About Devociones y Fe (Devotions and Faith)Baltimore,MD
May 1-31, 2014
Produced in partnership with Maryland Traditions, the Folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council, and the The Latino Providers Network, Inc. (LPN), Devociones y Fe (Devotions and Faith) was a series of programs and a co-creative exhibition featuring loaned objects, artworks, and oral histories that investigated how Latinos express faith and devotion through spiritual traditions, and how those spiritual traditions create a sense of belonging within the Upper Fells Point and Highlandtown neighborhoods—the centers of Baltimore’s growing Latino communities. This exhibition was a result of intensive fieldwork, one-on-one interviews, and surveys within the community.
On view May 1-31 st, 2014, this exhibition featured a collection of altars, devotional objects, newly created paintings, and sculptures loaned by a diverse group of Latino residents, businesses owners and community leaders. Devociones y Fe took place in the family-run El Tesoro Restaurant (The Treasure) located on South Broadway in the heart of the community, making it accessible to the people that informed it.
Listening stations featuring snippets of oral histories were located at each dining table alongside bilingual wall texts featuring quotes from the oral histories about each object. In addition, Devociones y Fe featured two short documentaries that I produced about devotion and faith expressed through dance and processions, and one documentary preview produced by community artist Maria Gabriela Aldana Enriquez about the tradition and religious history of piñatas and posadas.
Devociones y Fe Programming included:
- An opening reception at the El Tesoro Restaurant, which included over 200 guests from the Latino community, MICA and the greater Baltimore community!
- “Neighborhood Walk: Altars on S. Broadway & Eastern Ave”, a tour and series of conversations with Latino business owners to learn about their histories, traditions and altars.
- “Discussing Latino Identity at MICA”, a private discussion with MICA Latino students to learn about their experiences, connect them to the Latino community outside of MICA, and figure out ways to advise MICA on how to better engage and support Latino students.
- “Working with Latino Communities in Baltimore”, a lecture and panel discussion in conjunction with the Latino Providers Network Inc., The Creative Alliance, Casa de Maryland, and MICA Graduate Students: Michelle Gomez, Tanya Garcia and Edgar Reyes to talk about best practices, resources and the importance of the Latino voice in creative community projects.
- “Closing Roundtable Discussion with Maryland Traditions”, a final celebration and discussion with exhibition participants in order to evaluate the project and connect Latino individuals to the Latino Providers Network Inc. and Maryland Traditions.
- A private tour and discussion with Powell Recovery patients who are recovering from addiction.
- A panel discussion about spiritual traditions at the Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival in The Creative Alliance featuring artist, Yesenia Mejia and dancer/musician, Carlos Gutierrez from Danza Guadalupana.
I curated Devociones y Fe for my M.F.A. in Curatorial Practice thesis at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).
Thank you to all those who made this project possible through their collaborative efforts, mentorship, guidance, and support during my time in the MFA Curatorial Practice program at MICA 2012-2014.
Thank you to the business owners, residents, artists, and community leaders who contributed their objects, artwork, and/or oral history to the exhibit:
Maria Gabriela Aldana
Bailes de Mi Tierra
El Tesoro staff: Jessica Reyes, Adiel Reyes, Adiel Reyes II
Padre Orlando González
Bishop Angel Nuñez
Alexandra Gonzalez Uroza
Padre Roberto Wojtek
Julian Haddad, Graphic Design and Branding
Elizabeth Lily, Writing
Christopher Beer, Exhibition Design
MICA MFA Curatorial Practice:
George Ciscle, Director
Marcus Civin, Professor
MFA Curatorial Practice class of 2014 and 2015
My Thesis Review Committee:
Clifford Murphy, Former Director of Maryland Traditions
Michelle Stefano, Program Director of Maryland Traditions
Ashley Minner, Community artist and scholar
Angelo Solera, Former Director of The Latino Providers Network
My Thesis Advisors:
Maryland Traditions, Folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council
The Latino Providers Network, Inc.
The Creative Alliance
Casa de Maryland
Somos Baltimore Latino
Special thanks to: Anthony Lee Summers