The Latin American and Latino Studies program will host “Roots in the South / Raíces en el Sur,” a panel discussion composed of Latinx creatives with roots in Arkansas. Moderated by Endowed Associate Professor of Graphic Design Gaby Hernández, the panel will take place at 6 pm on March 31, 2022, in the Multicultural Center classroom on the fourth floor of the Union. Following the discussion, Hernández will open the floor to questions from the audience.
The featured panelists are poet Noelia Cerna, muralist/visual artist/designer José Hernández, multidisciplinary visual artist Alan Rodríguez and singer-songwriter Coco Vásquez.
Cerna is a Costa Rican poet based in Northwest Arkansas. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 7 and received a Bachelor’s degree in English from Westminster College in Missouri. Her writing by her has been published in Terse Journal, The North Meridian Review, the Plants and Poetry Journal and elsewhere. Cerna is a reader and poetry feedback editor for Tinderbox Poetry Journal, an assistant poetry editor for Borderlands Texas Poetry Review, an associate editor for Sibling Rivalry Press, an editor for Nomadic Press, a poetry genre editor for Patchwork Lit Mag, a writing mentor for Pen America’s Prison Writing Mentorship Program and a recent recipient of the PEN America L’Engle-Rahman Prize for Mentorship.
Hernández is a muralist and graffiti artist who believes art is a responsibility, not a privilege, and that public art is the reflection of community, history and beliefs. His aim of him is to spark communication through the manipulation of color, perspective, form and imagination. His work by him under the tag name, X3mex, can be spotted across Arkansas, including the social justice-minded murals belonging to the 7th Street Mural Project in Little Rock.
Rodríguez is a Mexican-American multidisciplinary visual artist. He participates in community engagement activations and has assisted in teaching art to youth in the juvenile court system. Rodríguez has mural installations on exhibit throughout the United States.
Known for her music, alt-R&B artist Pura Coco (née Coco Vásquez) blends her Salvadoran roots and Southern upbringing into a unique and authentic style to convey a multitude of emotions. Well-versed in a multitude of artforms, this passionate young writer and vocalist continues working on her craft de ella, allowing her interests and passions de ella to build her identity de ella.
More about the Latin American and Latino Studies program: LALS is an interdisciplinary area and ethnic studies program in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. The LALS program provides in-depth exposure to the key geographic regions, historical trajectories, social modes, languages, and political, economic, and cultural systems of Latin America and the Latinx US LALS draws primarily on courses from History and Political Science, Anthropology, Art History, Sociology, English, Economics, Music, and Language, Literature and Culture.