We’re expecting Eric Chavez to return to North Carolina this spring. He’ll be coming on March 22 with his friend, Elsa Sanchez Diaz, to participate in an art fair and exhibition at East Carolina University, in Greenville. The University has invited him back for a second year because of the success of his presentation last spring. During the time they will be here, Eric and Elsa will also meet with Molly Matlock and Chris Bouton of the Chatham Arts Council to plan a fall 2008 arts in education program for the public schools, artists and weavers, and the general public, including a major exhibition and sale at the community college. The program looks like it will include workshops for teachers, with students in elementary, middle and high school, and master classes in collaboration with local artist cooperatives. Because Eric is a fluent English speaker, he is able to speak eloquently about his Zapotec people and culture, the influences of the Spanish conquest, the impact of tourism on the economy of Oaxaca state, and the ancient weaving and natural dyeing traditions of his village, Teotitlan del Valle.
These programs are wonderful cultural bridges to understanding the artistic traditions of Mexican culture and the rich history of immigrants who live and work here. We have found that wherever we make presentations, give workshops and exhibit in the U.S., people are welcoming and interested. Often, cross-cultural appreciation, understanding and respect is facilitated through the arts.
Eric is planning his exhibition and presentation schedule for fall 2008 at museums, galleries and universities in the U.S. Often, he is sponsored by through Latino Studies programs, university art museums, departments of global studies, education, textiles, art and design, weavers and textile guilds, or a collaboration of these and other community groups. If you or your organization would be interested in hosting Eric Chavez, please reply by posting your comment to the blog.