Despite being around since 1985 (and formally taking root in Walker’s Point in 1997), Latino Arts Inc. is only becoming more relevant with age. Recent seasons have brought noted musicians and the work of respected contemporary artists to the space, which also makes sure to feature renderings from area creatives.
Latino Arts released its fall season schedule of performances today. This segment of the cultural and artistic hub’s 38th year will end in impressive and entertaining fashion, with events like Noche de Gala, art exhibitions, and a performance by legendary Grupo Mono Blanco planned. Here’s Latino Arts’ full schedule of fall events.
Francisco Mora: Small Works
Friday, September 1 – Friday, October 6
Francisco X. Mora, a Mexico City, Mexico, native, has shown his artwork in galleries across the United States including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Wisconsin Art, Racine Art Museum and the Mexican Museum of Art. “It seems that I was born drawing,” said Mora.
“Since as long as I can remember, a pencil or a crayon has been in my right hand.” Mora studied art in Mexico and came to the Milwaukee area in 1980, where he studied printmaking. In his artwork, Mora likes to illustrate people and animals from his boyhood days. His work lies in a sense of the whimsical in everyday life. Mora is an author/illustrator of many children’s books and people of all ages are drawn to his work for its fun and fantastical characters from Mexican folklore. The fine lines and playful colors are consistent with his simplistic compositions.
Music is especially important to him, and he often incorporates musical themes and instruments into his works. As Mora describes, “I have always thought that music was the first cousin of painting. I would have loved being a musician but painting got me first and wouldn’t let go.”
Memory is also another strong theme that can be seen in many of Mora’s works, as his art often includes people recalled from childhood. Friends, relatives and pets appear, often in humorous fashion.
Noche de Gala
Saturday, September 30
Journey to Latin America by trying a tequila tasting, enjoying delicious tapas, and dancing to the beat of Salsa, Cumbia and more with N’Samble Latino! The evening is full of authentic cultural experiences that will take you away for the night! Support our community of young artists and you may even win a custom-themed raffle basket, one of our featured auction items, or perhaps, both! We hope you join us for this festive evening to celebrate and experience Hispanic Heritage and support Latino Arts!
Day of the Dead Ofrendas
Wednesday, October 18 – Friday, November 17
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a day to celebrate, remember, and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed. On this day in Mexico, the streets near the cemeteries are filled with decorations of papel picado, flowers, candy calaveras (skeletons and skulls), and parades. In order to celebrate, the families make altars and place ofrendas (offerings) of food such as pan de muertos baked in shapes of skulls and figures, candles, incense, yellow marigolds known as cemazuchitl (also spelled zempasuchil) and most importantly a photo of the departed soul is placed on the altar. Our Día de Los Muertos Ofrendas exhibit will feature installations from The Mexican Consulate, University School of Milwaukee and other schools and local artists!
Lunch & Learn: Syncretism and its Impact on Dia de Los Muertos
Saturday, October 19
Join Latino Arts and our expert panel for an engaging and educational exploration of how traditions and syncretism, the fusion of diverse religious and cultural beliefs and practices, have converged through time within the Dia de Los Muertos celebration. Tickets are $15 and include lunch.
Day of the Dead Concert Featuring Tres Souls
Friday, November 3
For the last decade Rocio Mendoza, Roberto Carlos, and Jesus Martinez have serenaded audiences in LA and beyond, with their own interpretations of a genre called “Bolero.” They relive the vintage sounds and songs of the 1940s-1960s, stylized during the Golden Era of Mexican Cinema.
Each member of the trio is an accomplished musician, and each inherited the knowledge and importance of heritage music through their family and generations before them. In their own way Tres Souls are following in the footsteps of other “Trio Romanticos”, like Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos, Los Tres Reyes and Los Tres Ases, while interspersing musical influences that can be heard echoing through out the diaspora of Los Angeles. Tres Souls released their first album in 2019 titled, “Boleros Made In LA.” Where they celebrate their roots while branching out into uncharted territory.
Pinto con Tinto: Siempre en Mi Yólotl (Always in My Heart)
Saturday, November 16
Celebrate Day of the Dead by creating a personal tribute to those who have touched your heart and paint your very own colorful Yólotl (heart) ornament! All guests must be 21+ to attend. Tickets are $25 and include wine, tapas and all art supplies.
Grupo Mono Blanco
Friday, December 8
Grupo Mono Blanco changed the course of music history. Beginning in 1977, Gilberto Gutirrez led the grassroots Mexican musical group in launching a back-to-the-future renaissance, digging deep into the rural culture of Veracruz, bringing it to the forefront of musical life, and igniting a major peoples music movement that spread throughout Mexico, the United States, and beyond. Melding past and present, Mono Blanco breathes fresh life into the sounds of traditional stringed instruments, percussion, poetic improvisation, and the fandango community celebration. Grupo Mono Blanco’s “Soneros Jarochos” is Son Jarocho is at its best, multi-generational authentic musicians conversing in their vernacular language exchanging musical ideas rhythms and verses with hearty rural drive and excellent musical taste.
Celebrating our Shared Indigenous Roots
Friday, December 8 – Friday, February 23
In collaboration with The Mexican Arts Collective led by Gabriela Marvan and Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF) founded by Melanie Tallmadge Sainz of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Latino Arts is proud to bring this important celebration of art forms rooted in cultural heritage to our community. Celebrating Our Shared Indigenous Roots will showcase art making traditions and mediums from throughout Mexico and first nations tribes. Join us for this engaging exhibition that celebrates artists sharing their cultural traditions and invites the viewer to expand their understanding of other cultures and art making traditions.
(All descriptions come courtesy of a Latino Arts press release)