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Z’otz* Collective

Exhibition: June 2 to 23, 2023
Vernissage and Artist-guided gallery tour: June 1 at 6 pm
Art Hive (in-person): June 3, 10:30 am to 1 pm

Drawing is our primary means of expression and is used to respond to each other and to what surrounds us. The direct approach allows us to create quirky and humorous images that examine the immigrant experiences of displacement, transition and transformation. The work connects to the storytelling traditions of our Latin American background, with mythological beings, animals and symbols. Our exhibition proposal includes collaborative drawings, sculptures and an in-situ ephemeral wall drawing created over five days on a gallery wall. The drawings will range in size from 11”× 15” to 22”× 30”. We will include ceramic sculptures which can be displayed on plinths, depending on available space.

Wall drawing concept: this will be a platform that incorporates elements and iconography of cultural hybridity, and will use the idea of the niche as a point of departure. The original meaning of the French word “nicher” is “to make a nest”. We are intrigued by the niche as a space to incubate, collect, investigate, and share stories. The Roman Catholic nicho, made of a wood or tin box, housed religious objects and served as small shrines to connect believers to their spirituality. Prehispanic civilizations used niches as architectural elements in their temples.

Artist Bios:

Erik Jerezano was born in Mexico City in 1973. He is a self-taught artist who has exhibited in galleries and artist-run centres across Canada and Mexico. He has been awarded grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and his work was purchased for the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts. He was involved in community arts projects in Mexico City, where he collaborated on outdoor murals. The indescribable softness of the (often) ironic reflexivity of Jerezano’s work binds together the two places where he has been shaped the most culturally: Mexico City and Toronto.

Nahúm Flores was born in Danlí, Honduras and immigrated to Canada at age 17, after living in Mexico and the US. He holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University. He has been awarded grants from the Pollock–Krasner Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. His paintings and drawing installations have been widely exhibited in Canada and Central America. He was one of six artists to win the Biennale of Visual Art of Honduras in 2006. This year his work was shown in a solo exhibition entitled “The Inheritors”, at the Museum of National Identity in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Growing up in Honduras, Flores was exposed to a mixture of Catholic and Indigenous beliefs reflected in daily life. His mixed media work is a fusion of drawing and matter that is intuitively processed. This mode of working gives voice to his subconscious, resulting in expressive figures and amorphous forms. Although scenes depicted are often bleak, they also reflect his sense of humour.

Ilyana Martínez was born in Toronto and grew up in Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Mexico. She holds a Bachelor of Design from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and majored in Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art & Design. She has been involved in design endeavours with prominent museums such the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (Drumheller), and the National Museum of Art (Mexico City). Ilyana is a recipient of numerous awards for her drawings and paintings, among these, from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour. Her work conjures up places of line, gesture and colour, where contrasting worlds of the urban and the natural coexist and sustain one another to create alternate possibilities. The drawings are layered environmental maps: of the built, of the uncovered, and of the imagined.


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