Monday, June 08, 2015

Artist In Residence at ACRE


I am getting ready to be an artist in residence at ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) in Steuben, WI. This is going to be my first artist residency outside of Chicago. I can’t wait to have 100% of my day just making art!!!

ACRE is a “volunteer-run non-profit based in Chicago devoted to employing various systems of support for emerging artists and to creating a generative community of cultural producers.” Out of the 730 applications they received, ACRE offered spots to 80 artists.

I am looking forward to expanding my video performance pieces, such as the project “Dancing Salsa 1 / Bailando Salsa 1,” into an outdoor environment in Wisconsin’s quiet landscape of hills and green open fields. In addition, I will be working on my embroideries.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Epri In the Collection of Solita Mishaan

I am absolutely ecstatic to be part of Solita Mishaan collection. As a Colombian artist that lives and works in Chicago, it is an honor to be recognized by by her.  Solita Mishaan saw my embroidery work during ArtBo 2014. She visited the exhibition El cambio de todo lo que permanence, curated by Jaime Cerón, for the Artecámara division in ArtBO 2014 in Bogota, Colombia.

Solita Mishaan is a fundamental figure in contemporary Latin American Art. As a collector she has invested in Colombian art for many years, and she is the director of the non-profit Fundación MISOL para las Artes in Bogotá. Most recently she won the first prize, 1mer Premio Iberoamericano de Mecenazgo, from the Wealth Advisory Services for the Arts during the art fair ARCO Madrid. In addition, as described in the Artsy website, she is a Member of Latin American and Caribbean Fund, MOMA; trustee of Miami Art Museum (MAM); founding member of the acquisitions committee of Latin American art at Tate London; International Friend of Museo Del Prado, Madrid.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Gallery Representation

I am a featured artist at the gallery Otros 360º. My work will be represented through this gallery only in Colombia.

Otros 360 grados is run by the wonderful galerist team of Angela Royo and Iliana Hoyos. Currently they have of two of my pieces: Neh-moh-KON, Boh-goh-TA- ee- Meh-deh-DJEEN, and Ah-moor.

I will be part of a group show in August that will have artists from Argentina, Chile, and Colombia. The show will take place in the beautiful space of Otros 360 grados in Bogota, Colombia.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Document Exhibition at Woman Made Gallery

Machera Series 5. Woman Made Gallery. Photo by Scott Carter. 2015

I got invited by Jessica Cochran to perform the Machera Series 5 during the opening of “Document” exhibition at Woman Made Gallery. It was an extraordinary way to start the new year 2015. My friend and performer Liliana Castellanos and I have noticed that the Machera Series varies every time. The viewer makes it different. It is quite interesting to see that when we performed salsa and merengue, music that makes your body shake, a few viewers try to clap or dance but they notice that others viewers are not doing it too, they stop. It is evident that the performance faces three cultures: South American, North American, and art gallery.

Machera Series 5. Woman Made Gallery. 2015. 
Photo by Scott Carter

This installment was very special because is the first exhibition at Woman Made Gallery with its new director Claudine Isé and Manager Sydney Stoudmire, who used to be the coordinator. They were very supportive and enthusiastic about the performance.

Machera Series 5. Woman Made Gallery. 2015. 
Photo by Scott Carter

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Neh-moh-kon-ee-Boh-goh-ta lives in Europe

My piece Neh-moh-kon-ee-Boh-goh-ta is part of a private collection in Berlin, Germany.

 Neh-moh-kon-ee-Boh-goh-ta. Embroidery. 52 inch x 41 inch. 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

ArtBo The International Art Fair Of Bogotá 2014

I had a wonderful experience in ArtBo, the International Art Fair of Bogota 2014. I got selected for the show El cambio de todo lo sue permanence curated by Jaime Cerón Silva in the Artecámara section in ArtBo. This is a division of the Chamber of Commerce in Bogotá -Camara de Comercio de Bogotá- that supports emerging artists, in this case by showing their work and give them exposure in this commercial venue. Part of their goal is to “strengthen the bonds between the arts and business scene,” as they say in their website.  

Photo by CCB / Julián Tellez

The way that I got selected was by applying to the ArteCámara website’s call for artists. The work that I applied with is called Talk To Me / Háblame, a collections of embroideries that celebrate the diversity of places where my family has migrated, the languages related to these places, and the memory that has been passed from generations. In them the latitude and longitude of different places are used to map the migration. The pieces’s titles are made using a pronunciation guide for English speakers. This guide allows them to pronounce the titles in perfect Spanish. For example:

              Ah-moor: represents the word “love / amor”.
              Boh-goh-tah ee Chicago: represents the word “home / hogar”.
              Fah-mee-li-ah: represents the word “ family / familia”.

The embroideries are made by hand and machine. Every embroidery has lips that correspond to the movement of the mouth saying a word in Spanish and every set of lips represents a syllable or a vowel sound of these words.


It was the 10th year anniversary of ArtBo and Artecámara. I am ecstatic to have had this opportunity. It opened many doors for me that I didn’t expect. I got to meet many talented curators, artists, gallerists, collectors, installation experts and interesting people around the globe. Two italian collectors were very impressed and wanted to buy the entire collection, all three embroideries! My work got outstanding exposure and now my embroideries live in the gorgeous country of Italy.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Machera Series 6 At Expo Chicago And Its Organizer's Reaction.

Machera Series 6. Expo Chicago 2014. Photo. Nancy Valladares

This piece was performed during the preview and vernissage of EXPO CHICAGO, an exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art. My piece was part of the show 'By the Horns' curated by Meredith Weber, Program Director of the Industry of the Ordinary.

This installment is a variation on the Machera Series 5. It has the same concept of reciprocity as revealed by a black ring that the performers use to dance with. The stretchy fabric acts as a third dancer that unifies the performers. It also refers to the gender roles in Hispanic dances such as Salsa and Meregue.

Machera Series 5. Performance at Lubeznik Center for the Arts 
in Michigan City, IN. 2014. Photo by Nancy Valladares

The performance took place in different aisles where the viewers didn’t expect a performance until the performers stood up, held the fabric ring with their waists, and loud  salsa and merengue started playing.

There was an interesting response from the venue in the last presentation of the night. The music turned down slowly and we stood still until a few minutes passed. The curator’s friends that were helping us had turned off the music. The organizer told them to turn off the music because he thought we weren't allowed to perform, even though I was invited to participate in this venue.

Machera Series 6. Expo Chicago 2014. Photo. Nancy Valladares

It’s quite interesting that woman performing Latin dances with loud music shouldn’t do it in the prestige aisles of an art fair, and how its relates to a gender roles in “Hispanic” dances, the man leads the dance and the woman follows.

Some people say that it is better to get a reaction than nothing. On the day of the exhibition I felt very disappointed, but now the organizer’s reaction makes me question the preconceptions of different art practices and the places where they belong. 
The response we got from the organizer suggests that an exhibition of women performing Latin dances with loud music doesn’t belong in the prestigious aisles of an art fair. And the fact that the organizer was a man who essentially brought our dance to a halt, relates back to the gender roles in “Hispanic” dances, where the man leads the dance and the woman follows. 
Overall, his reaction reinforces my interest to continue performing the Machera Series at a variety of venues. Every time we perform we get a different reaction.  

Machera Series 6. Expo Chicago 2014. Photo. Nancy Valladares