Alone Together, Together Alone, an exhibition of artist Nora Valdez’s work, and Still We Rise, a multimedia installation by Urbano Youth Artists, both open at Urbano on Wednesday, June 13, with the celebration beginning at 6PM. The exhibitions will remain on view through August 16. Urbano is located at 29 Germania Street in Jamaica Plain, opening hours Monday-Friday, 1-6PM, www.urbanoproject.org.
Argentine-born, Boston-based artist Nora Valdez’ Alone Together, Together Alone presents a series of figurative sculptures and drawings, with themes of the heart, emotions, home, and immigration. Originating in the artist’s personal and cultural identity, the work grapples with the challenges of confronting difficult situations in the search for happiness.
Still We Rise is a youth project that focuses on art-making as an act of healing, revolving around themes of personal resilience and sustainability.
“At Urbano when you do an installation, everyone understands—you can put the process, concept, and visuals together—and everyone can pitch in because everyone here is an artist,” says Valdez. “The students have incredible talent; they are motivated and have the knowledge to go a little deeper. The students are young artists, and the staff are artists; it’s a whole team of collaborators.”
As artist in residence since April 10, Valdez has been leading a ten-week class in the studio at Urbano, working with youth artists on Still We Rise, an installation with an original musical track. Many local youth have been subjected to various kinds of violence including domestic, bullying, psychological, and the violence of discrimination. Through writing, drawing, and 3D art-making, Valdez and students are exploring times of strength and healing, discovering their own resiliency in the process.
“Working in a new musical style got me thinking big, outside the bubble,” said youth artist Vinny Alves, who created the new track with mentorship from local composer Alexander Barsov.
ABOUT NORA VALDEZ
Nora Valdez is a world traveler: born in Argentina, living in Italy, Spain, and the US, and exhibiting across South America, Europe, Asia, the United States, and Canada. In 1986 she moved to Boston, the city she now calls home.
Her work evokes the conditions of travel, transition, and displacement. The image of the bag recurs as a metaphor for both container and contents: a suitcase stuffed with personal effects, as well as a body enveloping a mind (and heart) filled with memory, loss, desire, anxiety, and above all dreams and hope.
From the beginning, Valdez has utilized sculpture and installations to create images that reflect on the nature of change, the life of the individual and the natural or societal forces that buffet our souls. While her earlier installation work explored the effects of alienation caused by various forms of repression, her stone work seeks to make more subtle comments on these concerns. Her thematic concerns are also reflected in her involvement with the community: doing public art projects and giving workshops at a variety of urban institutions. Art becomes not just a way to explore issues of human rights but to have a direct effect on them as well.
Valdez is the final Urbano artist-in-residence for the spring 2018 exhibition season.
Urbano Project fosters a philosophy of artistic expansiveness, supporting works that blur boundaries between art and everyday life. Through artistic collaboration, participating teens and adults are challenged to create projects that take place both within the boundaries of our exhibition space and in the community beyond the walls of the studio. These projects span diverse artistic themes and disciplines, but they are all rooted in the fundamental principles of collaboration, risk-taking, and creative and critical expression.
Urbano is a recognized leader in arts education and youth development. Since its 2009 founding, Urbano has served over 1,200 Boston Public Schools students, collaborated with 150 professional artists, and has drawn 30,000+ audience members to its programming.
29 Germania Street
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
About Urbano Project
Urbano Project, located in Jamaica Plain's Brewery Complex, brings together urban youth and professional artists to ignite social change through place-based participatory art and performance projects. Together we foster future generations of creative and civic leaders committed to social justice. Support for Urbano Project is provided by Barr/Klarman Foundations, The Boston Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, Boston Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Frank Reed and Margaret Jane Peters Memorial Fund I, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.