Visiones E Historias: Maya paintings from Guatemala at the NIU Art Museum

NIU welcomes visiting Guatemalan-Maya artists Paula Nicho Cúmez and Pedro Rafaél González Chavajay as part of a two-week event for the exhibition “Visiones E Historias: Maya Paintings from Guatemala,” on view at the Art Museum through Thursday, Feb. 24. The show is part of the combined “(Re)Presenting Guatemala” series of exhibitions on campus exploring the history and identity of people in Guatemala.

The artists’ visit to campus includes a residency with NIU printmaking students in the School of Art and Design, a series of public artist and gallery talks, lectures and a closing reception with a performance based on Maya oral history. Joining the artists will be Joseph Johnston, gallerist and collector from Arte Maya Tz’utuhil, San Francisco, CA, and Rita Moran, director of Maya Woman: The Helen Moran Collection, San Francisco, for a series of public artist and collector slide talks. Be sure to visit the exhibition before it closes and join us for these unique opportunities to hear the artists discuss their work.

“Visiones E Historias: Maya Paintings from Guatemala” features colorful paintings full of narrative detail. Cúmez’s work explores the internal Maya spiritual world while Chavajay’s work explores the external Maya experience. A public closing reception will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the NIU Art Museum.

The events start on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7-8 p.m., Altgeld 315, with “The History of Popular Maya Painting in Guatemala” featuring gallerist and collector, Joseph Johnston, Arte Maya Tz’utuhil.

On Thursday, Feb. 16, from 5-6 p.m., the artist and collector slide talk with Pedro Rafaél González Chavajay and Joseph Johnston will take place in the Arts Building, 102.

Next week, on Monday, Feb. 20, from 5-6 p.m., in the Latino Resource Center, Kryssi Staikidis, associate professor, Art Education + Design is presenting “Visual ethnography and arts-based research: Two videotaped painting lessons with Maya painters Pedro Rafaél González Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cúmez.”

Another artist and collector slide talk, with Paula Nicho Cúmez and Rita Moran, will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 5-6 p.m., in the Visual Arts Building, 102.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, informal gallery talks with Maya artists Pedro Rafaél González Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cúmez and collectors Joseph Johnston and Rita Moran will be from 5-6:30 p.m., at the NIU Art Museum.

And finally, a public closing reception with a performance by Delia Victoria Cúmez Nicho of a Maya oral history shared by her grandmother, demonstrates the transmission of culture, will be held on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 5-7:30 p.m., at the NIU Art Museum.

More information about the exhibitions, events and educational programming at the NIU Art Museum may be found online by visiting www.niu.edu/artmuseum or by phoning 815-753-1936.

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