On December 3rd, 2016 Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator will celebrate the work of artists in residence Celeste De Luna, Rigoberto Gonzalez and Nancy Guevara and the future of arts, culture and civic engagement in Historic Downtown Brownsville.
The AVAI artist-in-residence and public arts events program is funded by the City of Brownsville and the National Endowment for the Arts and will culminate in this final public art event. The AVAI artists are from McAllen, Harlingen and Laredo and have been working for the last 6 months to make art that addresses the social, historical and political narratives of Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley.
De Luna’s large scale wood-cut prints about resistance and rebellion in the valley will be displayed throughout the Historic Market Square. Her works include portraits of the Buffalo soldiers, Americo Paredes and visualizations of corridos written by Brownsville residents. Guevara will display fabric murals made of ropa usada and illustrations that portray female grassroots activists from the Valley. Gonzalez will reveal a 14 foot long movable mural that addresses challenges experienced by the homeless in Brownsville.
Additional programing will include a walking tours, exhibitions featuring cultural resources of Brownsville, live music by urbano artists Caldo Frío, and the dance, #soyBrownsville, choreographed by Caty Wantland. Screen printing workshops will be held by Nancy Guevara and Celeste de Luna throughout the event. All programing is free and open to the public.
Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator is an art and public interest design initiative in Market Square in Historic Downtown Brownsville. Artists collaborate with community members to create art that explores the cultural, social, political and economic life in this region. The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Brownsville and BCIC and produced by buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.
buidlingcommunityWORKSHOP is a Texas based nonprofit community design center seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. We enrich the lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to areas of our cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, [bc] recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic, and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work.