Monday, November 13, 2006

SPOTLIGHT ON PERRY VASQUEZ

Perry Vasquez is an artist and educator living in San Diego, California. He received an A.B. in Political Science and Studio Art from Stanford University in 1982. During the remainder of the 1980s, he studied at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and collaborated with the Italian surrealist provocaterur Lorenzo Galbusera and the Austrian photographer Doris Boris Berman.

Since 2005, Vasquez has been a teacher at Southwestern Community College in the School of Arts and Communications where he teaches courses in painting, life drawing, drawing and printmaking. From 2000–2002 he was graphics specialist at the Interactive Cognition Lab at UC San Diego, where he worked with Dr. David Kirsh who is well known for his research on the cognitive aspects of web design. The outcome of his experiences at the Lab was the launch of Apollo13Art.com, a site devoted to multimedia learning and the research and development of his artistic ideas.

In 2001, he opened ICE Gallery in San Diego as a forum for regional art. ICE has been the scene of community art events, openings, FotoAktions, art exhibitions as well as performances. The gallery is located in a former dry ice factory in San Diego's North Park neighborhood and continues to sponsor events and shows.

Throughout the 1990s, Vasquez worked on developing an array of unique artistic practices including Motography which is the use of recycled motor oil for fine art monoprinting. He also developed a number of interactive artworks using tape loops, motion detectors and sound collages. These works were done in collaboration with Randall Evans and featured in the Off Broadway Show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in 2000.

From 1993–1995, he served as Assistant Curator at the Centro Cultural de la Raza where he curated Plan 9 from Aztlan and several other exhibits focused on Chicano aesthetics and cultural issues.

Most recently, his focus has been on Fotoaktion performances and promoting the Keep On Crossin movement which he began with the poet/activist Victor Payan in 2002.

Vasquez’s artwork and prose appear in the most recent issue of the literary journal, Hobart. And his art adorns the cover of Sunshine/Noir: Writing from San Diego & Tijuana (San Diego Cityworks Press), a groundbreaking and innovative collection of San Diego/Tijuana writing edited by Jim Miller featuring Jimmy Santiago Baca, Mike Davis, Marilyn Chin, Steve Kowit, Mark Dery, Victor Payan, and many more.

REVIEWING POETRY BY CHICAN@S AND LATIN@S: On poetryfoundation.org, the ever thought-provoking Rigoberto González writes about why he reviews poetry books by Chican@s and Latin@s. He notes, in part:

From the get-go I decided that I would pay closer attention to poetry books, because of all the genres being reviewed today this one is the most neglected. But I had other self-imposed rules, an approach if you will, to the art of reviewing. I chose, for example, not to review a poetry book if I didn’t like it. A better use of space would be to point out a poetry book that had merit and that was worth reading. The truth is that the market for poetry books is so specialized that telling a readership not to bother buying a book they most likely wouldn’t buy seemed oddly superfluous. I wanted to send people to the bookstores or to the Internet since the other sad truth is that most bookstores don’t carry many poetry titles and especially small press titles by Chicano/Latino authors. And let us not forget the library, where many good books collect dust, the spines stiffening because no one comes by to flex the covers.

He also gives a very nice plug to La Bloga…go visit to see what Rigobero has to say.

A NEW YEAR OF PAPER: Salvador Plascencia’s remarkably strange and beautiful novel, The People of Paper (McSweeney’s), is now out in paperback from Harvest Books. When it came out last year, it was named as a Los Angeles Times Favorite Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book. Plascencia was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and now lives in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Whittier College and holds an MFA from Syracuse University.

UCLA CHICANO STUDIES RESEARCH CENTER WELCOME RECEPTION:

Thursday, November 16, 2006
CSRC Library
44 Haines Hall
4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Keynote Speaker Thomas Saenz Counsel to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Balcony – Eat & drink refreshments from Casablanca Restaurant
Room 144 – Music provided by Los Hermanos Herrera
Room 180 – CSRC books, journals, DVDs, t-shirts and mugs on sale!

This event is dedicated to Professor Guillermo Hernandez, past director of the CSRC, who died in Mexico City this past July. In addition, the event is to honor former Assembly Member Marco A. Firebaugh, staunch supporter of the CSRC, who died in March 2006.

To learn more about the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, visit the Center’s website.

BLOG, BLOG, BLOG: Our friend, the poet and educator Francisco Aragón, tells us that he has been invited to be a regular contributor to the online journal, TERTULIA magazine. His first contribution is an e-interview and conversation with the editors of the Indiana Review who recently released a special issue devoted to Latino and Latina writers. Francisco will be doing other e-interviews periodically. Visit Tertulia Magazine and enjoy.

BORN IN EAST L.A.: Jim Marquez will read from his new book, East L.A. Collage (Lulu Press), which is filled with “true-life stories about his East L.A. and its surrounding communities.”

November 18, 4 p.m.
Under the Bridge Bookstore & Gallery
358 West 6th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
310-519-8871

URREA’S MAGIC TOUCH: Marisa Lagos, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, tells us of Luis Alberto Urrea’s wonderful interaction with students as they talk literature. Then she notes: “It's almost possible to forget that Urrea is teaching a class of female inmates at the San Francisco County Jail -- that is, until you glance up and notice the students' matching orange sweat suits, or realize that a deputy is interrupting class to conduct a head count.” The read the whole article here. I also note that The Hummingbird's Daughter (Little, Brown) has spent some time on the bestsellers' list at number one in the fine City of San Francisco.

GRACIAS: Some folks know that my son has been having health problems and that I haven’t been able to do very extensive posts, of late, here on La Bloga. Of course, my fellow bloggers produce such wonderful posts that I’m sure few have noticed. Anyway, gracias for understanding. A special thanks goes to Michael Nava, who sent an inscribed copy of his novel, Rag and Bone (Penguin), to my son. And a shout out Professor Cesar González of San Diego Mesa College who invited me to give a lecture and reading to his class last week; what a wonderful experience. Also thanks to Rabbi Michele Paskow of Congregation B’Nai Emet who invited me to speak at last Friday’s Shabbat services in honor of Jewish Book Month; it was a beautiful evening filled with love of books as well as spirituality.

¡Lea un libro! –Daniel Olivas

1 comment:

susan chi said...

Hey guys, awesome post. love your blog too. I'm a writer from NY, though I grew up in East L.A. - listen I'm in town for one week and am looking to talk to someone and perhaps visit some locations in East L.A. for this book I'm writing. I'm the editor of the NYC literary journal www.kgbbarlit.com - and I'm represented by the McCormick and Williams Liteary agency, and my book should be done by Jan. See a sample of my novel at: http://www.smallspiralnotebook.com/fiction/2006/09/nightshade_an_excerpt_by_susan.shtml

My novel is a mix of East L.A. and Taiwan culture - my background as my parents are chinese immigrants who ran a liquor store in East L.A. for over twenty years.

if you go to the masthead of the kgb bar site, my work email is on there: susan@kgbbar.com.

I'm leaving LA on Sun for New York, but must finish the research by Friday night, please contact me if it's possible for you to lend a hand.

Thanks!
Susan