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Latin American-Inspired Art to Benefit ArtsWave

ArtsWave is pleased to offer two original Latin American-inspired art pieces in the form of micro murals for purchase. These cultural-based storytelling pieces have been created by local artists Megan Kelly and Christian Dallas. Both pieces were commissioned by ArtsWave in celebration of Cinco de Mayo and Cincy-Cinco through our collaboration with the Hispanic Chamber of Cincinnati, USA. 

Each of the two pieces is meant to provide a glimpse into both the beauty and tradition within Latin American culture with an intention to raise awareness of a vibrant, authentic lifestyle appreciated, admired and yet not known widespread throughout our local region.

By buying one of these original art pieces, you will be sharing your artwork and the Latin American stories behind these pieces with your family and friends. At the same time, you will be supporting the goals that ArtsWave has to bridge cultural divides through creation of new experiences and programs that offer cultural awareness and education.   

Bidding and Buying Artwork

Click here to bid and get a chance to take home one of these one-of-a-kind micro-murals today. All proceeds from this auction will go to ArtsWave in supporting the 100+ arts organizations that connect our community and make the Cincinnati region more vibrant. 

Nacho Cincyby Christian Dallas
Paying tribute to the origins of the Cinco de Mayo festival, as well as incorporating elements of the Americanized version of the festival, were top priorities for local artist Christian Dallas. He drew upon ancient Aztec culture, the Mexican flag, and the party atmosphere of a festival to create a work of art depicting three sugar skulls (an homage to another Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos) wearing a sombrero, with subtle twists and double-meaning references hidden throughout.

Take a closer peek and you'll see the mustaches on the skulls are actually rattlesnakes, a nod to the center emblem of the Mexican flag. The cactus-looking plant behind the sombrero is an agave plant, the origins of tequila, one of Cinco de Mayo's American-hallmark beverages.

"The style that it's in is more of this illustrative kind of modern street art theme with all those elements, along with the more saturated color," said Dallas. He used acrylic paint on an MDF board - "which is supposed to be stronger than wood" - and cut the board with a router before priming it. Dallas pre-mixed all his paint (Nova color).

"When you're doing a live painting, you don't have that much time to mix paint so if you can cancel that out it gives you more time to give the audience something they're going to pay attention to," he said. 

Soldadera, by Megan Kelly
Local artist Megan Kelly started her research for a piece that celebrated Mexican culture by drawing on her own body of work: examining the female experience. She came across the concept of the soldederas (female soldiers).

"Once I began reading about the complexity of their roles, the reasons they fought, and their individual experiences, I knew this was a part of women's history I wanted not only myself to know more about, but others as well," said Kelly. Famous soldedera Angela Jimenez was another source of inspiration, as well as the Mexican balled, La Adelita

Kelly's production process is just as nuanced as her research. She prepped her canvas by coating it in spray paint to lay in a texture for the acrylic paint and acrylic marker she used to create the portrait of a soldedera to hold onto and create depth - similar to that of the story she's telling. 

"All of their stories are unique to them; some women simply fought to protect lands, others were forced to fight and treated horribly by their fellow soldiers. It is for that reason that I chose to create a women that represented their qualities: strength, endurance, determination and the powerful female spirit."  

The auction will run 10 days, from Friday, June 2 to Monday, June 12, so check the micro-murals auction page now to shop and buy your artwork. 

Artists

Christian Dallas has spent the past 5 years painting over 20 murals for ArtWorks Cincinnati, and uses over 100 self-created symbols to deliver a very specific emotion, meaning, feeling, or memory, or as he describes, "an archetype, felt and understood across all spectrum of human culture." Check out his work: http://christiandallas.com/

With a background in theatrical design and a passion for the bold female characters from history, art, and literature, Megan Kelly highlights the "resilient warriors" in her work. Infusing pop culture, fashion, music, and beauty with her art, Kelly finds a unique style, often incorporating lip stick tubes and a punk attitude. Check out her work: https://www.facebook.com/megankellyberlinpeep/