Opened December 9, 2017With 24 artists from Philadelphia to Brazil and lasting over a year, Nuestro Tema: Llamada y Respuesta (Our Theme: Call and Response), looks at Taller’s community through a sample of its art collection. The works in the collection are the “Call” invoked in the title. In turn, Taller invites outside artists to respond to the work as well as encourages the community to comment – the “Response.” About the Invited Artists In his oeuvre, Ernel Martinez investigates the appropriation and interpretation of African culture in Western society. In so doing he aims to widen our understanding of what art is and how contemporary society reads it. In Untitled, he combines African Fetish Art techniques, i.e., the nails and zippers, with the pages of from a book on Renaissance art. With the juxtaposing of the two, the method with historical documents, the artist brings into conversation how “high art” is promoted and taught, with the existence of art from other places. Martinez then creates a work that questions the hegemony of Western Art History in a pluralistic society. Betsy Z. Casañas work is an autobiographical visual and written composition that combines themes of abuse, abandonment, vulnerability, sexuality, and family. She has overcome many obstacles in her life as a single mother, poet, singer, painter, and teacher and has always been eager to reevaluate herself and her surroundings to learn and grow as an individual and a member of her community. “Buy From Your Neighbor” project by Anne Harrison and Linda Fernandez. During the summer of 2017, artists Anne Harrison and Linda Fernandez partnered with Norris Square Neighborhood Project’s weekly farmers market. The “Buy from Your Neighbor Day” campaign was created to build awareness of the connection between art and entrepreneurship and engage longtime residents in the Norris Square neighborhood. The campaign culminated at the farm stand with screen printing on small shopping tote bags with the message “Buy From Your Neighbor” and a button making activity with local illustrator and longtime resident Angel Ortiz of Dusk Wing Arts. The “Buy from your Neighbor” project stems from the artist’s on-going work, Hecho en Philly. Hecho encourages people to buy locally made and sourced products from their neighbors to preserve and sustain the character of their community.
Alberto A. Becerra is a painter, muralist, and teaching artist with deep roots in North Philadelphia. He has captured the likeness of the people in the neighborhood and taught in schools all around Philadelphia.