MELISSA CARDOZA is a writer and feminist artist born in Honduras amidst the sexual rebelliousness of the 60’s. She is of mixed Afro-descendent Garífuna and indigenous Lenca heritage, and describes herself as a “GaríLenca… in resistance to parties, husbands and states, a traveling and curious woman.” Her mother died when she was very young and she grew up in a household of four men. She joined the feminist movement in her 20’s while in college in Honduras in response to the killing of a young woman, a university student brutally murdered by two Honduran soldiers. She was attracted to the feminist movement for its rebelliousness, its creativity, its expressiveness, its independence. She left Honduras and lived in Mexico for two years where she joined a collective of other feminists and lesbians and wrote extensively. She came back, encountering a country in the throes of neoliberal economic reforms and burgeoning resistance against the wave of privatization and austerity that was sweeping not just Honduras but the rest of Latin America. Her book 13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance, has been published in several countries throughout Latin America and recently was published in a bilingual version by El BeiSMan in the United States.
MELISSA CASTRO ALMANDINA is a Xicana poet from the Southwest Side of Chicago. She began to write and publish her work as a means to heal and speak out against the trauma sustained from assault, gun, and state violence. In her writing, she explores the themes of: femininity; magic; science; heartbreak; resilience and resistance. She is a core member of Brown and Proud Press, a zine collective that publishes the stories of marginalized people of color. She has been published in the Garland Court Review, has won poetry competitions and has a forthcoming zine that will feature a collection of her poetry. She currently writes on-demand poetry with her vintage typewriter and regularly publishes her work via her Instagram page: Melissa.Almandina.
CAROLINA A. HERRERA was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León and raised in Mexico City. She received a Bachelor’s Degree en Legal Studies (Juris Doctor) by Universidad Regiomontana (1989). She was a member of Mexico’s Foreign Service at the Consulates in Chicago and Houston (1991-2000). For the past 17 years she has worked in the Language Services industry as a translator, interpreter, project manager and most recently, as Director of Training and Development, creating training programs for interpreters. She has always considered herself a ‘reader’ and only a few years ago decided to start a writing career. She published her first novel #Mujer que piensa (2016), based on a blog she started in 2012. She is a member of El BeiSMan’s Editorial Board and is a regular contributor to the magazine. She lives in Aurora, Illinois.
FERNANDO OLSZANSKI was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has lived in Scotland, Ecuador, Japan and now in the United States. He holds a MEd. in Education from the Dominican University, and a MA in Latin American Literature from Northeastern Illinois University. Among his books is the novel Rezos de marihuana, the poetry book Parte del polvo, the collection of short stories Vocesueltas: Cuatro cuentistas de Chicago. His short story book: The Natural Order of Things, was honored at the International Latino Book Award 2011 for Best Popular Fiction. Together with José Castro Urioste, he has prepared the anthology América Nuestra, an anthology of Spanish narrative in the United States, and Trasfondos, an anthology of Spanish narratives of the Midwest. Both anthologies are being used as textbooks in several U.S. universities. Olszanski writes a blog called El nuevo ser latino, which he describes as a blog of Latino conscience. He has been Editorial Director of the magazine Contratiempo, and Consenso, a graduated magazine of the Northeastern Illinois University.
MARCOS RAYA The Fetish of Pain is the phrase Raya uses to group his newest presentation of work as well as to connect back to earlier paintings and collages, some made over twenty-five years ago. War is part of this fetish; in many of his earlier paintings and murals, war is depicted fairly generically as a technological plague on innocents. In works such as the three-part collage-mural Peace Is War, 2008, the citizens of modern life seem to want nothing more than to be left alone to enjoy their pleasures and entertainments while the dreadful war machines creep up and overwhelm them." —Lynne Warren Born in Mexico, Raya has become an inextricable part of Chicago’s artistic landscape. Known in the 1970s and 1980s as a prominent Pilsen muralist, Raya has long been active both personally and artistically in social and political issues; these topics continue to permeate his studio practice of painting, collage and found object works.
JOHANNY VÁZQUEZ PAZ San Juan, Puerto Rico. Among her books are Sagrada familia (winner of the International Latino Book Award, 2015), Querido voyeur (Ediciones Torremozas), and Streetwise Poems /Poemas callejeros (Mayapple Press). On 2012 she won first prize in the poetry category at the Consenso Short Story and Poetry Contest of Northeastern Illinois University, and the second prize for her story “La muda” (The Mute). She co-edited the anthology Between the Heart and the Land / Entre el corazón y la tierra: Latina Poets in the Midwest (MARCH/Abrazo Press). Her work has been included in the anthologies City of Big Shoulders, Ejército de rosas, En la 18 a la 1, The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century, among others. She currently teaches Spanish at Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL.
BRINCO DEL CHINELO Chinelos are a kind of traditional costumed dancer which is popular in the Mexican state of Morelos, parts of the State of Mexico and the Federal District of Mexico City, especially the boroughs of Milpa Alta and Xochimilco. The tradition arose from the blending of indigenous and Catholic traditions, most notably Carnival, with its permission to be masked and to mock. Chinelos mock Europeans and European mannerisms from the colonial period up to the end of the 19th century. The Chinelos tradition is strongest in Morelos, especially around Carnival, but Chinelos now appear at other festivities such as Pilsen Fest. This performance will be in collaboration with the national conference El Chinelo es Folklor.
GROUND MOTION For most people break dancing is a form of Dance, but for Nick "MOKS" Olvera it's a way of life. Growing up in Pilsen in the 80s and 90s Nick fell in love with hip hop at an early age. Which is now led him to numerous Awards and championships from around the states and a great reputation. Teaching kids around the city and doing many workshops in different states has had him reach many goals in life. Nick doesn't do it for money and fame but to share his passion in hopes for other kids and people around the world will discover their passions as well.
JUANA IRIS GOERGEN is a published poet. Her dissertation was on "Colonial and Post-colonial tensions in Latin American Literature: Subversions of the Baroque". Her areas of expertise include Latin American literature colonial to present; cultural studies and critical theory of literature (graduate examination) and peninsular literature. Her other areas of specialization include literacy, oral histories, community based education, multiculturalism and Latinos in the United States. She teaches all levels of Spanish language and literature, as well as courses in the Latin American and Latino Studies, Comparative Literature, International Studies, and Honors programs. Goergen will receive the Pilsen Fest Award Revueltas for her long career and her social commitment and contributions to the Latino community in the U.S.
KIM CHAYEB is a passionate Pantheist Pisces performance artist who moved to Chicago from Charlotte, North Carolina and is originally from San Diego, California. After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in 2015, she began to work as a part-time Spanish teacher for students ages 3-8 and was recently promoted to the position of Assistant Center Director all the while she continues to develop her art practice. The majority of her work is informed by her lived experience (in this incarnation, anyway) as a femme-presenting person of color who endures different combinations of micro-aggressions in her daily life. By acknowledging a wide array of intersectional social issues, Kim aims to use her body within her work to simultaneously subvert cultural traditions, gender roles, and stereotypes, while reinforcing the belief that everyone should have self-control over their own body and life choices. While she believes performance art to be a vast spectrum of subjective interpretations, her own work periodically features elements of her experimental sound art, spoken word poetry, and/or fiber art. Kim has been featured on 91.1 Vocalo Radio, at Citlalín Gallery and The Dojo in Pilsen, at Thawalls (hosted by Links Hall and Three Walls Gallery), and at the Museum of Contemporary Art as well.
MIGUEL MÉNDEZ is from Juárez even though he was born in El Paso, Texas. The adventures in literature began at an early age, from Mother´s Day festivals to the short story and poetry contests he has lost. His literary voice has grown from Mexican rock, the border and from Juan Rulfo. He is currently studying Spanish at Northeastern Illinois University in order to learn to write without grammatical errors. He has participated in many literary events and his work has been published in some magazines in the Chicago area. Miguel Méndez es de Cd. Juárez, Ch. aunque haya nacido en El Paso, TX. Las andadas por la literatura se dieron desde muy temprana edad, desde cada festival de día de las madres hasta todos los concursos de cuento y poesía que ha perdido. Su voz literaria se ha cultivado del rock mexicano, la frontera y de Juan Rulfo. Actualmente estudia español en Northeastern Illinios University para poder aprender a escribir sin errores ortográficos. Ha participado en varios eventos literarios, y publicado en algunas revistas del área de chicago.
Ya no te espero Moy by Raúl Dorantes Susy Avitia is a Mexican actress and dancer. She has participated in three musicals: Bufon, La union hace la fuerza and Qué plantón, plus regular theater participations in plays such as: Vuelve pájaro a su nido, Apenas son las cuatro con antifaz, Antígona, and Las soldaderas with Aguijón Theater, El Fandango de los muertos with El Tecolote, El sueño de un ángel con El Sótano, and Los encantos del relajo with Juglar. She has also performed in four short films. Ya no te espero, Moy is based on a short story (by the same name) written by Raúl Dorantes. It takes place on a Chicago wintry morning in the apartment of Delia, a Mexican immigrant widow. While the ice invades her living room, kitchen and her own body, she recalls thirty years of her life.
Sobre el daño que causa el tabaco by Anton Chekhov and directed by José Burgos LAURO A. LÓPEZ. I studied acting in the Theatrical University Center in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM in Spanish) and the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA in Spanish) in Mexico City. Since 1968, I have been involved in theatre in Mexico and the United States. I’ve acted under the direction of the most well-known Mexican theatre directors, such as Héctor Mendoza, Luis de Tavira, Germán Castillo, José Caballero among many others. In Chicago, since 1989, I have worked with Teatro Aguijón, St. Augustine College Theatre Company, Latino Chicago Theatre, Repertorio Latino, El Tecolote and with La Molécula Artística. Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), playwright and physician. He was the third of six surviving children, from a family who lived in Taganrog, a port on the Sea of Azov in Southern Russia. He is well known for plays such as The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard. The monologue “On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco” was first published in 1886.
La mujer sola by Dario Fo and directed by Fabián Rico LESLIE HOLGUÍN is a Colombian actress, with a human and women rights activist background. Leslie graduated with a full scholarship from ACTUEMOS de Edgardo Román in Colombia, and she has experience in the fields of Clown Theater, Improv, children’s theater, drama, comedy, theater of the absurd, and much more. Some of her most recent works include plays by authors such as Anton Chekhov, Moliere, Alejandro Casona, Luis Enrique Osorio, Eugene Ionesco, and more. Leslie will be joining The American Academy of Dramatic Arts’ full Acting Program in NYC starting winter next year. La mujer sola is a theatrical monologue that tells Maria’s story, a woman who struggles to live her life with a husband who does not support her. She thinks she knows what love is, what life is, what being a woman is, but is confined to living isolated and in her husband's shadow.
HÉCTOR DUARTE Pilsen Fest is proud to present Maestro Hector Duarte. He created the iconic work of art that will be the Pilsen Fest's face and companion on the 2017 journey. He will also receive the Pilsen Fest award Revueltas for his long career and social commitment. Duarte was born in 1952 in Caurio, Michoacán, México. He studied mural painting at the workshop of David Alfaro Siqueiros in 1977. Since moving to Chicago in 1985, Duarte has participated in the creation of more than 50 murals. He has exhibited his paintings and prints in solo and collective shows at such venues as the National Museum of Mexican Art, the School of the Art Institute, the State of Illinois Gallery, the Chicago Historical Society, and Casa Estudio Museo Diego Rivera in México. Duarte has received a number of awards, including a 2008 Artist Fellowship Award from the Illinois Arts Council, 2005 and 2007 Artistic Production Awards from the Secretary of Culture of the state of Michoacán, a 1995 Chicago Bar Association Award for best work of public art and a 1994 National Endowment for the Arts project grant. In 2006 he participated in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as an invited muralist.
ABRIL ART Artista ecuatoriana. Ha representado a Ecuador en arte expresivo en New York, Argentina y, ahora, en Chicago. Ha venido trabajando al carboncillo por diez años.
She is an Ecuadorian Artist. She has represented Ecuador trough Expressionist Art in New York, Argentine and Chicago. She has been working with charcoal for ten years.
FRANK DÍAZ is an eclectic multidisciplinary-multimedia artist with a broad variety of skills and talents. He is a painter, a sculptor, and a musician with a diverse portfolio of artistic mediums and motifs.
Frank Díaz. Artista, pintor, escultor, músico y poeta. Es originario de Guadalajara, Jalisco. Su obra refleja tanto aspectos del surrealismo como del arte conceptual contemporáneo. Su obra ha sido influenciada tanto por Salvador Dalí como por H.R. Giger. Trabaja con toda clase de materiales y los combina armónicamente en una sola pieza. Su obra nos reviste de nostalgia y nos envuelve en un viaje onírico y fantástico. El arte que Díaz produce es orgánico en la creación y en el empleo de materiales reciclables. Díaz ha expuesto en museos, galerías y festivales.
ALMA DOMÍNGUEZ is the Event Director of OPEN Center for the Arts. Founder of Pintoras Mexicanas. Holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Sciences, obviously that doesn’t makes her a therapist, or a writer, and she’s not worried about it. She’s happiest painting in the wee hours of the day. On weekdays she works as a Financial Advisor.
Alma Domínguez nace en el estado de Chihuahua, México donde vive la mayor parte de su vida, en 1994 ingresa a la Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua en el Instituto de Bellas Artes, donde cursa la Licenciatura en Artes con terminal en Música, pero en convivencia con alumnos de las diferentes disciplinas descubre y explora los terrenos de las Artes Plásticas de las cuales ya no se separa. Es psicóloga con Maestría en Ciencias Sociales, aspectos que influyen fuertemente en su obra. Ha participado en diversas exposiciones en México, USA, Nicaragua, España, Argentina, Santiago de Chile y Rusia. Actualmente reside en el área de Chicago, Illinois.
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. With my work, I seek to be a vector of change, collecting images that pertain to our collective memory and that, in certain form, make reference to painful events in the history of my country and the world."
TATEE GARCÍA Artist from Chicago, born and raised in the streets of Pilsen. Graduated from the university of Illinois at chicago with a bfa in graphic design in 2011. It was during this time that I fell in love with painting and drawing. Painted my first wall in Back of the Yards in 2014, since then I have continued doing murals. I hope to continue my passion in creating toothless, bright colored, adorable monsters. Love my donuts and sweets and my adorable kids Frida and Tina. I draw inspiration from life, love and the wonderful people that surround me.
ALFONSO "PILOTO" NIEVES RUIZ is a self-taught artist from Querétaro, Mexico who moved to Chicago in 1997. He is a skilled sculptor who works primarily with clay and recycled materials to create dramatic, surreal pieces that deal with social issues. While Nieves draws upon his Mexican upbringing for many of his sculptures, the themes he explores are universal to all of humanity. Piloto is also an art teacher and has been sharing his knowledge with youth and adults through workshops in community centers, parks, and schools around Chicago and its suburbs since 2004. Most recently he exhibited his work in Cabeza de Barro, one of the most successful shows at the National Museum of Mexican Art.
MYNOR PAREDES In general lines his creation is characterized by the employment of the materials, nourishing a work that exhibits ardent, earthy, full colors of white, brown, red, green, blue, and tinieblos that give to understand an intense but suppressed personality. The painting, stands out also for its suppressed expression, for forming a center, which turns into axis, but which is not classic in its deepest conception, but rather complex to the effect that the harmony for the creator does not rest on the consolidation of a very controlled composition. That it is, but rather in the development of a few special considerandos, from which everything is understood and that base in realizing the fleetingness of the moment and of the ephemeral of the existence. What is complex becomes simple. The moment of the light is never equal. The person crosses different changes of fortitude. For this reason its creation is based on a speech of the circumstantial thing. Its personages present different attitudes. He reflects concerning the veracity of the existence from the observation of the ephemeral thing, to transmute it. Its paintings seem not to be prepared. It incorporates a speech of the observation based on the perspective of the change. There are objects that are by chance. There exist elements that integrate the composition from a coincidence that the artist accepts.
CHema Skandal! is a graphic artist. Got his degree from the National Autonomous University of México. Enthusiast of popular graphics and traditional printing techniques, his work reflects parallel universes and is often inspired by popular culture such as cartoons and music as well as social issues. His work is 99% hand-made and has been featured in fanzines, newspapers, magazines, gig posters, illustration catalogues and fine art exhibitions. www.chemaskandal.co
SQUEAK STARZULA is a free lance artist from the Southside of Chicago. Her work is based off of elaborate visions summoned from the depths of a realm inside of herself, bringing forth high saturation colors balanced with contrast and texture in a variety of mediums including but not limited to paintings, sculpture and wearable art to share with this dimension.
RAMPY VIVIAN es un artista bien extraño. Creció en Monterrey, Nuevo León. Se ha inspirado por todo lo bueno y lo malo. Lleva tatuando más de 11 años (shop owner at BloodlineTattoo) y pintando 6 años y “dibujando desde que tengo uso de razón”. "Darkness has colors, you just gotta embrace your demons to see it, not easy."