TALENT, Ore. – Manya Orescan Campos has lived in the Rogue Valley for about seven years. She said her time here in Southern Oregon is what inspired her to create her poetic art show called “Latina Geniuses are Everywhere”
“For the first few years, I experienced a lot of loneliness and just longed for more culture and community,” she explained. Manya said she met the women featured in the art show through her work with the local racial equity coalition.
“So I have about 20 questions that I interview each woman based on, and then from those interviews I create a poem for each of them, and then I make a textile.” These textile art pieces Manya creates are a modern reimagining of the traditional Huipil, a traditional garment worn by indigenous women from Mexico and other parts of Central America.
Using mixed media and textiles, Manya aims to tell the stories of these community leaders. Each garment is created with the subject’s personality in mind, with hand-painted poems written by Manya, for the woman who inspired the piece. The garments are hand-sewn, embroidered, and decorated with the women’s story, identity and culture in mind.
“The Chicano arts movement is something that’s really huge for me. Looking at what it’s like to be a hyphenated American.”
For Manya, sharing her art is about celebrating her culture, but also about sharing the joy and beauty of the Latino community here in the Rogue Valley.
“I don’t wanna just tell stories about survival, I want to tell stories about women who are thriving, who are really doing that work to connect with each other.”
The poetic art show opens Friday, August 25 from 6-9 PM, at ScenicG’s studio at 618 Pacific HWY Unit A. Manya will present readings of her poetry, there will also be a food truck selling pupusas, cocktails by award-winning mixologist Freddy Herrera, and music by DJ Fresa. The exhibit will remain up through the weekend from 6-8 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
“For me, it’s about building community. I think that we are in desperate times and it’s time for us to really learn to come together and take the risk of being different with one another.”
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