Latin American art showcased at Woodbury Art Museum

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The UVU Woodbury Art Museum, located at University Mall in Orem, is featuring two exhibits until the end of November called Sensing Brazil and Dichos highlighting unique art from Latin American countries.

Each exhibit gives a snapshot into the culture they came from, said Rebekah Monahan, a recent BYU graduate and registrar at the museum.

[easyembed field=”Photogallery”]”In Sensing Brazil, we not only have pieces of art from famous Brazilian artists but also videos playing in the gallery of Brazilian drummers and dancers,” Monahan said. “The Dichos exhibit features photographs of bumpers from Mexico, Panama, Guatemala and Ecuador”

Every year, UVU’s international center does a global spotlight on a certain area of the world, Monahan said. This year, Brazil was the country being spotlighted. The Sensing Brazil display was inspired by this.

“The exhibition Sensing Brazil, on loan from the Museum of Latin American Art, came about because of this,” Monahan said. “Our director decided on Dichos to supplement this exhibition and to provide context.”

The Dichos exhibit is a traveling exhibit, said Melissa Hempel, the interim director at the museum. The Woodbury Art Museum is the last in its 15-stop tour. Hempel said the museum tried to reach out to a variety of people by featuring these two exhibits.

“We reached out to Latin American grocery stores to reach the people that might really enjoy this,” Hempel said. “We are really happy with the response. We also sent information to dual-immersion programs in local elementary schools. In response to the Sensing Brazil display, over 200 people from Brazil have come in, which is a dynamic we’ve never seen interested in the museum before.”

While both exhibits feature countries in Latin and South America, the displays are different. The pieces in the Dichos exhibit have both pictures and actual decorative bumpers and bus stops from several different countries, including Mexico andĀ Ecuador. A news release from the museum said bus drivers in Latin America enjoy putting sayings, which are often humorous, on vehicles but this is an endangered form of art.

“Hand painted in an endless variety of graphic styles and colors, dichos address subjects ranging from religion and love, to puns and earthy humor,” the news release said. “Unfortunately,with the emergence of corporate trucking, this vibrant folk art is gradually disappearing.”

Monahan said visitors to the museum have enjoyed the unique cultural display in both exhibits. She said she thinks just about anyone can enjoy this exhibit, as it is a bilingual exhibit.

“The bright colors and vehicular subject matter are engaging to children, and we have two bumpers in the exhibit where they can create their own dicho,” Monahan said. “These have also been favorite exhibits of students.”

Monahan said both exhibits have been important to the museum during the time they have been featured.

“I would say that the exhibitions are a window into the art forms of different cultures,” Monahan said. “Sensing Brazil is an important exhibit because of its connection to the UVU Global Spotlight. For Dichos, folk art is important because it not only gives a snapshot of a form of art practice in Latin America, but also a glimpse into a form of lingual communication.”

The museum hosts many community events, including a family day last Saturday, Hempel said. The event gave local families an opportunity to participate in Latin American activities, such as making carnival masks and tissue paper flowers, while viewing the two exhibits. On Nov. 18 a date night will be hosted that is open to anyone in the community. The Woodbury website says there will be a variety of Latin American-based activities, including Latin dancing, trivia games and treats. The cost is $10 per couple and can be purchased at Campus Connection at UVU.

The Woodbury Art Museum is located on the second floor of University Mall between Nordstrom and Gap. It is open on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Dichos and Sensing Brazil are being featured until Nov. 30. More information can be found at uvu.edu/museum.

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