Cultural celebration puts accent on artists
August 14, 2010 · Print This Article
From The Columbus Dispatch
CHRIS RUSSELL | DISPATCH
For the first time in its 15 years, Festival Latino will feature the works of central Ohio artists.
The Artists’ Showcase is new for 2010, according to Rolanda Copley, spokeswoman for the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, which is presenting the festival.
The event will last all day Saturday and Sunday in Genoa Park, next to COSI Columbus.
Santiago Pablo and Rosa Rojas, artists from the Columbus area, were chosen to be featured along with Alejandro Rivera, a Cleveland photographer.
When his father helped him make a marionette for a project as an elementary-school student, Pablo was smitten with the idea of becoming an artist.
“I realized then and there that I enjoyed colors and being creative,” said Pablo, who plans to have six to eight pieces on display.
“My teacher did not waste any time encouraging me in the development of my abilities.”
Pablo, raised in San Bernardo in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, moved to Mexico City at age 14 to study portraiture and advertising art.
He eventually sought work as a newspaper artist – but found only a job delivering papers.
Instead of getting discouraged, Pablo became acquainted with the sketch and graphic artists at the newspaper.
“When a position finally opened up, they hired me – and, two years later, I was part of a partnership with the paper,” said Pablo, who moved to the United States about 13 years ago.
“I have shown my artwork in many places in Ohio – the Ohio State University, the King Arts Complex, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Ohio Statehouse; and in many Mexican restaurants.”
Pablo owns a landscape-design company but calls painting his passion.
“It doesn’t matter if it is large or small – a mural, a painting or a yard. The world is my canvas.”
For her part, Rosa Rojas designs exhibits and creates jewelry and mixed-media art.
The senior graphic designer of exhibits at the Ohio Historical Society was born in the Dominican Republic, although her family moved to New York soon after.
In 1988, she received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York.
She relocated to Columbus in 1995.
Rojas enjoys working in three dimensions with mixed media.
“I use color . . . as my tool for expression,” she said. “I really use colors to get the emotion, the point, across.”
A trained master of Reiki, a Japanese technique of spiritual healing and self-improvement, Rojas said:
“My work is also very spiritual. It’s about finding and keeping balance every day. I use crystals – which is why I do the jewelry.”
She plans to have several pieces of her jewelry, colorful scarves and mixed-media works on display and for sale.
CAPA has also expanded family programming in the Children’s Pavilion, said Rich Corsi, director of programming for CAPA.
“We basically doubled the size of the children’s tent,” he said, “due to the overwhelming number of families who came last year.”
The children’s area will be open from noon to 6 p.m. both days.
The COSI Columbus Science Spot is expected to be a main attraction.
“They’ve got five to six interactive activities there,” Corsi said of the COSI kiosks, teaching basic scientific concepts about force and motion, structure, space and magnetism.
Members of Organizacion de Damas Latinas will help young visitors transform pipe cleaners and colorful tissue paper into flowers of the type used in Mexico as decorations on days of celebration.
“It’s a very, very popular activity,” he said, “and we’re very happy to have them back.”
The children’s area will include juggler Steve Mattson from 2 to 4 p.m. both days.
Latino food and goods will be offered – with dance and music, featuring Grammy-nominated singer Jerry Rivera, taking place throughout the run of the festival.
A Columbus Crew soccer clinic will instruct budding soccer stars from 4:15 to 5p.m. Sunday in the dance plaza. Crew players and the team mascot will oversee the free session.
Michele Lemmon is a Columbus freelance writer.
SATURDAY noon: DJ Ray Ritmo; 1:30 p.m.: the Richard
Lopez Trio; 3: Victor Zancudo and Los Facemelters; 5: Matias-Rocha y Nueva Trova;
6:30: Our Latin Thing: Tribute to the Fania All Stars
SUNDAY noon: DJ Alekz; 1:30 p.m.: Veto featuring DJ
Cale; 3: Unidad de Michoacan; 5: Grupo Fuego; 6:30: Jerry Rivera
SATURDAY 1 p.m.: Salsa Underground Dance Academy;
2:30: Mas y Mambo; 4:15: Grupo Caribe; 6: El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico
SUNDAY 1 p.m.: Salsa Club at OSU: Club Tropical;
2:15: fashion show; 4:15: soccer clinic with Columbus
Crew players; 6: El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico
exhibits from COSI Columbus and a flower-decorating area
COMMUNITY RESOURCES information from organizations about career opportunities, education and job training
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
health screenings and information from groups such as the Central Ohio Diabetes Association and Franklin County Office on Aging