A new subgroup focused on the study of posthumanities topics has been formed at BioInspired Institute. It is designed to provide space and funding for research and creative activities that push the boundaries of traditional scientific inquiry and innovation through…
La Casita to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month With New Exhibition
La Casita Cultural Center, located at 109 Otisco St. in Syracuse, will mark the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month 2023 with a community-wide event and exhibition opening on Friday, Sept. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition, “Futurismo Latino: Cultural Memory and Imagined Worlds,” will highlight the works of Chicano artists Cayetano Valenzuela and Zeke Peña and La Casita’s youth community.
The production of the exhibition is supported by the Mexican Student Association (MexSA) and various other student organizations across the University. The opening event is free and open to the public and will include lively Latin music and authentic Mexican food. Transportation to the opening event will be provided from 5 to p.m. from College Place to La Casita, courtesy of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Valenzuela is a Syracuse-based artist and storyteller whose lettering, illustration and animations evoke wonder, magic and fable. He owns and operates the Black Rabbit Studio and was a teaching artist in La Casita’s summer 2023 youth program, where children produced artwork that reflects on the intersection of Latino culture, technology and imagination, instilling creativity, resilience and empowerment in our youth. Generous support for La Casita’s youth summer workshops came from the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation.
“I am seeking to imagine and construct images that symbolize and embody far off possible futures that are informed by how we carry our culture, our family and ancestral memory with us,” Valenzuela explains. “The work I am developing seeks to explore ideas of cultural and technological fusion as well as poetic spiritual tenderness.”
Peña is a Chicano storyteller and cartoonist from El Paso, Texas. His work encompasses political cartoons and hip-hop culture to address topics of identity, politics, ecology and social justice. Peña has received numerous recognitions for his book illustrations, including the 2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Award. The 2020 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s book and Bank Street’s Best Spanish Language awards have both recognized him for his work in American and Chicano art collections.
The exhibition seeks to reconfigure a vision of the future where Latino/Chicano culture is in flux and centered in the story of the far future. The installation of original paintings, drawings, prints and three-dimensional pieces will remain on view throughout the 2023-24 academic year.