Black and Latino Artists Bridge Cultural Gap Through Art

Jennifer Carno
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Groups of professional Latino and African-American artists visited Glendale Community College and Los Angeles Southwest College from Sept. 20 to 24 to collaborate on two 150-foot long tapestries in an effort to bridge the gap between their communities. This bridge is called “Eye-Speak.” While the artists were painting, a live video feed was set up at both colleges to capture the two groups at work.

The goal of the project was “through art to bridge the differences between the Latino and African-American communities,” said gallery director Annabelle Aylmer on one of the days enthusiastic artists were to be seen enveloping themselves in canvas and paint.
Aylmer acknowledged the past conflicts that these two cultural groups have had and hoped that this project would help bring them together by giving artists a chance to communicate as professionals and as human beings.

The live video feed between campuses allowed the artists to see how much they have in common. The live feed will continue when the exhibit opens to the public in November.

“By doing this, the audience will become a part of the art as well, further bringing together more communities and cultures,” Aylmer said. “This event is sure to be enlightening and entertaining.”
The curators of this exhibit are Jane Castillo and Joseph Beckles, who have brought many African-American and Latino artists together for events and photographs at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the California African-American Museum. “Eye-Speak” is their latest project to preserve the historical significance of these cultures through art.

The tapestries will be stored in time capsules upon completion.

“They hope to display these tapestries in [other places] in the future,” Aylmer said. There is also talk about possibly making this an annual event.

This event is having an openiing night reception at the GCC Art Gallery on Nov. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. and at L.A. Southwest College?s Art Gallery on Nov. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. It runs through Dec. 14., and admission is free.