New exhibition by Calabar Gallery at NJCU Galleries honors Latin American artists

Artwork from Vanezza Cruz's new collection, Vanidades II: Sin nombre pero con memorias (English: Vanities II: Without a name but with memories).
Artwork from Vanezza Cruz’s new collection, Vanidades II: Sin nombre pero con memorias (English: Vanities II: Without a name but with memories).
Photo by Vanezza Cruz

On Sept. 13, the exhibition, Latin American Artists: Dreams and Possibilities, will open at New Jersey City University Galleries.  It will explore wide-ranging art making processes, distinctive cultural roots, issues of language and identity in Latin American art. It is curated by Atim Annette Oton, lead curator at Calabar Gallery.

It will feature 20 artists from Jersey City, NJ and the New York City Metropolitan area. Participating artists include Ray Arcadio, Alexandra Alvarez, Natali Bravo-Barbee, Vanezza Cruz, Giannina Gutierrez, Jacqueline Herranz-Brooks, and Tenjin Ikeda.

New Jersey-based artist Arcadio was born in the Dominican Republic. His work encompasses paintings, drawings and sculptures that he combines with pop imagery and street art elements. He makes sure to reference his Caribbean roots often in it.

Alvarez is of Venezuelan descent, and she spends her time between New Jersey and New York City.

In her work, she references vibrant colors of the Caribbean, mysticism, indigenous cosmology, her life as a woman, as a mother, and as an immigrant, as well as her passion for philosophy, psychology, and humanity.

Bravo-Barbee was born in Córdoba, Argentina, and she now lives in Queens. She creates works in both photography and sculpture. In her work, she uncovers the lived memories of her family’s flight from Argentina in her childhood while simultaneously investigating postcolonial and feminist topics.

Like Arcadio, Cruz is of Dominican descent, and she was born in the Bronx. Her work explores ideas of body image and beauty, cultural identity, colorism, and representations of women of color via her experiences in being a dark skinned AfroLatina.

Gutierrez was born in Colombia, and raised in Jamaica, Queens. Her work is primarily inspired by her Colombian heritage, as well as nature, spirituality, and the experience of humanity.

Herranz-Brooks is a queer author, educator, and interdisciplinary artist from Havana, Cuba, who is based in New York. Her project-based work is done in various forms  including documentary photography, soundscape interpretation, multimedia installation, and urban interventions.

Tenjin Ikeda is an Afro-Puerto Rican artist who was born and raised in Brooklyn. He learned the importance of tradition and heritage from his mother, thus teaching himself how to draw at an early age.  He has been seriously making art for more than 30 years, using the various mediums of painting, sculpture, and printmaking.

Those interested in supporting the artists can find information for their work on their websites:

Ray Arcadio –

Alexandra Alvarez –

Natali Bravo-Barbee –

Vanezza Cruz –

Giannina Gutierrez –

Jacqueline Herranz-Brooks –

Tenjin Ikeda –

Additionally, there will be a panel on Sept. 26 as part of the exhibition. It will be on view at the New Jersey City University (NJCU) Visual Arts Gallery, as well as the Lemmerman Gallery in Jersey City, until November 15.

Register to attend the exhibition here: