Money is killing me: opening

 

 

Tonight is gonna be amazing!

-- Survival in the SF Bay Area as an artist of color is #nojoke.  

Come build, learn and strategize with local artists and friends! Get gamed up for free!

Financial District SF

6pm Opening reception for

"Money is killing me."

DJ Sake Onederful playing music at 6pm with the wine and snacks.

Check out the art, say hello to our local artists.

7pm Ani Rivera talking with us about legacy of Latinx art and money in SF. 8pm we get performance from MC  Chhoti Maa, Mission stories from Norman Zelaya and revolutionary poetry from

Tongo Eisen-Martin.   Everyone invited. All ages. My USF students coming, my kids, my friends....Gonna be extra! Thanks to all the artists who are featuring their work and some who will have prints for sale. Jesus Barraza Melanie Cervantes Josue Rojas Julio Cesar Morales, at Sergio de la Torre.

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Press: Giving Graduating Artists a Head Start

From BU today:

  Kahn Award winners Josué Rojas (from left), Ivana Jasova, and Courtney Lynn Nelson will each receive $10,000 to help them transition into professional artistic careers. Photo by Dan Aguirre

 

Kahn Award winners Josué Rojas (from left), Ivana Jasova, and Courtney Lynn Nelson will each receive $10,000 to help them transition into professional artistic careers. Photo by Dan Aguirre

“I am a product of community arts,” says Rojas. “I wouldn’t be doing it had someone not taken the time to give a kid a bucket of paint and a wall.”

He credits the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center in the Mission District of San Francisco with helping him find his path. A native of El Salvador, he came to California with his mother and three older brothers when he was just a toddler. His introduction to painting came at a fortuitous time: he was 15, and his father, who had remained in El Salvador, died that year.

“I grew up not knowing much of my origins, just a little bit, food and culture,” says Rojas. “Through the arts I was able to find a lot of my own history and origins. So storytelling on the walls via murals really appealed to me. I learned a lot from that.”

Ample evidence of his explorations could be found in his cheerfully cluttered 808 Commonwealth Avenue studio: pictures that blend traditional painting with elements of collage, cartoons, and street art. He has returned to Central America for public art projects, and in Boston, he led a School of Visual Arts partnership with Roxbury Prep Charter Middle School students, teachers, and staff to create a 175-foot street-side mural at the school.

Now Rojas wants to give back, through teaching and community and public art programs, what art has given him.

“I want to tell stories, stories of Americans, international stories, and transnational stories,” he says. “I think it’s important right now, in our era of globalization, for us to understand ourselves and understand other people, those who are interested in coming here and those who are not. As the world is becoming more connected, it’s important to know who we’re connecting with and how we relate.”

see the full article here

Source: http://http://www.bu.edu/today/2015/giving...

PRESS: From the Boston Globe "Head of the Class"

See the Boston Globe's Site for a digital clipping

 

“The Joy of Exile,” Rojas’s painting installation festooned with wall drawings, has the quality of a fever dream: roiling color and gesture. Violent imagery leavened with pop culture references. Incantatory text.

The piece tells the tale of migration. Rojas calls it “a celebration of human mobility.” The painter was born in El Salvador, and his mother moved the family to San Francisco when he was small.

The installation doesn’t take for granted the devastation of being uprooted. The first image is of a corn kernel before its propulsive pop.

Rojas’s paintings sprang from his sketchbooks, where he poured his art before he had a studio. “This gave birth to that,” he says, showing off a sketchbook version of the painting “Son,” which features a broken tree, a clown swinging on gymnastic rings, Mayan numerology, and Central American birds.

“Some of it is ambiguous for me,” Rojas admits. “There are moments in the creation where I’ve completely submitted to the process. The challenge has always been to put the books on the canvas. I think I’ve arrived at that.”

www.josuerojasart.com

 

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A Great Weekend

This weekend was a great opportunity to share the installation as well as to partake in the BU graduate open studios at the 808 campus. So many friends came out to show their support and interest in the work! It's overwhelming. 

  Allison Martinez places a 'red dot' next to "The angel of progress (after Walter Benjamin)." SOLD

 

Allison Martinez places a 'red dot' next to "The angel of progress (after Walter Benjamin)."

SOLD

  Tarun D and his piece which he dubbed "the heart, as it gets rid of 💩..." I like the title.

 

Tarun D and his piece which he dubbed "the heart, as it gets rid of 💩..." I like the title.

  Lina, Lorenzo and Lucas enjoy my painting books during open studios. Brilliant minds, smiling faces and artists-to-be! 

 

Lina, Lorenzo and Lucas enjoy my painting books during open studios. Brilliant minds, smiling faces and artists-to-be! 

  Lorenzo, Lina, Dr. Ana Maria Reyes and Lucas holding their original watercolor drawings. I called them "thresholds" but Ana-Maria has dubbed them "portals to their imagination." "We framed and hung each piece over their beds," she shares. Apparently they were taken by the notion of painting in books because as Ana-Maria told me, "They begged me to go straight to art supply store and buy them sketchbooks. They drew in them all afternoon." I can't think of better news or of a better tribute!

 

Lorenzo, Lina, Dr. Ana Maria Reyes and Lucas holding their original watercolor drawings. I called them "thresholds" but Ana-Maria has dubbed them "portals to their imagination."

"We framed and hung each piece over their beds," she shares.

Apparently they were taken by the notion of painting in books because as Ana-Maria told me, "They begged me to go straight to art supply store and buy them sketchbooks. They drew in them all afternoon." I can't think of better news or of a better tribute!

  Artist Josué Rojas (me) and Dr. Ana Maria Reyes

 

Artist Josué Rojas (me) and Dr. Ana Maria Reyes

  Dr. Kelly Wise, founder of the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), Phillips Academy at Andover, came and graced the show with his presence. It's a real honor and kind of a homecoming. Dr. Wise committed his career to diversifying the nation's teaching faculty by recruiting outstanding students of color, counseling them through the graduate school application process, and advocating for sufficient funding for advanced study. IRT has helped hundreds of people of access institutions of higher learning over the years.  Dr. Wise was an advocate for me and really pushed for me to come to BU. I could say without exaggeration that he's one of the key reasons why I am here. I can also say that as a former art critic for the Boston Globe, I take his words of wisdom and creative advice seriously. Thank you Dr. Wise! To learn more about the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)  see this link

 

Dr. Kelly Wise, founder of the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), Phillips Academy at Andover, came and graced the show with his presence. It's a real honor and kind of a homecoming.

Dr. Wise committed his career to diversifying the nation's teaching faculty by recruiting outstanding students of color, counseling them through the graduate school application process, and advocating for sufficient funding for advanced study. IRT has helped hundreds of people of access institutions of higher learning over the years. 

Dr. Wise was an advocate for me and really pushed for me to come to BU. I could say without exaggeration that he's one of the key reasons why I am here. I can also say that as a former art critic for the Boston Globe, I take his words of wisdom and creative advice seriously.

Thank you Dr. Wise!

To learn more about the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)  see this link

  And like all things, even good things, magical things, must come to an end. But, as artist Franklin Williams once told me: "you will never fear death as long as you have to promise of a new birth."   I'm not sure what the next season holds for us, but I know that I will use all of my life force for it to be centered around color and love. What we have conventionally try to make fit in the word "art."  Onward!... Adelante!...  

 

And like all things, even good things, magical things, must come to an end.

But, as artist Franklin Williams once told me: "you will never fear death as long as you have to promise of a new birth."  

I'm not sure what the next season holds for us, but I know that I will use all of my life force for it to be centered around color and love. What we have conventionally try to make fit in the word "art." 

Onward!... Adelante!...  

Refugee ship, capsized

My my mind and heart are with the migrants who perished in their journey for a better life and instead found their end out near the Italian Coast.

As a person who had to live through a forced migration, I am heartbroken and this tragedy strikes close.  The numbers are staggering: 700 is the low and 950 is the high estimate.

I feel that as we go forward in our collective response, nationally & internationally it is key to examine the story of migrants, the conditions in their countries of origins and to see their plight with empathy. As the causes of such mass migrations become more and more widespread due to violence, misery and  political strife. We are witnessing the dark side of globalization.

In my mind echoes the words of Edward Said:

"Our age — with its modern warfare, imperialism and the quasi-theological ambitions of totalitarian rulers — is, the age of the refugee, the displaced person, mass immigration."

-Edward Said

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Interview on 365artists365days.com

I paint to put a face on the things that help me, that see me over–– things that I hate and fear. Things that I have no control over, and am attempting to understand or admire. Inevitably I steer towards the spiritual, the political, the facetious, the fantastic and the biographical: all these ––all at once. ...

I am very excited to share that I was featured in the 365artists365days.com artists' site. 

Click here to see the entire feature