'Show up and support': Latino Art WKND is a three-day celebration of art and culture
In June, the arts alliance _OFCOLOR organized Black Art WKND, and the success of that event led to the upcoming Latino Art WKND, which starts this Friday. To help create the three-day celebration of Austin’s Latino art and culture, _OFCOLOR asked MAS Cultura founder Monica Maldonado to serve as curator. “A big part of that really was about bringing Brown and Black communities together,” she says. “And… joining forces to really amplify art and also people of color.”
Maldonado says planning for the weekend started during the summer. “It was slated to happen in September, and then we went into stage five,” she says. “So like many other events that were happening during that time, we had to make a decision to cancel [or] postpone. And we had already invested just so much time and energy. But more importantly, we had so many artists that were really looking forward to this that we just felt we couldn’t let the art community down, so we postponed it until November.
“It’s three days – it’s a cultural celebration that’s going to feature art and music from Latino creatives,” Maldonado says. “We actually have more than 50 Latino artists that will be exhibiting, and along with that, there is music that is paired up with all of the exhibits.”
All of the weekend’s music and exhibitions will take place in East Austin, including a Sunday event at Tamale House that Maldonado says she’s particularly looking forward to. “That’s going to include a lowrider car show and also a brunch. And at that event, we have Conjunto Los Pinkys,” she says. “So there’s going to be a lot going on Sunday at that activation. Lowriding is a big part of the Latino culture, so we are having car clubs that are going to be exhibiting their custom cars. And I think that aspect of it, and just learning more about the lowrider community, is going to be amazing, and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s something that I find so interesting. Just the loyalty, dedication, and everything that goes into it. And really just seeing the cars as an expression of a person, and it being art.”
It’s not just about the cars, of course. Dozens of Latino artists will be exhibiting their works during the three-day event, many for the first time. “There really is going to be some amazing art,” Maldonado says. “The artists have really invested a lot of time and energy into creating these pieces. A lot of the art [is] never-before-seen art. Most of the artists have never exhibited before, so there’s also that component that this Latino Art WKND is… giving opportunities to artists that have been overlooked, historically, in Austin. For me personally, people showing up and coming and supporting the artists – that’s just going to speak volumes and it’s going to be an inspiration for the artists that are participating. Because it’s been a tough year. It’s been a tough year for the art community. It’s been overall tough in Austin for the Latino art community. So for me, for people to show up and support them, this would be the time to do it, to show up and celebrate Latino culture.”