A new exhibition on display at Tempe center for the arts showcases work by artist was culturally rich backgrounds. In tonight's "Sounds of Cultura," a look at the exhibit titled "Outsiders Within: Contemporary Work from Regional Latino/a and Native American Artists."
The theme outsiders within came from two different conversations yes having with different people. Artists doing a balance act between the art world and trying to educate the public about the different art worlds that are out there and the different possibilities that are out there. Many it's sort of a play on words. Outsiders within. These artists are functioning inside an art world and outside of an art world. Inside their own culture and outside. And at the same time they feel like insiders, at the same time they feel like outsiders. And we have -- we don't have any negative overtones, we just thought it was an interesting comparison, and it can appeal to anyone in the community, whether they're a child, or whether they're a person from a specific cultural group. I think they would identify and feel some of the same things that some of these artists are expressing.
Ryan Huna Smith:
I'm enrolled with the Colorado River Indian tribes in Parker, Arizona. It's made up of four different tribes. And out of those four, I am Navajo. I'm strongly influenced by pop culture. Comic books specifically, Japanese animation, and for a short period of time, I used to illustrate comic books. And so a lot of my artwork and those who are familiar request my work, that's kind of what I base my artwork on, is pop culture and comic books. These particular pieces that I created for the show are basically an extension of that interest and wanting to create images, you know, incorporate my native culture and using pop culture in comic books in the images and design. Fry Bread Man began basically by -- I attended the American arts in Santa Fe, and they had contacted me about doing a piece of artwork for a native humor calendar that they were putting together. I was sitting there not knowing what to create, and I kind of struggled with it for a week or so. And I was watching "Smoke Signals" and there's a character in the movie and he's wearing a T-shirt, and so I kind of said, hey, that sounds like an interesting idea. Just only recently started doing exhibits and I'm very grateful to T.C.A. for giving me this opportunity.
The Latino influence and Native American influence is so much part of our everyday life in Arizona, that what we're trying to do at the Tempe center for the arts is show a broad range of art forms and also artists and reflections of the community. So if we didn't do a Latino or Native American show, we wouldn't be reflecting the community that we live in. So it made sense to do it. And I think it was the right thing to do.