Main Library transforms for Con A de Arte

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ArtSí Charlotte has the art scene saying "sí" to local Latino art. The initiative's ninth annual showcase, Con A de Arte (A is for Art), brings ethnic diversity into the spotlight this Saturday, June 16.

Work by Colombian painter Gabriel Ramirez
  • Work by Colombian painter Gabriel Ramirez will be available at Con A de Arte


The event features live entertainment in the genres of theater, literature, poetry, music and visual arts. More than 20 artists present their works in the form of vignettes spaced throughout the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, or, as it is known for the festivities, "El Mercado de las Artes" (The Marketplace).

As a new addition this year, there will be an award ceremony recognizing four influential leaders and supporters of the Latino art scene in Charlotte. Honors include community arts supporter and activist Sara Wolf; Mint Museum, with director of community relations Rubie Britt-Height accepting on behalf of the museum; Frank Dominguez, program director at 89.9 WDAV; and Cheryl Palmer, director of learning and engagement at Mint Museum.

"The Con A de Arte committee is thrilled to honor all Latino artists and their supporters who help bridge cultures and build social capital through art," said co-chairman Brian Cockman.

Con A de Arte began in 2003, when Gil Gallery owner Edwin Gil conceived the idea after noticing the growing need for a cultural center devoted to Latino art. The broader initiative ArtSí followed later, in 2009. "ArtSí and Con A de Arte strive to educate Charlotte about the Latino culture," said Gil.

The concept of this year's Con A de Arte emphasizes and encourages interaction between the community and Latino artists. Cockman, also a videographer for the program, has worked with the artists to create individual videos to precede the presentations about their art.

"You are going to see all these colors and all these concepts of what makes the Latino culture," said Gil. "Through art, we can bring the community together."

June 16, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Charlotte Mecklenburg Main Library, 310 N. Tryon St. For more information, visit www.artsicharlotte.org.

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