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Antuco Chicaizo is featured artist for October at Emporium Center

The Arts & Culture Alliance hosts a monthly series featuring its member artists showcasing their work and discussing their inspirations and processes.

Everyone is invited to bring a lunch and join in the casual conversation at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. These presentations are free.

The next series is on October 16 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm with artist Antuco Chicaiza.

Antuco Chicaiza will discuss his recent works of painting, collage, and drawing in which cultural identity is a recurring theme. Chicaiza was born in Wichita Falls, Texas but raised in Ecuador, his father’s native land. As a descendent of the Salasaca Indians, he draws upon their spirit in his work, expressed through images of exaggerated hands, strong use of color, and the passion with which he paints.

Antuco Chicaiza lived in Ecuador from age four until twelve in a small mountain town, immersed in traditional culture as well as exposed to the mistreatment of Indians. A formative experience while there also included visiting the studio of Oswaldo Guayasamin, a leading Ecuadoran artist, and viewing his paintings and collection of Latin American art. Chicaiza went on to study at the International Fine Arts College in Miami. He has lived in Sweetwater, Tennessee since 1999. Chicaiza’s early charcoal drawings and paintings drew upon his childhood memories of the lives of Indians in Ecuador. These works were representational in style and emphasized both social injustice and the peoples’ strength and pride. In 2003, Chicaiza’s work shifted to a more experimental approach which focused on his sketch books full of thoughts, original and found images, and documents of travels. Chicaiza's new paintings utilized phrases, symbols, graffiti, and abstracted figures and faces, combining them in dense, interpenetrating compositions. This work has been his “most personal, showing my struggles and experiences.” Chicaiza’s subjects include the challenges and rewards of family, cultural heritage, and social and political issues. Antuco Chicaiza has shown his work in solo exhibitions at Casa HoLa in Knoxville, the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville, The Rose Center in Morristown, The Nashville International Airport, and the Embassy of Ecuador in Washington, DC. His next solo show will be at the Latino Arts Center in Milwaukee, WI from December 2013 - February 2014.

Published October 12, 2013

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