Hispanic Heritage Month ends next week, but art exhibits around the city will continue to celebrate Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx communities’ heritage until at least the end of the year.
Here are three free exhibits, on topics ranging from folk traditions, migration experiences, and community building to expressions of Afro-Caribbean roots, respect for the natural environment, and spiritual awakening.
Twisting and turning
Two installations by Mexican artists in the Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza have visitors twisting and turning.
One, called “Los trompos” (the spinning tops, in English), is an interactive, kid-friendly installation of 10 sculptures, some up to 9 feet tall, woven in traditional fabric and made for people to sit inside and spin.
“Only through this interaction and collaboration will the work come to life and be complete,” said Ignacio Cadena, who designed the sculptures with Héctor Esrawe.
The second installation, “Look Up! Look In,” was created by Philly-based Mexican-American artist Karina Puente, who designed 53 hand-cut papel picado (or “perforated paper”) panels. The installations, between 5 and 12 feet wide, are suspended above the plaza.
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily, until Nov. 17, at the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.
Spirits and nature
This is the first time artist and activist Samuel Lind has presented his work in Philadelphia in a solo exhibit. “Portales” — “Portals,” in English — emphasizes the deep connections between individuals and their natural environments, and the spiritual representations that challenge religious norms and practices officially observed in Latino Caribbean countries.
The Puerto Rican visual artist brought 22 paintings, sculptures, silkscreen prints, and installations from his personal collection and studio in the afro-boricua coastal town of Loíza. Philly Puerto Rican artist José Antonio Ortiz Pagán curated the “Portales” exhibit.
“Each work has a mission, transmits something, and one feels honored to see how the meaning changes when these pieces leave the studio, arrive here and people receive what they bring, what one brings,” said Samuel Lind, 66.
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, until Jan. 11, at Taller Puertorriqueño, 2600 N. Fifth St.
“El difícil arte de migrar,” translated to “The difficult art of migration,” showcases 150 works that capture the memories, joys and struggles that members of the Latinos communities in Norristown have experienced in journeys from Mexico and Central America. Produced by the members of the Centro de Cultura, Arte, Trabajo y Educación (CCATE) — an arts and education nonprofit in Norristown — the work also documents the life of these migrants once living here.
“Most people, when they think of immigrant art, they think of folk art, mariachi, and Day of the Dead. While these traditions are important, the underlying expectation is extremely limiting," said CCATE director Obed Arango, who cocurated the exhibit with CCATE education professor Holly Link.
The exhibit — which includes oleos, pastel, and acrylics paintings, photography, ceramics, piñatas, and papier maché sculptures — was created during the past seven years.
Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and noon to 5 p.m., Saturdays, until Jan. 28, at the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, 3680 Walnut St.