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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

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Richland Chronicle 12/05/23
Richland Chronicle 12/05/23

Professor opens solo exhibition at local Latino Cultural Center

Richland art professor Marián Ichaso de Lefeld critiques one of her student’s work during class.

Staff Photo Shannon Adams

Editor-in-Chief Barbara Gandica Martinez

After two years of hard work, Richland’s art Professor Marián Ichaso de Lefeld is opening a local exhibition at the Latino Cultural Center. Her exhibition Tierra de Gracia explores the history of Venezuela, her home country. It will be open to the public through Feb. 26, 2022 at the Latino Cultural Center in Downtown Dallas.

“Every single time I had free time, [it]was spent in the workshop painting,” said Ichaso de Lefeld. The exhibition was delayed by a year, as part of the Latino Cultural Center response to the pandemic.

“I wanted to present on the Latino Cultural Center the point of view of Venezuela” said Ichaso de Lefeld. She said Latin American countries that are closer to the U.S. are usually represented more.

“It is natural, perfectly natural but our Venezuelan immigrant population is growing more every single day.”

Through a deconstructive style, she renders memories of her country, which transformed from an advanced modern nation to its current “dilapidated” state.

“How does a country that was so advanced, which so much progress, can be so dilapidated today?”  Ichaso de Lefeld said. “The system that is currently present in Venezuela, didn’t come out of nowhere. That has an origin and the only way to understand it is by reading a bit of history, studying it.”

Ichaso de Lefeld said she wants to share the origins of the current Venezuelan crisis through the Latino Cultural Center as a platform. “Not just the crisis because it is really important to see the area of the modernity and we were a great nation.”

While working on the exhibition and through her career, Ichaso de Lefeld has focused on Venezuela. She grew up in Lencheria, a town in the state of Anzoátegui but later moved to the capital of Caracas. The capital became the main inspiration and model of her painting in the Tierra de Gracia.

Ichaso de Lefeld focuses on modernity to share the story of her family in Venezuela. Her father and paternal grandparents immigrated to Venezuela from Spain.

“In the ‘50s after a Civil War in Spain, the Second War World, they arrived to work like burros like now Venezuelans arrive to this country,” said Ichaso de Lefeld. “In a way I want to show what my dad lived in the [1950’s], He was a little kid of 12 years old. What he lived? The modernity.”

As part of her research she reconnected with the history of her country, and inspired paintings such as “Barroso II” in the oil boom in Venezuela during the 20th century. The painting makes reference to the 1922 explosion of the oil well Barroso II in El Rosa sector in the Zulia state. The event kick-started an oil boom in the country which lead to advancements in infrastructure and technology.

“Barroso II,” one of Marian Ichaso de Lefeld’s paintings on display at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas.

“It completely changed the direction where the country was headed, from agricultural country its economy was based in the production of coffee and cacao [to an economy based in oil].”

The exhibition also showcases the fall of modernity in Venezuela. In her painting “Pirámide Invertida,” which translates to “Inverted Pyramid,” Ichaso de Lefeld paints an architectural project by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. “La pirámide invertida” (the inverted pyramid) is really important to me since that is a project that carried out.” The architect is best known for his work designing the Brazilian capital of Brazilia. The painting stands out within the collection as its limited color palette differs from most of the exhibition to represent the fall of modernity

For me it was really important to connect with the history of my country. It is really important to know where one is from,” Ichaso de Lefeld said.

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