Lea la historia en español aquí: www.friendsofelsol.org/reflejos-artistas-guatemaltecos/
As she helped her fellow artists set up, Eva Salazar reflected on her self-portrait, “Cuando te Encuentras.”
In the oil painting, the artist holds a gold rose close to her chest. Petals seem to spread far beyond the limits of the canvas.
Salazar teaches drawing and painting at her studio in Guatemala City. She explores Mayan themes and said she found inspiration in huipils, the hand-woven garments traditionally worn by indigenous women.
“In their huipils they told their stories and shared about their philosophy for life, their beliefs about corn or their gods, or the meaning behind the tree of life,” she said in Spanish.
The two groups are here for Reflejos, an art exhibit hosted at The Box Gallery November 3 to November 4. The opening reception is Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Brenda Estrada, a painter, sculptor and the founder of Guatemala es Guatemala, will share several pieces.
Hyona Angie Chung brought oil paintings depicting mountains meeting heavens meeting the sea. Born in Gwangju, South Korea, she currently works as an artist and teacher in Guatemala City.
Veronica Giracca has been working with marionettes for 15 years. She brought a ballerina and Don Quixote on his horse.
According to the Reflejos catalogue, Mod Cardenas is considered one of the first Guatemalan street artists. He brought abstract acrylic paintings titled “Determination,” “Metamorphosis” and “Finding Calm.”
Suzanne Cordero, executive director of The Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund, organized Reflejos. Based in Jupiter, The Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund is the fundraising arm for Ak’ Tenamit, an indigenous community development organization that promotes long-term solutions to poverty through education, health, income generation and cultural programs.
According to the Reflejos catalogue, the artists traveled to South Florida at their own expense to share their art and support the work done in rural eastern Guatemala.
Ak’ Tenamit is a Maya Q’eqchi organization located in the rainforest and on the banks of the Rio Dulce in the village of Barra Lampara, Livingston, Izabal.
“It serves more than 35 surrounding communities and is run by local staff and an all-indigenous board of directors,” the Reflejos catalogue states.
With the exhibit and a luncheon, the Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund and Ak’ Tenamit will celebrate 25 years of work. Steve Dudenhoefer, a Jupiter High School graduate, founded Ak’ Tenamit in 1992.
In 1993, Tequesta resident Joe Dudenhoefer, Steve’s father, founded the Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund.
This January, a record-breaking number of students moved into Ak’ Tenamit’s education center, according to a summer newsletter signed by Steve Dudenhoefer.
“Our students are real troopers living and learning in the very basic rural facilities at Ak’ Tenamit,” the newsletter states.
“The girls’ site is being refurbished with a new water pump powered by solar energy and a brand new bathroom building with flush toilets and sinks that will replace existing pit latrines and bucket flush toilets that currently serve 200 girls, staff and the health clinic.”
Proceeds from the Reflejos exhibit opening reception and 25th anniversary luncheon benefit the work of the Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund and Ak’ Tenamit.
During a break from setting up the Reflejos exhibit, Cordero explained about the work of El Sol, Jupiter’s Neighborhood Resource Center.
While Ak’ Tenamit and the Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund stakeholders fight to improve access to education, health care, social services and vocational opportunities for the indigenous in Guatemala, El Sol stakeholders fight for those who have made the difficult decision to migrate to the United States, she said.
Before the opening of the exhibit, the Reflejos artists plan to meet with Guatemalan Consulate officials in Lake Worth.
Luisa Fernanda Caballeros, who currently teaches drawing and illustration at the Universidad Rafael Landivar and the Universidad del Istmo in Guatemala City, asked El Sol for a photo in front of her oil painting, “Wind of Change.”
“It’s like a dream come true to cross borders with my art,” Caballeros said.
About the Reflejos Exhibit: Tickets to the opening reception are $20 and come with a complimentary drink from the cash bar. The Box Gallery will host the exhibit from November 3 to November 4. Click here for more information.
Reflejos will be open to the public from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, November 4. Click here for more information.
About the Box Gallery: Located at 811 B Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach, The Box Gallery is a 4,000-square-foot multimedia exhibition space. Rolando Chang Barrero, artist and gallery owner, has been featured at El Sol Fest.
Story and photos by Andres David Lopez.