Inspired by the artistic zeal of the Pilsen area, one of Chicago’s most underappreciated art scenes, art is also a central focus at Pilsen Fest. Like the music, the Art Pavilion is always one of the main attractions, featuring the artwork of some of the Pilsen area’s most prominent local visual artist. In addition to over 40 local arts and crafts vendors, Pilsen Fest’s featured artists this year include:
SAM KIRK Revueltas Award for Visual Arts Pilsen Fest is proud to present Sam Kirk. She created the iconic work of art that will be the Pilsen Fest's face and companion on the 2018 journey. She will also receive the Pilsen Fest award Revueltas for her long career and social commitment. Kirk creates artwork to celebrate people and to inspire pride and recognition for underrepresented communities. Her work explores culture, identity, and the politics that have formed society for generations. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, working class communities continue to be Kirk’s key ingredient of inspiration. Partially autobiographical, her vibrant color palette and intricate line-work highlight cultural communities via multi-toned figures paired with nostalgic city scenes from her childhood and travels. Kirk's work intentionally provokes the viewer to look beyond its beauty, to question or find the message that lingers to be discussed. She has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States, worked with many private and commercial clients and made custom artworks for nonprofit organizations in Chicago and New York. For more information visit www.iamsamkirk.com, @iamsamkirk
RENÉ ARCEO (b. 1959 Michoacán, Mexico) is a printmaker and a cultural worker who builds bridges that connect artists and arts institutions to foster printmaking. He co-founded Galeria Ink Works (1984) and the Taller Mexicano de Grabado (1990). In 2005 he founded Arceo Press to promote international printmaking exchanges through the creation of print portfolios where artists collaborate and seek exhibition opportunities abroad. www.ArceoPress.com René has exhibited in Poland, Mexico, Spain, Nicaragua, Canada, France and the USA. He received several awards including two Governor’s International Exchange Program from the Illinois Arts Council to travel, lecture and exhibit in Lublin, Poland (2002) and in Paris, France (2006). He received the Chicago-Lucerne Art Residency Grant to travel and produce work in Lucerne, Switzerland (2018).
KARLA WONG In every brush stroke, Karla plasters the splendors of her culture, a culture her parents instilled in her. She pushes the limits and steers away from more traditional elements to give it a magical touch of surrealism. Karla paints magical characters using emblematic symbols of Istmena culture. Such imagery as the hair pieces, papel picado (paper banner), the Tehuano hat, and embroidery among others. She brings such characters to life with brightly-colored detail. Karla Wong was born in Minatitlán, Veracruz, México in 1974. Her father is originally from Ixtepec, Oaxaca and her mother from Santiago La Ollaga, Oaxaca. This is the reason why Karla’s heart very much belongs to the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Karla grew up in Istmo a region of Oaxaca. The region’s tradition of celebrating art and colors are evident throughout her work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Law and Social Sciences from the University of Oaxaca (U.A.B.J.O.). She has exhibited in the state of Oaxaca, the state of Puebla, multiple museums in Mexico City, numerous cultural houses, and in the National Palace and other prestigious government buildings.
CARLOS BARBERENA is a Nicaraguan self-taught Printmaker based in Chicago. Barberena is the founder of the printmaking project La Calaca Press in Chicago. He has exhibited individually in Costa Rica, Estonia, France, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain and The United States of America. Barberena on his own words: "Since the 90′s, art has given me the freedom to travel over the ocean of my memories, permitting me to express my sentiments and through this, dig deeply into the vastness of human knowledge, knowledge which has healed me to better understand the world that surrounds us. For me art is a powerful form of communication, which I employ to make reflections and question the issues that we live in our contemporary society, the fears, the desires, the hopelessness, and the nonsense." He has received various awards, most notably the “National Printmaking Award 2012” given by the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture in Managua, Nicaragua; “Parchemin d’Honneur”, 8 Triennale Mondial de l’Estampe et de la Gravure Originale, AMAC, Chamalieres, Auvergne, France and the award- poster for the Ecology and Human Rights in Banana Plantations in Costa Rica, given by GEBANA in Berlin, Germany.
ALMA DOMÍNGUEZ Alma Dominguez was born in México (Chihuahua) but is currently residing in the US. Her exposure to art began at an early age with her father who is a guitarist. She went on to study music at the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua a BA in Music. While attending, she also explored visual arts. She is a psychologist with a Masters in Social Science. Her journey throughout the areas mentioned above have had a mayor influence in her artwork it explores the boundaries of reality, with a flare of surrealism. Her paintings seek to raise political, social and environmental awareness. Newspapers, metal sheets, oils, acrylic, among other materials are her accomplices in the creation of her work. Her work has been exhibited in México, USA, Spain, Italy, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile and Russia.
VERONICA MARTINEZ is a visual artist based in Chicago. She received her Bachelors in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the spring of 2017. Inspired by the work of artists such as August Sanders, Cindy Sherman, and Kerry James Marshall, Martínez uses portraiture as a means to celebrate difference and it’s many intanglements with class, taste, nostalgia, and history. Her work has been exhibited in Chicago, Italy, and Mexico through the art collective Pintoras Mexicanas.
LUCIE ŠŤASTNÁ After graduating from the Hellichova Graphic School in Prague, Lucie continued her studies at the Sutnar School of Art and Design at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, where she is currently completing her Master’s degree in Illustration, Children’s Illustration and Comics. In her work, she combines classic documentary drawing with non-traditional elements, techniques or methods. Under her brand Trashity, Lucie creates notebooks and sketch books from used and recycled materials. Besides drawing and making books, Lucie is interested in art theory and curatorial practice.
TOMÁŠ STANĚK A Gymnázium PORG graduate, Tomáš is currently completing his fifth year in the Illustration program at the Sutnar School of Art and Design at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. He is the co-founder of XRXmag comic magazine and the author of a noir comic book, Metro. Besides comics, Tomáš also enjoys and keeps busy with painting on walls and canvases, graphic design, book binding, analogue photography, and rapping with his DBKL crew.
JOSEF SEDLÁK After receiving his B.A. in Media and Didactic Illustration from the Sutnar School of Art and Design at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (Czech Republic), Josef decided to continue his studies at his alma mater and is currently finishing his second year in the Master’s program in Illustration. Since the age of sixteen, Josef has been interested in graffiti and mural art. During his studies, Josef has been working as an illustrator and author of comic books. Together with Tomáš Staněk, he founded the comics magazine XRXmag.
REBECCA WOLFRAM was born in Oregon but has been a painter in Chicago for many years, and for more than 20 years a resident of the very northeast corner of Little Village. She usually paints in oil on traditional canvas or other surfaces, and has exhibited in numerous venues over the years, including solo shows at Calles y Sueños, La Llorona Gallery, Chicago; Elmhurst College; the Illinois State Museum, Chicago and other Illinois locations; Centro Cultural Valverde, Madrid; South Suburban College, Illinois; the Hurn Museum, Savannah, Georgia; as well as various group shows in the U.S. and Mexico; Evanston and Vicinity Biennial 2010; Bridgeport Arts Center, Chicago; Casas de la Cultura, Oaxaca and Juchitán, Mexico; National Museum of Women in the Arts. Website: www.benigngirl.org
ELLOO pronounced like “hello” (and with a British accent) is an artist from Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2011. After UIC she ditched graphic design and pursued painting. Painted her first wall in Back of the Yards in 2014, since then she has continued doing murals and art shows. She is still located in the Heart of Pilsen and creates toothless, bright colored, adorable monsters. Dive into her fairytale monster universe and take a bite into her sweet world.
RED is a visual artist born and raised in Chicago. He attended the Illinois Institute of Art and studied illustration and design. The work he creates is influenced by his upbringing in Chicago, the value of his family, and his Filipino and Chinese culture. Red is from Avondale and currently resides in the Bronzeville community. He creates characters that are playful and often they are reminiscent of childhood nostalgia. He creates scenes that depict feelings of anxiety and depression.
One of the ways Pilsen Fest promotes cultural literacy is through a live poetry exhibition called The Spoken Word. Each night right before the headliner’s set, local accomplished writers take to the main stage to read and perform their profound works.
Raúl Dorantes Revueltas Award for Literature Is Resident Playwright of Colectivo El Pozo. He is credited with nine original works presented by Colectivo El Pozo since 2009, Camazotz, to open this Fall, being his 10th original work. Born in México, he immigrated to Chicago in 1986. Since 1990 he has served on the editorial board of various Spanish language literary magazines. In 2008, Dorantes began writing for Teatro Aguijón, where he devised Hasta los gorriones dejan su nido (2008), y El lunes de León Rodríguez (2009). In 2009, Dorantes, along with a group of Latino writers, began staging Dorantes’ plays under Colectivo El Pozo with hopes of staging Spanish-language original theater work that captured the reality of immigrants in Chicago. Since its inception, he has written and staged Una hormiga en la 26, De camino al Ahorita, Los Carralejas, Colján. The Inexplicable Pastrana, El INCAS, El Campanario, Allá en San Fernando and El Edificio. Dorantes has published two books of short stories, Vocesueltas and Bidrioz, and two novels: De zorros y erizos and Cajitas.
T is a non-binary, queer, brown, poet and visual artists. They use their art as a form of resistance and protest. They hope their work causes audiences to reflect on how the uncomfortable realities of marginalized people can be lived through at all. While calling for action is essential, being able to be aware and breathe through pain is the first step.
THEATER & PERFORMACE
JUANA IRIS GOERGEN Puerto Rico. Latin American Literature professor at DePaul University, where she has directed the Spanish Program form (2000-2007) and again (2016-2017). As a poet she has published La sal de las brujas (Finalist Letras de oro, 1997), La piel a medias (2001), Las ilusas/Dreamers (2008) y Mar en los huesos (2017). She has also edited eight poetry anthologies. She is the initiator and co-organizer in Chicago of the International Poetry Festival/Poesía en abril, at present in its tenth year. Her poetry have been partially translated and published in German and in French. She has received the Contra/Tiempo and José Revueltas Poetry Awards and several teaching awards, most recently the Latino Graduating Seniors Award (2017) to the professor that has influenced their lives the most. Requiem to the American Dream/Requiem al sueño americano:
Requiem to the American Dream/Requiem al sueño americano: A poet's shout to the injustices against Latin American immigration, and a poet's portrait of the dreams that migrants have for them and their children as they decide to begin their journey. A Requiem for the collapse of the American Dream and an exposure of the many ways in which Latin American migrants contribute to build new dreams for themselves and for their children.
CAMAZOTZ Colectivo El pozo is excited to be preparing its 13th production. "Camazotz", an original play written by Raúl Dorantes, tells the story of an undocumented bat deity from Mexico who lives in Chicago for one year. While in Chicago, Camazotz meets anthropologists from Newberry Library, an immigrant restaurant worker, a nurse and a teenage Chicana living in the suburbs. As well Camazotz encounters the violence occurring in the nights of Chicago. Since so much blood is spilled in the city, Camazotz does not have to bite to feed on blood but rather cleans the wounds of the many injured in the City. The audience learns that Camazotz cleans up the blood and also has the power to heal. All who interact with Camazotz are fascinated by the radiance of the deity. Camaztoz is eventually deported but never reaches the border. The play's main character, Roberto Rizzo, gathers a group of experts on Camazotz to answer the questions of who is Camazotz and why he came to the city. "Camazotz" reflects on the violence within the city and ourselves and the need for healing. Camaztoz is not from this time and is not constrained by gender roles, race or cultural differences. Camaztoz heals the wounds of the wounded, yet is exhausted by today's society. In the conclusion of the play Camazotz asks to be released of the current world. It is up to one of the characters to help Camaztoz transcend to the underworld.
The cast includes: Lauro López, Debbie Russell, Juanjo López, Lizzeth Carrera, José Rivera, Joanna Kwiatkowska and Miguel Marzana.
Costume design and make-up by Victor Velázquez.
CAROLINA A. HERRERA was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León and raised in México City. She graduated from Universidad Regiomontana (1989) with a Juris Doctor. #Mujer que piensa, her first novel, was published in 2016 by El Beisman Press and is a finalist for the International Latino Book Award in two categories, Best First Novel and Best Novel - Romance. She is part of the anthology of female Latino writers in Ni Barbaras Ni Malinches (Ars Comunis Editorial, 2017). She is a member of El BeiSMan's Editorial Board and contributes regularly with the online magazine. She lives in Naperville, Illinois. TEDx speaker. Follow her on Twitter @blondieflowers
ÁLVARO HERNANDO (Madrid, 1971) Teacher, anthropologist specialized in language research. Author of the poetry books “Ex-Clavo” (Karima Editora, Valencia, 2018) and “Mantras para bailar" (Ed. Pandora Lobo Estepario, Chicago, 2016. The finished poetry books: "Chicago Express" (2017) and “Soul Geography" are being prepared by Pandora Lobo Estepario for publication. He received the Poesía en Abril 2018 Award, within the International ChicagoPoetry Festival. As a journalist, he conducted several radio programs in which literature played a special role (“Cómo decirte, cómo contarte”, “Este perro mundo"), also has published his poems and short stories in different specialized magazines. He has participated in several interdisciplinary works, highlighting the contemporary musical piece Leaving the comfort zone, by composer Enric Riu (Chicago, 2015) in which his poem "Gruta" is used as part of the performance. Some of his works have been translated into Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, English and French. At this time, he continues teaching, working for the Harvard School District in the Midwest of the United States.
JORGE HERNÁNDEZ Ciudad Gonzalez, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He moved to Chicago in 1988. Author of theplayEl desdén con el desdén (1993) andpoetryvolumesLaberinto de errores (1993), Las palabras no se agotan por su nombre (2008) y los perros locos (2016). Hispoems and short storieshavebeenpublished in magazines and anthologies, includingVoces en el viento (1999), En el ojo del viento (2004), Tercer encuentro de poesía joven de la frontera norte (1987) y Antología de la poesía latinoamericana del siglo XXI (1997).
MIGUEL MARZANA Poet and writer. Author of the poetry book: Descomposiciones (Aceite de un cielo) studied arts at the Higher School of Plastic Arts Raúl G. Prada and Linguistics at the at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón in Bolivia. He has graffitied, pamphleted and published his poems in various countries of the American continent, he has been included in numerous anthologies and poetry samples in the U.S. He currently directs Contratiempo’s literary creation workshop, he coordinates the project of performance and scenic poetry "Prohibido Leer", he is a member of the editorial board of contratiempo cultural magazine and is part of the continental movement Cultura Viva Comunitaria. Part of his work has been translated into English, Arabic and Catalan, he lives in Chicago.
MELISSA CASTRO ALMANDINA is a Xicana poet and artist from the Southwest Side of Chicago. She is a member of Brown and Proud Press, a zine collective that serves as a platform for healing in POC communities and is a resident artist at AMFM Gallery. She facilitates poetry workshops on the Southwest Side of Chicago and debuted her hand bound zine of poetry entitled, Rose Quartz and Serpentine. She was a featured author at Pilsen Fest and is published in the Garland Court Review, Cuentos de Gringolandia, and Hooligan Magazine.
FERMINA PONCE Social Communicator and Journalist with a degree in Organizational Communications Management from La Universidad de La Sabana, Bogotá, Colombia. Her first poetry book Al desnudo, prologue by Spaniard dramatist and writer Carlos García Ruiz. Al desnudo recently won the International Book Award 2018 in the poetry-one author category. Mar de (L)una, her second poetry book, by Oveja Negra, launched at the past International Book Fair (FilBo 2017). Prologue by Colombian writer, literary critic and journalist Juan Gustavo Cobo Borda. Epilogue by Colombian journalist, novelist and literary critic José Luis Díaz Granados. Fermina has contributed with articles, poems and book reviews in Libros & Letras, Latin America cultural magazine; El BeiSMan, Chicago cultural magazine; Surco Magazine, Chicago; Blog “Náufragos en tiempos ágrafos” of the editorial La Discreta, and in the magazine La indiscreta of the same editorial, Madrid, Spain.
ANTONIO ZAVALA is a Chicago writer born in Mexico. He was brought to the United States legally at an early age. He grew up in the Little Italy neighborhood and later moved to Little Village and then to Pilsen. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa. He has been a life-long activist since he was in high school. He was active in the Chicano Movement and did Chicano theater with Compañía Trucha. He is also an Aztec dancer with the group Coyolxauhqui Danza Azteca. He has practiced journalism for over two decades. He is a correspondent with a major news service and a columnist for La Raza weekly. He also contributes to El BeiSMan and Contratiempo magazines. This is his first work of fiction. He is currently working on another book of short stories but in Spanish.
MARC ZIMMERMAN has authored and edited nearly 40 books, including U.S. Latino Literature (MARCH 1992), Bringing Aztlán to Mexican Chicago (2010), Defending their own in the Cold: The Cultural Turns of U.S. Puerto Ricans (2011). His edited co-volumes include Ir y venir: Procesos trannacionales entre América Latina y el Norte y Orbis/Urbis Latino: Los “Hispanos” en las ciudades de los Estados Unidos (2008). In recent years, he has published several books and CDs on Chicago Mexican art, based on his interviews and “image and document banks” on Chicago Latino artists that are now being prepared for the Americas Archives of the Smithsonian Institution, and are slated to be part of a final academic book. He has also published six books of fiction, including Martín and Marvin: A Chicago Jewish Mexican, His Friend and their Latin Worlds (2016). Zimmerman’s stories, as well as his articles on Chicago Latino art and literature, have been appearing regularly in the Chicago Latino online journal, El BeiSMan.