Thursday, October 11, 2007

DeLaTorre and a Chicago Feast for the Eyes

Artist Luis DeLaTorre and Francisco Toledo in Oaxaca

Luis DeLaTorre is an artist in constant motion translating through the language of colors, shapes and shadows his experience of being Mexican-American in the 21st century and the dualities of living between these two worlds. Luis DeLaTorre was born in McAllen, TX 1969 and raised in the states of Jalisco and Nayarít, Mexico. His mother migrated with Luis and his two older brothers to the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago.

DeLaTorre began using art as a coping mechanism to understand his new surroundings and fill the void of having been transplanted from the place that he had always known as home. The art work will later took on a life of it’s own incorporating elements of time, history, geography creating universal themes affecting us all such as war, spiraling economies and the commercialization of humanity.

While in high school DeLaTorre was inspired by the paintings of artists such as Salvador Dali, David Alfaro Siqueiros and comic book illustrators Alan Lee and Bill Sienkiewicz. It was then that he decided to pursue an education in art. After developing his art skills he enrolled at the American Academy of Art where he had the opportunity to study under Master Watercolorist Irving Shapiro and earn his degree in Fine Art.

DeLaTorre’s art is exhibited frequently in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. He recently received a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. This fall he has been commissioned to do two murals one at Spry Elementary School and one at Columbia Explorers Elementary School. He will also be participating in two group shows one at Neleh Gallery in Chicago and the Owings -Dewey Fine Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His artwork is currently in museum and private collections.

A huge part of his creative process is experimentation and constantly learning new things. DeLaTorre enjoys collaborating with artists of all genres. In the fall of 2006 DeLaTorre created visual elements for a Teatro Vista production and in 2005 included an enormous backdrop mural commissioned by Luna Negra Dance Theatre for a performance at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance. His work has also been displayed at the Día De Los Muertos exhibit at The National Museum of Mexican Art. DeLaTorre has been involved in gilding restoration work at the historic Auditorium Theatre, the Illinois and Iowa State Capital Buildings and participated in the Frank Lloyd Wright House “Wing Spread” restoration project in Racine, WI.

DeLaTorre is committed to art in schools engaging kids to focus their energy on their own creativity. He is an advocate of artistic projects that enrich them and keep their creativity focused. He frequently participates as a guest speaker in Chicago Public Schools to encourage the exploration of the arts. In 2005 he also did a mosaic mural created for the Columbia Explorer Elementary School. The mural was done with children from the Yollocalli Youth Museum (a initiative of the MFACM).

DeLaTorre has also implemented an artist apprentice program in conjunction with the Big Picture H.S. in Chicago that includes the participation of two students a year. In the future he plans to create a scholarship program for young artists, and help implement more arts programs into inner-city schools.
Check out DeLaTorre's new blog you can keep up with whats happing at the studio and read about the process the artist goes through in creating the paintings.

Come Celebrate Chicago Artist Month!

October 5, 2007
Opening Reception
6pm to 10pm

Looking for a way to CELEBRATE Chicago Artist Month? Celebrate with us! You can come and mingle with art lovers, meet the artists and learn about the INCREDIBLE work being produced in the Bridgeport neighborhood. There will be a variety of incredible work hanging on walls and easels. EXCITING NEW works featured by DeLaTorre, Cleeland, Gama, Noyes, Brasch, Ingold and Wyzensagel. DeLaTorre’s Oil paintings on richly prepared wood panels and watercolor portraits will have you spell bound. Runs thru Oct. 31 by appointment.

Eastbank Artist Group Exhibit
DeLaTorre Fine Art Studio
1200 W 35th Street – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60609

Saturday, October 6, 2007
Opening Reception
Time: 6 to 9pm

Abstract Global Communities brings together four artists from differing backgrounds whose creative talents collectively represent our world community. The collective creativity of these artists represents the global concept of art without borders or boundaries. Come to this delightful gallery housed in a Frank Lloyd Wright gem in the Bronzeville neighborhood and Indulge your art craving with the rich layers and succulent colors of DeLaTorre’s newest work. You can be one of the first to see the unveiling of his painting “An Ode To Hillary” oil on canvas.

Abstract Global Communities/Neleh Galleries International
Chicago Artist Month Group Show
Opening Reception
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Time: 6 to 9pm
3219 S. Calumet Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616

Friday, October, 26 2007

Día de los Muertos Group Exhibit
DeLaTorre’s art is on the move! If you happen to be in Santa Fe stop in and check out this fabulous exhibit at the Owings-Dewey Fine Art gallery. This exhibit will feature DeLaTorre’s take on this traditional Día de los Muertos holiday. Over the past twenty years the gallery has exhibited thousands of accomplished works by many of America's finest painters and exploring a variety of historical and contemporary themes.

Día de los Muertos Group Exhibit Owings-Dewey Fine Art / North 120 East Marcy Street Friday, October, 26 2007 Santa Fe, NM 87501

Thursday, November 1, 2007
Opening Reception
This year, DeLaTorre dedicates his ofrenda to the U.S. Constitution raising questions on the contemporary and historical role of this country. The work emerges from subconscious inspired images painted on panels drenched in thick hand-made gesso resulting in glazes and paint integral to the artwork.

Thursday, November 1,
Opening Reception Dia de Los Muertos Group Exhibit Latino Arts, UCC 1028 S. 9th Street Milwaukee, WI 53204 New Mural Commission! Columbia Explorer Elementary

DeLaTorre will be creating a mural that will be 168” X 288” and will have three layers and images relating to hope and the ability to rise above faceless crowds and imagine the endless possibilities through the arts and education. Unveiling TBA.

DeLaTorre Arts Studio

1200 West 35th Street - 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60608

Tel: 773-927-7030

or e-mail us at:


More about our friends

The El Paso Times ran a profile of Gustavo Arellano written by EPT's book editor:

Also, Rigoberto Gonzalez reviewed Javier O. Huerta's new book, "Some Clarifications y Otros Poemas" (Arte Público Press, $10.95 paperback):


More Raúl Niño news:

After a long hiatus, it looks like Bloga friend, poet Raúl Niño will be very busy promoting Book of Mornings. Here's what's on tap in October here in Chicago. Raúl sent me a couple of quotes in his press release, and they are too good not to list.

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
W. H. Auden

For a writer only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language.
Joseph Brodsky

October 17, Wednesday, at the Book Cellar, 4736-38 North Lincoln Avenue, at 7PM
On this evening of a "Local Author Night" -- it's reading with recently published writers Josh P. McClary, Lawrence Santoro, Renee Rosen and Mary Kinzie. This is a wonderful independent book shop, located in Lincoln Square, one well worth supporting. After all they serve wine by the glass, how many book stores can claim to do that?

October 23, Tuesday, at the Lincoln Park Branch Library, 1150 West Fullerton Avenue, at 7PM


More News

First Macho feature at PROYECTO LATINA

Monday, Oct. 15 @ Tianguis Bookstore, 2003 S. Damen
(across from the Blue line stop),
7:00 p.m. Free admission.

In honor of Teatro Luna's new Machos production, Proyecto Latina will present their first ever male feature, the wonderful Paul Martinez Pompa. The fabulous Diana Pando steps up as mistress of ceremonies for the evening. As always there will be Chisme box and open-mic.

Paul Martinez Pompa studied at the University of Chicago and at Indiana University, where he served as a poetry editor for Indiana Review. His chapbook, Pepper Spray, was published by Momotombo Press in 2006. His work has also appeared in the journals Borderlands and Barrow Street and the anthologies The Wind Shifts and Telling Tongues. Currently, he teaches at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois.

(Paul was the great poet who read at the inaugural Palabra Pura in 2006).


The 17th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Conference on Black Literature and Creative Writing

Fine Fury: Celebrating Gwendolyn Brooks at 90

October 17-20 2007 Chicago State University

As for that other kind of kindness,
if there is milk it must be mindful.
The milkofhumankindness must be mindful
as wily wines.
Must be fine fury.
Must be mega, must be main.

-- from Young Afrikans (of the furious) by Gwendolyn Brook

Sonia Sanchez
Martin Espada
Ed Roberson
Tayari Jones
Donda West
Cheryl Clarke
Julius E. Thompson
Haki R. Madhubuti
Sterling Plumpp
Angela Jackson
Sandra Jackson-Opoku
Margo Crawford
Camille Dungy
Jacqueline Jones LaMon
Evie Shockley
Adrian Matejka
Gregory Pardlo
Randall HortonM
Kelly Norman Ellis
Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
Bayo Ojikutu
Kalisha Buchanon

Workshops by Martin Espada and others. For registration information visit or call 773-995-3750.



Wednesday, October 17
California Clipper, 1002 N. California
(corner of California and Augusta), Chicago

Doors open 8:00 p.m. Reading begins 8:30 p.m
Free admission. 21 and over show. (Don't forget your i.d.)

PETER RAMOS's poems appear in Indiana Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Verse, and Poet Lore. In 2000, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The author of several chapbooks, including Short Waves (White Eagle Coffee Store Press 2003), Ramos is an assistant professor of English at Buffalo State College where he teaches courses in American literature.

BERNARDO NAVIA was born in Chile. As the oldest of four brothers in a Protestant missionary family, he had the opportunity to live and travel in many cities in Chile, as well as throughout diverse countries in Latin America. He has published essays, poems and stories in numerous journals and periodicals in Chile, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Columbia, and Chicago, especially in the periodical, contratiempo. In 2000, a book of his poetry was published, Doce muertes para una resaca (Madrid: Betania 2000), and he is presently in negotiations for the publication of a novel. Bernardo Navia is an assistant professor at DePaul University.

Palabra Pura is supported by The Joyce Foundation, Letras Latinas at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and the Rafael Cintron Ortiz Cultural Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Lisa Alvarado

1 comment:

Chano Santamaria said...

De La Torre is the splitting image of someone I know. Cool Blog - nice to see the Xicano community in Chicago is thriving.