Wednesday, December 5, 2018

 2018 Newsletter and upcoming events

Highlights of the last year: We are celebrating the best year to date. In 2017,we purchased $12,775 of art and crafts assisting over 20 artists and craftspeople to live better lives, put their children through school and expand their businesses. (the average annual living wage for a standard family is about $4,500) Two of the artists we work with recently opened their own galleries. We also donated $894 to local programs in San Pedro and here in the US. This year we are on track to achieve even more and have raised funds through GoFundMe so that a young women we work with in an after school art program will be able to pay educational expenses to full fill her dream to become a nurse.

Upcoming events:
We will be taking part in the Vermont International Festival and the Cultural Survival Bazaars again this Christmas season. These are great places to get unique hand crafted indigenous crafts and art from around the world that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Please check their websites for more info. http://vermontinternationalfestival.com/ https://bazaar.culturalsurvival.org/ . Here is a full list of our upcoming events.

Open House sale of art and crafts: Pelham, MA
We will be hosting an open house of the art and craft we sell and share our experiences living on Lake Atitlan and working with the artists. We will also discuss some of our new ideas for expanding our business and inviting people to visit the artists and cultural resources on the lake.
Saturday, November 24, from 10-5
11 Arnold Road, Pelham, MA 01002
call 413-461-6135 for more info.

Vermont International Festival-Lenox Junction, VT
Friday, November 30, 5pm-8pm; Saturday/Sunday, December 1- 2, 10am-5pm.
Champlain Valley Exposition, Rt 15, Essex Junction, VT

Gallery in the Woods – Brattleboro, VT
Exhibit of art by prominent and visionary Mayan artists from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala and yarn paintings of the Huichol indians of Mexico.
Opening: Friday, December 7 from 5:15-7:30 (exhibit: December 7, 2018 – spring 2019)
Gallery in the Woods, 145 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT

Cultural Survival Bazaar - Cambridge
Saturday/Sunday, December 15-16 (10:00am – 6:00pm)
Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

Cultural Survival Bazaar-Boston
Friday-Sunday, December 21-23 (Saturday:10:00am-10:00pm. Sunday:10:00am- 8:00p)
Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02199

If you can’t attend these events, feel free to contact us about the art and crafts we are selling or to learn more about our project. (see contact info below)

Our vision is to connect people across borders and cultures and to increase awareness of the economic, political, environmental and social issues impacting indigenous peoples. The project also helps support the artists and local programs of the communities we work with. You may find more information on our website which has biographies of the artists, examples of the art and crafts and information about the lake, the villages and the after school art program we help to support. We invite you to view the site and encourage you to add any comments, questions or insights. 

We wish to thank you again for your interest in and support of our project and please feel free to share this with anyone you think may be interested.

Imre and Lorna

Monday, October 24, 2016

We are excited and honored to be part of an exhibit to honor the richness that other cultures bring to our communities and invite you to come to see this exhibit and take part in the activities at Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls, MA. (just before the bridge over the damn). 

Check out the News and Events page to see photos of the exhibit. 




Migration –
Connecting through Art and Culture

of the Americas



 An exhibit of Central and South  American arts, crafts, cuisine and performances to celebrate the richness that other cultures bring to our communities.

Exhibit: October 1-November 4

Events:

Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day, October 10 from 1-4 pm. Activities by Visioning B.E.A.R Singers and Medicine Mammals to bring attention to the impact of the “discovery” of America by Columbus and letting go of trauma.

Reception and celebration: Friday, October 28 from 3-7 pm.  The Turners Falls community and others are invited to share and celebrate the richness and diversity of our multi-cultural communities and how we can connect across borders and cultures.

This exhibit and events are a collaboration of Montague Catholic Social Ministries, Mass Parks Department of Conservation and Recreation, Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition, other local programs, The Guatemala Art and Culture Connection and the local immigrant community. 




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dear Friends, Family, Colleagues and Supporters;
We are excited to announce two upcoming events Guatmala Art and Culture Connection is involved in: 

 Thursday, September 29 at 7:00 at the Jones Library in Amherst.   Reading and open discussion by two local (Amherst area) authors. Jacqueline Sheehan will read from her novel, The Center of the World and Shirley and Rudy Nelson will read from the novel they co-wrote, The Risk of Returning. Both novels address US citizens coming to terms with how they are connected and respond when immersed in a Latin American country (Guatemala) overcome by civil war at least in part instigated by vested US interests. We will be providing some art work by Mayan artists from around Lake Atitlan and visual background to the event. We think it will be interesting and stimulating and welcome your participation.



October 1-29 at Great Falls Discover Center, Turners Falls, MA:  Migration - Connecting through Art and Culture of the Americas, an exhibit of Guatemalan and other Central and South American arts, crafts, cuisine and performances to celebrate the richness that other cultures bring to our communities. On Columbus day from 10:00-4:00 there will be activities by native American people to bring attention to the impact of the “discovery” of America by Columbus and letting go of trauma. On Friday, October 28 from 3-7 pm there will be a reception and celebration inviting the community and others to share and celebrate the richness and diversity of our multi-cultural communities and how we can connect across borders and cultures. This event is a collaboration of Montague Catholic Social Ministries, Mass Parks Department of Conservation and Recreation, other local programs, The Guatemala Art and Culture Connection and the local immigrant community.



Yours in Peace and Solidarity

Imre and Lorna Kepes
Guatemala Art and Culture Connection


For more info on our project please visit our website: guatemalaartandcultureconnection.blogspot.com

credits images from top to bottom, left to right:
fragment of painting of the 1990 massacre in Santiago Atitlan by unknown artist
mural in Santa Maria Visitacion by artist collective Canal Culturaal from San Pedro LaLaguna
photo of shrine to Father Stanly Rother, murdered by military, in church in Santiago Atitlan
plaque in church of Santiago Atitlan
painting by Juan Henry Mendez Chavajay
painting of "chicken" bus by Antonio Coche Mendoza
painting of festival by Antonio Coche Mendoza
abstract painting
painting of market place by Angelina Quic Ixtamer
painting of Cayuco (dug out canoe) by Angelina Quic Ixtamer

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Here is our latest update about upcoming events of the Guatemala Art and Culture Connection project :
(also see the News and Events page for more details and photos)

A Mayan Tapestry- Ancient Wisdom, Traditional Life and the Modern World

an exhibit of Mayan art at the Augusta Savage Gallery at UMass Amherst from September 14 – October 9.  

Discussion with the organizers and artist Henry Mendez on September 29 from 7:00 – 8:30 at the Gallery. 

This exhibit features a broad spectrum of art styles depicting daily life, Mayan cosmology and the impact of colonization and the modern world. It poses the question: “How can the essential values and wisdom of ancient cultures survive the forces of globalization?”  The Augusta Savage Gallery is located in the New Africa House, 180 Infirmary Way on the UMass campus. You may get directions and more information on the website: https://fac.umass.edu/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=MayanTapestry&sessionlanguage=

We are very happy to have been able to help two of the artists obtain visas to attend the show.  Henry Mendez Chavajay is one of the featured painters and Co-Director of the Ayudame a Pintar Mi Futuro after school art program. Josue Navichoc is a young gifted photographer. One of his pieces includes images of Mayan woman from the age of one to seventy seven.

Cultural Survival Bazaar in Amherst  

Amherst Commons, October 10-12 from 10:00-5:00., Amherst, MA

We will also be selling the Mayan art and crafts we bring from Lake Atitlan at Cultural Survival Bazaar in Amherst. Henry Mendez will be at our booth for this Bazaar to present his art and the work of the youth of Ayudame a Pintar Mi Futuro. We also were able to connect some of the artists from the artist collective, Canal Cultural, in San Pedro with Cultural Survival and they will have a booth there to present the work they do and one of the artists, Rene Dionisio, will perform RAP in his native Mayan Tzu’tujil language on issues of his culture and the environment. As you may know, the Cultural Survival Bazaars feature indigenous arts and crafts from all over the world and are a great way to support the artists and artisans, their communities and the work of Cultural Survival.

This happens to be a very opportune time to be bringing attention to Guatemala. The country is now at historic cross roads. The president was forced to resign due to a popular uprising and is standing trial for corruption. It is uncertain whether the ruling oligarchy will retain their power and there will be continued repression and corruption or the people will be successful in uniting to move their country towards a true democracy and justice.

As you may know, our vision is to connect people across borders and cultures and to increase awareness of the economic, political, environmental and social issues impacting indigenous peoples. We hope our work can help to raise awareness of and encourage support for the cause of the Guatemalan people. The project also helps support the artists and local programs of the communities we work with.

Thank you again for your interest in and support of our project and please feel free to share this with anyone you think may be interested.

Yours in Peace and Justice

Imre and Lorna

Sunday, July 12, 2015

We returned end of May from a five months stay in San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlan. Living in this Mayan community has challenged us to open our hearts and minds to what it means to be a citizen of the world. We feel like we have embarked on journey of discovery and are regularly amazed and humbled by the graciousness, openness, faith, resilience and heart of the people there. Each year our experiences are more and more profound and our connection with the community gets deeper and deeper. Our intention has been use this art and crafts, images and stories of the life and people there to promote greater understanding and appreciation across borders and cultures and to support the artists, artisans and local initiatives of some of the towns on Lake Atitlan.

This last year our focus there was on organizing a gallery show at the Augusta Savage Gallery at UMass Amherst. Our concept is to utilize the art and words of the local people to show how they still remain connected to their rich Mayan heritage despite incredible past challenges and how can this survive for the future generations under the more subtle but equally threatening influences of the modern world. This led us to discover many new artists and to have the opportunity to get a better understanding of their history, perspectives and hopes for the future.  

We will continue to be participating in the Cultural Survival Bazaars this summer and fall. The Bazaars feature indigenous arts and crafts from all over the world and are a great way to support the artists and artisans, their communities and the work of Cultural Survival. We hope to see you there. 

Check out the "News and Events" page for the Cultural Survival Bazaar Schedule and the dates for the Mayan Tapestry show at the Augusta Savage Gallery

We have also continued to work with and support the youth art program Ayudame a Pintar Mi Futuro (Help Me Paint My Future) that was created and is led by two of the artists we work with: Henry and Jose Mendez Chavajay. You can see more info on this program at the Projects We Support page. 

 We are also working on helping to get visas for some of the artists to be able to travel to the US to take part in the show and the Cultural Survival Bazaars. Several members of a group of artists called Canal Cultural will be in the area at the time of the show. One of the artists who is an internationally recognized Mayan RAP artist may perform at the Amherst Cultural Survival Bazaar and they may have a table there. We also have connected with one of the pre-eminent scholars of Mayan history and culture and we are hoping that we can organize a forum with him, the artists and scholars here to discuss the theme of the show – how can the essence of such a profound culture as the Maya retain its essence, relevance and vitality in a rapidly “globalizing” world?

We always love to hear from you. We welcome your questions, experiences, insights and ideas on how we can improve the work we do.  

Yours in Peace and Justice

Imre and Lorna

PS – please feel free to pass this on to anyone you think may be interested. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Greetings! If you happen to be reading this you are probalby one of the first or the first to visit our new blog.

We started this blog to be able to present our project to the world at large, but more importantly, we want to hear from our readers. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. Also, we often run into people who have spent some time in Guatemala and love to hear their stories and perspectives.

Our intention is to increase the connection between people from different countries and cultures and we hope this blog can be a venue for that to happen.

We will be adding new material, so please come back and visit again.

We look forward to hearing from you.







Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014