By KERRY KRISEMAN
Public Relations Manager
In the tradition of celebrating differences and honoring the contributions of all, Creative Clay’s newest exhibit, “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage,” features four of its member artists: Carla L., Alex A., Ali V., and Artemisa M.
This new exhibit coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 15. With this exhibit, which features art from Hispanic and Latino member artists, Creative Clay joins the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in paying tribute to Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched the United States and society.
“It is a great pleasure to share the voices and artwork of Creative Clay’s Hispanic and Latino artists in our newest exhibit, Celebrating Hispanic Heritage,” said Jody Bikoff, director of exhibitions at Creative Clay’s Good Folk Gallery, said. “The four featured artists’ narratives emerge through their artwork. Carla L. expresses her story in a painted timeline of her life in Venezuela, New York and Florida. Ali V. creates vibrant drawings from ancient Mayan designs. Their authentic and personal stories as told through their art, inform the public of the importance of their culture and place in their community.”
Each of the featured artists draw on inspiration from a variety of sources. Member Artist Ali V. cites her father as the impetus for her theme of Mayan images in much of the art she creates.
“Dad is my inspiration,” she said. “He got me to start drawing Mayan art.”
Since she joined Creative Clay’s Community Arts Program, Ali’s work has been featured in exhibits throughout the area. She also contributed to a large-scale mural work for the 2017 SHINE Mural Festival. Ali’s is humble when talking about her art and her achievements, always cognizant of creating new goals and new art.
“I look forward to making art for the rest of my life,” she said. “I also hope to get a job working with kids, where I can still make art and assist on the playground.
Carla L.’s life story is told through her art as a Hispanic woman. Carla became a United States citizen earlier this year but remains proud of her heritage.
“Art is a good way for people to see what I can do as a Hispanic woman,” Selling her work affirms her identity as an artist, and she hopes to sell more from the “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage” exhibit.
“I’m proud that I can do what I love to do, whenever I want,” she said. “And, that I’m a part of a small business.”
Creative Clay’s Virtual Gallery also includes the artwork of many of Creative Clay’s member artists. All artwork is for sale through our online gallery at creativeclay.org.
Creative Clay’s vision is to make the arts accessible to all. Its mission is to help people with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives through access to the arts by providing expressive, educational, and vocational experiences.
Creative Clay’s core program is its Community Arts Program, which serves 50-60 adult artists with neuro-differences each week. Through the implementation of additional offerings, such as the inclusive Art Around the World summer camp, Summer Studio for older teens and young adults, Artlink employment program, Creative Care Arts in Wellness outreach program, and its Pinellas County Schools’ partnership Transition program, individuals of all ages and abilities are mentored, taught and empowered to become working artists who actively create, market and sell their work.
Learn more about Creative Clay, its vision of equality through art, and its programs at www.creativeclay.org. Like Creative Clay on Facebook, follow on Instagram @creativeclaystpete; follow on Twitter @creativeclay and on LinkedIn.