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Gainesville, Oconee exhibits to focus on Latino issues

An example of the work by Mabi Ponce de Leon
Exhibits opening later this month at the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery, located on the Gainesville campus of the University of North Georgia, and the university's Oconee Campus Gallery will feature work that examines Latino issues. Both shows are free and open to the public.

Dreamers/Soñadores, which runs Jan. 14 through Feb. 13 at the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery on UNG's Gainesville campus, features the work of Nestor Armando Gil, George Lorio, Julio Mejia, Groana Melendez, Roxana Perez-Mendez, and Claudia Santillan and is co-sponsored by the Latino Student Association (LSA). The Roy C. Moore Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

Perez-Melendez will close the Gainesville gallery's show with a talk at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 as part of the Foreign Language Lecture Series, with a closing reception following.

  • Perez-Mendez is a sculptor and a performance artist who incorporates video into her pieces. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art at Temple University, and has studied at Skowhegan. She is currently on the faculty at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Santillan was born in Lima, Peru, and has spent time in Canada. Santillan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia, and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn.
  • Lorio holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida. His work has been exhibited widely over the United States and Mexico over the past three decades. He teaches at Delaware State University
  • Mejia was born in New Orleans to a Peruvian father and a Chilean mother. Mejia resides in the North Georgia mountains and creates large-scale abstract oil paintings, fused with energetic colors, associated with memories and emotions.
  • Gil received a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from New College of Florida in Sarasota, and a Master of Fine Arts in studio art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently assistant professor of visual arts at Lafayette College, in Easton, Penn.
  • Melendez was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised between Brooklyn and the Dominican Republic. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from Syracuse University, in Syracuse, N.Y. Selections from her photographic series Ni Acquí, Ni Allá: Neither Here, Nor There were exhibited at the New York Public Library in 2010.

The work of Nestor Armando Gil and Groana Melendez also will be featured in Otros Soñadores, on display Jan. 16 through Feb. 20 at UNG's Oconee Campus Gallery. That exhibit also features work by Stanley Bermudez and Mabi Ponce de Leon. Both exhibits also are accompanied by an essay from UNG Hispanic Leadership Development Coordinator Luis Santos-Rivas.

Bermudez will give a talk at 11 a.m. on Jan. 17 in room 522 of the Oconee campus's Student Resource Center and a reception will follow at noon in the gallery, which is located in the Faculty Center/Bookstore Building 700.

  • Bermudez graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art and from Radford University with a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in metalwork and jewelry.  Bermudez’s painting American Dreaming illustrates the positive contributions Latino immigrants make to the United States. Americano Flag III is part of a series of paintings Bermudez calls Banderas, which incorporates symbolism from flags.
  • Ponce de Leon was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida International University in Miami and a Master of Fine Arts from State University of New York in Stony Brook. Ponce de Leon combines painting and drawing with collage elements, such as maps and diagrams, to create a sense of place.

For more information about either exhibit, contact Beth Sale, director of UNG’s Roy C. Moore Art Gallery, at or 678.717.3438. The direct number to the gallery is 678.717.3707.

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