Monday, September 29, 2014

"Our America" brings PINTURA : PALABRA to Sacramento...

Crocker Art Museum

Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), is pleased to announce its third “PINTURA : PALABRA” workshop, slated to take place on Saturday, October 11 and Sunday October 12 in Sacramento, CA. The two-day, ten-hour workshop is being held in tandem with the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s traveling exhibit, "Our America: the Latino Presence in American Art," which opened on September 21 and will be on view through January 11, 2015. There will also be a reading, free and open to the public, on Sunday, October 12 at 5 PM at the Sacramento Poetry Center after the workshop concludes, featuring the workshop participants and their facilitator, the noted poet Francisco X. Alarcón.

“The visual arts and the written word are really two faces of the same coin. For me, it is a true honor and privilege to be the facilitator of the third ‘PINTURA : PALABRA’ workshop. Art and poetry express the heart and soul of our community and I’m looking forward to working with the talented writers who will be gathering at the Crocker,” said Alarcón, who teaches at UC Davis and is co-founder of Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol (Writers of the New Sun), a collective of poets and writers based in Sacramento. Holding the workshop on the grounds of the museum will allow participants easy access to the works on display.

The Crocker Art Museum is proud to host this unique workshop where poets will contemplate the human experience through visual arts in a collaborative setting,” said Emma Moore, Studio Experiences Manager at the Crocker Art Museum. “Inspired and energized, they will produce literary artworks under the guidance of master poet, Francisco X. Alarcón and come away with a view of museums as a source of inspiration for future works,” added Moore.

“PINTURA : PALABRA, a project in ekphrasis” is a multi-year national initiative that seeks to foment the creation of new writing inspired by Latino art. The inaugural workshop was held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum last February, where the “Our America” exhibit began its tour. It was led by Valerie Martínez and Brenda Cárdenas, former Poet Laureates of Santa Fe, NM and Milwaukee, WI, respectively. DC-based poets made up most of the curated roster of participants. After the workshop in Washington D.C., a group of Florida poets were convened at Florida International University’s Frost Museum of Art, the second stop of the “Our America” tour. Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize-winning poet Emma Trelles led the Miami workshop.

For the Sacramento workshop, Letras Latinas is partnering with two literary journals to publish PINTURA : PALABRA portfolios of ekphrastic poetry generated at the Crocker. The Los Angeles Review and The Packinghouse Review will be showcasing a sampling of the art-inspired poems generated at this third gathering.

“The poets will have a few months to polish the work they start at the Crocker. Collaboration with these journals is one of the most gratifying aspects of this initiative. We have agreements with Poet Lore and Notre Dame Review for the DC and Miami workshops, respectively” said Francisco Aragón, faculty member at the Institute for Latino Studies. “At some point, we’ll all be able to hold in our hands portfolios of writing inspired by this traveling exhibit,” Aragón added.

The Sacramento Poetry Center (SPC) will host an event on Sunday, October 12 at 5 PM. “It’s an honor for SPC to be hosting the PINTURA:PALABRA poets. With eighteen talented voices led by Francisco X. Alarcón, it promises to be an energetic night of word ‘painting.’ This should be one of the best readings of the year,” said Bob Stanley, former Poet Laureate of Sacramento (2009-2012) and current board member of the SPC.

The seventeen poets taking part in the third PINTURA: PALABRA workshop all have ties to Northern California. They are: JoAnn Anglin, Paul Aponte, Oscar Bermeo, Maya Chinchilla, Lucha Corpi, Nancy Aidé González, Xico González, Javier O. Huerta, Paco Márquez, Gerardo Pacheco Matus, Maceo Montoya, Adela Najarro, Graciela B. Ramírez, Joseph Rios, Sandra García Rivera, Odilia Galván Rodríguez, and Harold Terezón.

After Sacramento, the “Our America” exhibit travels to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, where Letras Latinas proposes to hold a fourth workshop. “Letras Latinas has managed to forge partnerships with the exhibit’s hosting venues. We are immensely grateful to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Frost Museum of Art, and the Crocker Art Museum for allowing us use of their space. If all goes as hoped for, writer Fred Arroyo will be leading a workshop in Salt Lake City in March,” said Aragón.

“Our America: the Latino Presence in American Art” is slated to visit five more American cities, well into 2017. For more information, visit:

The Sacramento Poetry Center promotes and advances the practice and application of poetry and the literary arts to enliven and extend the cultural boundaries of Sacramento’s literary arena by creating and maintaining forums for local writers; to support and empower emerging and established poets, and to bring the best practitioners of the craft into the community.

Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the Institute for Latino Studies, strives to enhance the visibility, appreciation and study of Latino literature both on and off the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

Since its creation in 1999, the Institute for Latino Studies has played a vital role in fostering understanding of the U.S. Latino experience. Building upon the history of Latinos at Notre Dame and the outstanding legacy of Julian Samora, a pioneering Latino scholar and professor of sociology, the Institute supports scholarly initiatives in Latino studies as a key component of Notre Dame’s academic mission.

The PINTURA : PALABRA workshops
are made possible thanks, in part,
to the generosity of the Weissberg Foundation
and individual donors.

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