News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: August 14, 2003 (03-59)
Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970;
Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College’s “Cruzando Fronteras” Art Exhibit Explores Area Artists’ Latino Influences
Show Opens on September 2 at the Rockville Campus 

            Montgomery College will highlight the work of six premier Latino artists from the metropolitan area in its “Cruzando Fronteras/Crossing Boundaries” exhibit which opens on September 2 and continues through September 19.  The artists – Felix Angel, Juan Bernal, Gabriel Gross, Muriel Hasbun, Naul Ojeda, and Wilfredo Valladares – are known for their passionate work in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, and photography.   

            “Each of these artists represents the richness of Latino art as it continues to be infused into our local culture,” says exhibit organizer Kay McCrohan, a professor of art at Montgomery College.  “Their willingness to embrace the realities of the world and address them in their art shows great courage.”

            The work by Felix Angel reflects his Colombian heritage.  He grew up in the country and studied architecture at the National University.  In 1977, he began living in Washington, D.C.  Not only is Angel an artist, he is also a published writer and art critic.  Currently, he serves as the general coordinator of the Cultural Center of the Inter-American Development Bank.  He spends much of his time advocating on behalf of other Latino artists and writing about their exhibits.

            Another Colombian artist featured in the “Cruzando Fronteras” exhibit is Juan Bernal.  He, too, has an architecture degree, but is known for his work in painting and stained glass.  His work is often incorporated into pieces of architecture.

            Originally from Ecuador, artist Gabriel Gross moved to America in the 1970s.  A self-taught artist, he works with visual arts, theatre, and television.  He created his first piece at the age of 12, after the death of his beloved grandmother.  Gross says he often turns to painting “out of a spiritual need and my art fills a void.”

            Photographer Muriel Hasbun is the daughter of a Palestinian Christian living in El Salvador and a Polish Jew who survived World War II.  She has become an internationally recognized artist and the recipient of many awards.  She holds a MFA from George Washington University.  Currently, she teaches at the Corcoran College of Art and Design.

            After studying art in his native Uruguay and France, Naul Ojeda immigrated to the United States in the seventies.  His wood prints and paintings were described as “magic realism,” often exhibited at the Franz Bader Gallery.  Recently deceased, his legacy to the art world continues to be felt.

            Representing a new generation of Latino artists, Wilfredo Valladares completed his graduate degree at the University of Maryland.  In a recent art series, Valladares used a little known Mayan legend as his basis for launching symbolic canoes down the Potomac River. 

            The “Cruzando Fronteras/Crossing Boundaries” exhibit opens with a reception for the public from 6-8 p.m. on September 2 at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus Art Gallery.  The Gallery is located on the second floor of the Paul Peck Art Building at 51 Mannakee Street. 

            The College will host the artists’ panel discussion and reception on September 10 from 7-9 p.m. in Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus Theatre Arts Arena, located in the Theatre Arts Building, 51 Mannakee Street.

            For more information, contact 240-567-5115 or log on to www.montgomerycollege.edu/Departments/artrv.

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