Casa de Arte
Mara Odette Guerrero-Williams and Rick Williams in front of their gallery.
Image by mreza
Husband and wife Rick Williams, a lawyer, filmmaker, veteran, and former veteran’s law judge and Mara Odette Guerrero-Williams, a Mexican-born artist and gallerist, are spearheading a multicultural and artistic effort here in Buffalo.
After living in Washington D.C. for many years, they returned to Rick’s hometown, and came up with the idea to promote a multi-pronged organization, based in Buffalo, that would encompass both Buffalo, and the town of Cuernavaca, in the Mexican state of Morelos.
They went so far as to form a partnership with the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Guerrero’s alma mater; soon thereafter, the gallery known as Casa de Arte Buffalo-Cuernavaca was born. The gallery opened this past summer; its third show closed last week.
The Asociación Cultural Buffalo Cuernavaca, as the umbrella group is calling itself, has also initiated a dialogue with several institutions in Buffalo, include the University at Buffalo and the Latin American Institute.
The mission of the group and the gallery is to begin a cultural exchange program, to share intellectual information and the creative spirit.
Local and visiting artists and authors are scheduled to present programming that addresses historical, political, legal, economic, social, and artistic issues relating to both communities—Buffalo and Cuernavaca. Through artists’ work, the expectation is that people from the two communities with have a better understanding of each other’s culture.
“Cuernavaca is a charming city, overflowing with history and art,” said Guerrero-Williams. “Diego Rivera’s incredible murals are there, in the Palacio de Cortes, and there is also the 16th century cathedral, an ancient pyramid and the beautiful gardens of Borda.”
Another angle to look at the project, they say, is to note that both Buffalo and Cuernavaca are frequently misrepresented to and by the outside world, and that they share a reliance on tourism, and reputations as cities of “good neighbors.”
“It is very exciting that people are starting to come to the gallery. They are surprised about the arts from Mexico,” added Guerrero-Williams. “We want them to come and acquire art from Mexico—as far as I know, there aren’t any other galleries in the area with Mexican art. Hand-in-hand with the cultural exchange, we are also a commercial gallery.”
Casa de Arte’s upcoming events include:
Saturday 10/15, 6p.m.
"From Body to Voice and Back: 20th Century Mexican Theatre,” presented by Margarita Vargas, Professor of Romance Languages and Literature, University at Buffalo. In conjunction with the Feminist Research Alliance, UB.
Friday 10/21, 6-9p.m.
"From Cuernavaca to Buffalo with Love," a selection of paintings, sculptures, masks, photographs and films from Mexico. Opening reception. Show runs through 11/3.
Wednesday 11/2, 6-9p.m.
“El Dia de los Muertos” Mara Odette Guerrero will discuss the meaning of the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico. Reception to follow.
Wednesday, 11/9, 6p.m.
“Veterans Benefits,” talk and q&a presented by Rick Williams, Vietnam veteran and former judge with the Board of Veterans Appeals.
141 Elmwood Ave., 240-9248