “Children of Men.” His recent film, “Roma,” tells the story of a Mexican middle-class family’s maid in 1970s Mexico City.

Yesika Salgado is a Salvadoran-American poet. According to her website, she is a two-time National Poetry Slam finalist and an internationally recognized activist for body positivity. She has written three published works of poetry “Corazón,” “Tesoro” and “Hermosa.” 

Salvador Plascencia is an award-winning novelist born in Guadalajara, Mexico. He writes experimental fiction, and his first novel, “The People of Paper,” is exactly that. It blurs the lines between author and narrator. The pages often feature pictures as well as words to tell the story. Since its publication, “The People of Paper” has become a “cult classic.” 

Gabriel García Márquez is a Colombian author most famous for “100 Years of Solitude.” He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. Many of his books are available at Albertsons Library. He also writes short stories. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” is a good “dip-your-toes-in” story. 

David Antonio Cruz is a multidisciplinary artist whose works explore black, brown and queer bodies. Cruz uses both painting and performance show the complexity of both Latinx and queer issues as well as art itself. His works have been featured at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and Bronx Museum of Art. 

Cecilia Violetta Lopez
[Photo of Cecilia Violetta López]
Photo courtesy of Johnathon Collins

Cecilia Violetta López is a native Idahoan and opera singer. Hailing from Rupert, Idaho, Cecilia began singing mariachi music with her mother. Now, she has been featured in The New York Times and the Washington Post as a nationally renowned opera singer. She was recognized for her achievements by the Idaho Legislature in 2017. 

López wants to inspire other artists, not just Hispanic artists, to continue to pursue their dreams.

“I’m not saying I’m trying to change the world,” she said, “but if I can inspire someone to reach for something that they once thought was impossible, that is the highest accolade that one can have. It all trickles back down to my mom and dad … and my binational upbringing.”

For more Hispanic pieces of arts and pop culture, visit the links below: 

El Chavo de Ocho: Sitcom

“Mexican Chef” by Xeniz Rubinos: Music

“On the 6” album by Jennifer Lopez: Music
Pablo Neruda: Poet

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