W2 Community Arts and Media Centre in downtown Vancouver will be hosting a leading American artist at its letterpress studio this week.
Favianna Rodriguez is a political artist, entrepreneur and activist based in Oakland.
“Art was one of the few ways I could have a voice,” said Rodriguez, at the opening of an exhibition of her work at Rhizome Café on West Broadway (pictured at right). “Our stories have the ability to touch other people…because they also happen in other contexts.”
She said prints and posters can be part of a transformative process for people. Her work tackles a range of issues such as globalization, the environment, anti-racism, food security and affordable housing.
She co-founded the EastSide Arts Alliance and Cultural Centre in 2001. She also helped established the Taller Tupac Amaru print studio to promote the historical practice of socially-engaged printmaking in 2003. Utne magazine named her one of 50 leading visionaries who are changing the world in 2008.
This year, Rodriguez co-founded Presente.org, a U.S.-based, national organization dedicated to strengthening the political voice of Latinos via the internet.
“The internet is a powerful tool for connecting activists,” she said, adding it’s a great way to get their content out there. She spends a lot her time on community organizing and wants to see Latinos take advantage of the new digital media.
Rodriguez will speak about “Communication for Liberation” at 5 p.m. on Nov. 7 during Media Democracy Day at the Central Library in Vancouver.
She will be the artist-in-residence at the W2 Perel Gallery, 112 West Hastings Street, Nov. 9-13, where she will be making prints every day from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Rodriguez will also be conducting workshops and talks. An exhibition of her work will open there on Nov. 14.