CHISPA

CHISPA is the second program under the umbrella of USLAF’s Mazorca Initiative. In this series of mini virtual studio visits, Latinx visual artists from a range of backgrounds were invited to record short videos responding to a set of prompts asking them to state their name and where they are currently based, choose an artwork to reflect on, and respond to the question, “What does the ‘X’ in Latinx art mean to me?” Like the chispa (spark) that inspires its name, CHISPA artists’ “hot takes” shed light on the issues that animate their respective practices and on the real-life and symbolic significance, possibilities, and limitations of the ‘X,’ underscoring the complexity and multifaceted nature of working and thriving as a Latinx artist in 2021. 

CHISPA artists were nominated by USLAF’s external Mazorca advisory board, consisting of curators, artists, and academics from around the country.

Sarah Zapata

I grew up in Texas with an evangelical Christian mother and a Peruvian father: culture and religion were currency in my family. My Peruvian heritage brought me to textiles from a young age, but their malleability and historical context enabled me as an artist.

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Francheska Alcántara

An Afro-Caribbean-Latinx-queer-person raised-by-their-grandmother and hailing from The Bronx, Francheska Alcántara explores slippages in-between memories, fragmentations and longing. Their aim is to explore the specific social meaning within the realm of domestic and public life of artifacts and interactions…

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Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (2020), The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture (2020), The Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at the George Washington University (2019), Project 35: The Last Act, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, RAPID PULSE International Performance Art Festival, Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago (2013).

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Victor Yañez-Lazcano

Victor Yañez-Lazcano received his MFA from Stanford University and his BFA from Columbia College Chicago. While in Chicago he balanced a freelance career in both commercial and fine art photography. During this time, he also established himself as an arts educator through the Museum of Contemporary Photography and Columbia College’s Project AIM(Arts Integration and Mentorship).

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Dianna Frid

Dianna Frid is an artist working at the intersection of material texts and textiles. Her artist’s books and mixed-media works make visible the tactile manifestations of language. In her work, embroidery is a prominent vehicle for exploring the relationships between writing and drawing; and the overlaps of transcription, translation, and legibility.

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Coralina Rodriguez Meyer

Raised queer in the rural South and Caribbean, Coralina Rodriguez Meyer is a mixed-race, indigenous Colombian American artist who translates domestic and structural violence into American heirlooms. Her Quipucamayoc role (Inka artist, architect, family planner & cultural historian) engages her community to perform their citizenship as a masterplan for surviving American colonial mythology.

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Chelsea Ramirez

Chelsea Ramirez (b. 1988, Fort Lauderdale, FL) is a first generation Colombian-American artist best known for her mixed media, charcoal drawings that unravel community and home. Ramirez received her B.F.A from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and continued her studio practice at the Edinburgh College of Art and Design in Scotland and New York Studio School in NYC. She completed her MFA from Louisiana State University…

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Alexander Hernandez

Alexander Hernandez is a mixed media artist, with an emphasis in textiles. He was born in Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca- Mexico, raised in Grand Junction, CO and is currently living in San Francisco, CA. He received his BFA (2007) in Painting and Drawing from Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in Denver, CO and his MFA in Studio Art (2012) from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA.

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Koyoltzintli

Grounded in Indigenous ontologies, Latinx anthropology and Nepantla; I seek to understand the sonic and oral traditions that have populated the Americas for millenia as a way to repair, reclaim and reimagine temporalities of healing, tell stories across time/space and the body.

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Verónica Gaona

Verónica Gaona (b. 1994) is an interdisciplinary artist from Brownsville, Texas, a city along the U.S. México border, living and working in Houston. Gaona investigates notions of migration, architecture, and death by conducting location-driven research across the Texas-México border landscape.

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