Essays on Invisibility – Speaker Series Follow Up

The following post is contributed by our 2021 September Speaker, Paloma Núñez-Regueiro. A link to the edited replay video can be found HERE or view at the bottom of this page.

A few nights ago, I had the honor of being the guest speaker at the Huron River Art Collective Speaker Series. I was delighted to share my prints and the process of making them with people from different places via Zoom. Many times we complain about everything that we lost because of the pandemic, because of COVID 19 but the truth is that besides all our terrible, and painful  losses we also learned to regroup again, as humans do. Our virtual existence is one that makes us present all around the world at once. It lets us reach far and hold hands with friends from the present and past and share, as in this case: our thoughts, art processes, desires and hopes…

My name is Paloma Núñez-Regueiro, I am a Mexican printmaker based in Ann Arbor, MI. I am also a resident artist at Ypsi Alloy Studios. 

The body of work I talked about that night is called “Essays on Invisibility”. Essays on Invisibility is a collection of linoleum prints and monoprints that express my interest in making the invisible visible. The subjects I explore are immigration, social justice, the experience of assimilation, and the experiences of being invisible in a cis-gender and mostly white society. 

Sister III
Linoleum Print 30″ x 11″ 2019

The protagonist of my series is the Guarumo leaf. The Guarumo is a tree that exists in the south of Mexico and the Caribbean and has great medicinal powers. The leaves fall to the ground and they dry up making these beautiful shapes that make them different from one another. I found these leaves on a trip to Tulum, Mexico; I became fascinated with them. I took many pictures of them and brought them back home. I started drawing them as honestly as possible  and found that they contain in their structures mountains and valleys, rivers, noses, vertebrae, carcasses and many more things. The little holes that the crawler made in them while eating, are like little constellations or chemical formulas. I came to believe that these leaves contain the universe in them. 

After drawing and carving around 10 of these leaves, I realized that if I created an environment or a context around them they will help me create this series that talks about the invisible: the immigrants, the poor, the LGBTQ, the black community or anyone that does not fit the established standard of normality in their own settings. 

Legal or illegal, able or not able to make a comfortable living, minority groups are somehow invisible, a lesser human. Because we are different, many times people don’t know how to approach us and that gives rise  to micro aggressions, physical aggression and violent crimes. These experiences leave us thinking of our value to society and are a constant reminder of how undervalued  we are. 

I like the idea of using an overlooked element of the environment that contains such beauty and healing powers, that is fragile and yet strong as the minorities I am talking about: the invisible.  When we don’t take the time to look, these leaves become an invisible element of the environment and their beauty becomes unseen. 

Breathe in. Breathe Out
Linoleum print 24″ x 20″ each 2020

In “Essays on Invisibility”, I am trying to interpret the effort of minority groups to remain, to take on opportunities offered by their surroundings, to become visible and therefore included in society. It’s my goal to acknowledge the feelings of those who feel invisible, to uncover our pain through my prints, and offer it to the spectator in a way so that he/she/they can open their hearts to the possibilities which can range from listening to their ideas, to working together and  raising  each other into better positions that will allow for political, economic, and emotional stability in our communities.  

I want to cordially invite you to see these prints in person . All these prints will be available for view on January 8th, 2022 at Hatch Art Gallery in Hamtramck, MI. There will be a reception from 6-9 pm on that day, and then the gallery will be open Thursday through Friday from 6-9 and Saturdays from 12-6pm. 

Thank you to the Huron River Art Collective for giving me the opportunity to share my work with you, and for the labor spreading the love for the arts, for bringings artists and art lovers together, and for creating this sense of community beyond the physical world. 

Looks like 2021 has begun with a bang

How do we respond as artists to all this craziness swirling around us?

Artists are the ones who make interpretations of the world, although not in the same way as journalists. Some of us will provide calm beauty to help soothe the anxiety. Others will express the stresses, madness, loneliness, loss or divisions we are experiencing, giving some reassurance that we’re not alone. Still others will add to the clarion calls for a better world for ourselves and our children. All are much needed.

Maybe you’ve experienced a kind of artist’s block – with deadline after deadline of interesting and normally inspiring calls for art slipping by without applying, while your workspace gathers dust? You’re not alone in that, either.

Art by Our January Speaker, Barbara Melnik Carson

In the end, community is the most important resource for getting us through all this. Huron River Art Collective isn’t a huge, well resourced institution or a stone clad building with columns. It’s really about us, the artists supporting each other, talking together, learning, being surprised, laughing… This is the project we’re engaged in.

Empowering Women Artists  –  NEW! The first of our discussion series this Tuesday, Jan 12th.  An informal conversation will be based around “What Does Art Have to Do With the Coronavirus?

ArtShare – Let’s Talk Photography – Speaker: Joseph Lee. Whether you’re an amateur, professional, hobbyist, or enthusiast, all are welcome to join the conversation on all things photography. Wednesday January 13th, 06:00 PM – 7:00 PM. We also look forward to Joe Lee sharing more about his life and photography as our Speaker Series presenter in March! This event is for members only –

Speaker Series: Sculptor Barbara Melnik Carson. Monday, Jan 18th. Don’t miss out – this one is proving very popular!

Our big focus at the start of 2021 is to build out a calendar full of interesting, inspiring, informative and fun opportunities for our members and friends. If this sparks a thought, or if there’s an idea you’ve been mulling over for a while for a talk, a workshop, a critique group, a social event, a Grand Scheme – get in touch. Don’t worry if you’ve been avoiding Zoom, or you’re not sure who might be interested. Don’t worry that you’re too young/old/unskilled/unknown/short or any other reasons you might dream up not to send an email or pick up the phone!

Send us your questions, comments, thoughts about your art making experience in the last several months, your hopes or intentions for the future, etc. 

Share art, tips and friendship in our members’ Facebook group (join it if you haven’t yet!) Follow and invite your friends to like our public Facebook page .

Follow on  Instagram and tag your art posts @huronriverartcollective
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Sophie Grillet, Communications Chair | sophiegrillet at gmail

What a lovely gesture to kick off the winter season!

Since 2017 Becki Spangler’s ArtBreak Studio program at the Delonis Center homeless shelter has conducted art classes for the residents. During the holidays one of our members, Mary Thiefels along with her team from TreeTown Murals, have helped paint the inside windows at the shelter along with the residents. The residents always look forward to this event, and their creations have been both beautiful and amazing. As that was not possible this year due to COVID, Mary and TreeTown Murals generously offered to go ahead and continue the tradition to add some cheer for some folks who need it most. Indeed, this kindness is in the true spirit of the season – thanks Mary and TreeTown Murals!!

Delonis Center

A number of our members have been volunteering, as part of our Community Engagement program, in the ArtBreak Studio program on the planning team, as teachers, and assistants. We look forward to the program starting up again when it is safe to do so. See the ArtBreak Studio website for more information.

And a shout out to the rest of our members who volunteer!