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Ansiedad y Pertenencia (Anxiety and Belonging): Latinx, Tennessee, and the World

June 7, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Ansiedad y Pertenencia (Anxiety and Belonging):

Latinx, Tennessee, and the World at the McKinney Center

Curated by Karlota Contreras-Koterbay and Dr. Felipe Fiuza, East Tennessee State University.

Jonesborough’s McKinney Center invites the public to the opening of Ansiedad y Pertenencia (Anxiety and Belonging): Latinx, Tennessee, and the World , a new exhibit curated by two internationally acclaimed immigrant curators, opening June 7, 6-8pm.  This event is free and open to everyone.

This group exhibition features Tennessee artists with Hispanic cultural heritage. The term Latinx is employed to address gender inclusive identities. The works delve into the psychological journeys of biracial and/or migrant artists, whose complex presence includes facing issues of belonging and finding a communal identity in a new home.

The artists represented in this exhibition are immigrants to this country.  The curators, Karlota Conterars-Koterbay and Dr. Felipe Fiuza, are also immigrants to this country and work in Northeast Tennessee.  As migrant curators, Felipe and Karlota are interested in the journey of fellow travelers and art practitioners who embody layered identities, with complex strategies to survive their brave new worlds.

To migrate, relocate or seek refuge involves a trading of one space for another.  This process is filled with complex emotional and psychological elements.  This exhibition deals with those journeys, as well as the coping mechanism that each of the Latinx artists have to grapple with while representing Hispanic migrant communities in the United States. The artists who participated in this exhibition chose work in various media, yet, a commonality surfaces, that of the anxious investigation of their adopted community and the various forms- that of transcending being the, ‘Other,’ to someone who has been accepted.

The artists represented in this exhibition are Adres Arizaga,Yancy, Villa-Calvo, Antuco Chicaiza, RosannaCamacho, and Michael Giles

Andrés Arízaga Cordero was born in Cuenca, Ecuador, in 1978. He graduated from PUCE (Pontific Catholic University of Ecuador) in Quito in 2007, earning his Bachelor degree in Fine Arts. During his studies, he worked with and taught intaglio techniques at Estampería Quiteña. He has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Spain, Hungary and the United States. In 2013 he obtained his MFA degree in Studio Arts at the Patty and Rusty Rueff School of Visual Performing Arts at Purdue University, Indiana, US. In his current work, mainly drawings and prints that integrate a variety of different media, he explores topics such as travelling and immigration. In 2018 he returned to Purdue as visiting Scholar to continue working on a series of lithographs. Currently, he teaches at the College of Communication and Contemporary Arts at Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

“My body of work mainly explores the different angles of the journey as metaphor of life. In particular, I focus on the journey of illegal immigrants coming from South and Central America to North America and Europe as an allegory of life in a hegemonic capitalism. I want to question in my work the way the concepts of happiness and freedom are built on around the spectacle in an advanced stage of capitalism, where these notions are sold to individuals. Their journeys in search of the promised happiness end when they trespass the border and are not allowed to partake of the dream.  

Yancy Villa-Calvo received her formal art education at Christian Brothers University and Memphis College of Art. Her multimedia work seeks to create awareness, provoke thought, and stimulate conversation on issues of social justice, equality, and prosperity. Villa-Calvo is the creator of Barrier Free: A Socially Engaged Art Installation. She currently works as a City Artist with the Memphis 3.0 Comprehensive Growth City Plan. Her Memphis 3.0 project, Go Explore Memphis Soul (GEMS), uses art to engage city residents in neighborhood planning and development.  She is a recipient of grants and art commissions sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute Latino Center, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Tennessee Arts Commission, ArtsMemphis, UnidosUS, the Funders’ Network, the UrbanArt Commission, and the City of Memphis, among other entities.  Her art installations have been exhibited around the U.S. in Washington, D.C., Houston, Phoenix, and Baltimore, as well as in various cities in Tennessee including Memphis, Murfreesboro, and Nashville. She has been a resident of Memphis for over 20 years, where she lives with her husband Mauricio Calvo and their children Anna, Carolina, and Santiago.

“I consider my work to be an intertwined web of art and life. My life experiences have influenced how I define, make, and encounter art. Experiences such as being born and raised in Mexico, living in Mozambique, and traveling to many countries have provided me with a cross-cultural perspective and an awareness of my place as both a global citizen and a resident of the U.S., a country I call my own.
My work appears in diverse forms ranging from visual art, to activism, to performance art, to urban planning. For me, the creative process starts by questioning current systems and social dynamics. It leads me to produce asset-based artwork that is aesthetically and emotionally powerful and that emphasizes dialogue, participation, and action. My art provides a platform to see common ground in the midst of our complex humanity, and it encourages civic engagement for the betterment of our shared spaces.”


Antuco Chicaiza paintings poetically document his life: his family and friends, his travels and relocations, and his cultural identities and political beliefs. Like a layered visual diary, his works gathers evidence of the events and forces that have effected him deeply.

Chicaiza’s early charcoal drawings and paintings drew upon his childhood memories of the lives of Indians in Ecuador. These works were representational in style and emphasized both social injustice and the peoples’ strength and pride. Later, his work described his own journey, reflecting in his words, “any injustice or prejudices I was affected by.”  

In 2003 Chicaiza’s work shifted to a more experimental approach which focused on the sketch books which the artist has always carried. In those sketch books he records his thoughts, saves original and found images, and documents his travels. Chicaiza started making paintings that used images that he had archived including phrases, symbols, graffiti, and abstracted figures and faces, combining them in dense compositions. This work has been his “most personal, showing my struggles and experiences.” Chicaiza’s subjects range from the challenges and rewards of family, to cultural heritage, to social and political issues. In his most recent work, photographs have been melded with painted passages and advertising images with a free-floating, collage-like approach.

Rosanna Camacho is a biracial American with Hispanic heritage. Camacho was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and recently received her BA in Studio Art with a Minor in Advertising at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. Camacho’s preferred media are oil painting and digital art, and she finds inspiration in Abstract Expressionism and in vibrant colors that reflect her Latin heritage. She aspires to work in an advertising agency and do freelance art work. She was the President of Hispanic American Student Community Alliance (HASCA) at ETSU, the student organization that helps organize the annual Corazon Latino Festival under the Language & Culture Resource Center.

Michael Giles (b.1974) is a Venezuelan-American artist working primarily in painting and drawing. He has exhibited internationally, and currently lives and works in Knoxville, TN. Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, he was raised in rural Baltimore, OH. He studied as part of the Reciprocal Exchange Program at Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia, 1996) and received a BFA from the Ohio State University-Columbus in 2000, and a MFA from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2007. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN.

My work stems from finding pattern and rhythm in the world around me. The paintings began from finding places and spaces between words and lines in the text of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. These spaces/rhythms/patterns serve as the beginning of the paintings unto which I add color, line, and paint. The colors and patterns come from instinctual spaces in my head; they are worked and worked over on the canvas in layers which are considered, covered, and combined. Taking a cue from the Deleuzian “becoming” my paintings are an attempt to find a new meaning from these disparate influences; an attempt to combine text into visual language; an attempt to find a new impetus to make art.


June 7, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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McKinney Center


McKinney Center
103 Franklin Ave
Jonesborough, TN 37659 United States
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(423) 753-0562

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