Sand silkscreens are among the mixed media works of artist Mariana Ramos Ortiz currently on display at Central Contemporary Arts (CCA), a gallery on 22 A Street in Providence. Contra Viento y Marea, which translates to “against all odds,” is a showcase of Ortiz’ art, which mixes printmaking, installation, accessibility, knowledge, and experimentation.
Ortiz has always enjoyed creative activities like painting, drawing, and DIY; in high school they learned about printmaking. “Printmaking was eye-opening,” Ortiz says, musing about being motivated by the medium. “Like, I had this energy.”
Ortiz was attending the University of Puerto Rico, but Hurricane Maria prompted a relocation to Brown, where they became immersed in the art culture in Providence. They loved seeing all the artists at work, especially others from Puerto Rico. “Being in Rhode Island was very special. So many lives in one place, people with different art forms and manifestations.” Providence made such an impression that they continued onto RISD to earn an MFA in Printmaking.
“In both [San Juan and Providence], what has inspired me the most has been to encounter artists who are very aware of the intersection that exists between life and art. Puerto Rico has been a place that has taught me to appreciate artists and works that exist at this crossroad,” says Ortiz. “I now understand that these actions are not just artistic decisions, but rather they are modes of survival and resistance.”
A recent alum of CCA is Andrew Moon Bain, whose solo exhibition AD SPACE brought color and graphic appeal across the city via a series of 13 billboards. As a multi-disciplinary artist, many of his art forms complement and inspire each other. He does album cover art and design, and notes that while screen-printing, painting, or installing, he listens to music for hours to perfect his work. Writing helps him in creating lists and coming up with titles. “Being creative is a daily activity,” says Bain, “completely a way of life.”
Bain began his artistic journey while growing up in Seattle: he learned to play the cello at four, started rapping at 12, and then took up guitar. He also dabbled in visual art and earned his BFA in Sculpture at RISD. It was on a soul-searching journey in Jamaica that he discovered a deep attraction – and talent – for reggae, R&B, and conscious
music. He jumped into record-producing and songwriting in the early 2000s, leading to the founding of his production team, Zion I Kings, featured in Rolling Stone. He has produced and worked with artists like Baptiste Ibar, Marcus Gad, Snoop Dogg, Blakkamoore, among others, and founded the local band Boo City. In all of Bain’s work, history, cultural connection, courage, rebellion, peace, patience, and beauty are themes.
Learn more about the artists at MarianaraMosortizStudio.Cargo.Site
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