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On Wednesday, June 16 at 5:30 pm, the artists and Montalvo Arts Center will celebrate the opening of Creando Espacio, a new installation on Montalvo’s grounds, This participatory art work is the creation of Bay Area artist Hector Dionicio Mendoza, who collaborated with Amalia Mesa-Bains, Viviana Paredes, and Steve White, and was supported in part by a grant from the Creative Work Fund.

As a child, Mendoza grew up with a great appreciation for the importance of faith, ritual, and alternative healing traditions as practiced by his grandfather, a fifth-generation curandero (shaman). In Mexico as well as Central and South America, the curandera/o plays an important role to many people embarking on the long and challenging journey to El Norte/The North (the United States), providing blessings and protection before they depart in search of a better way of life. Creando Espacio draws on Mendoza’s childhood memories, creating an outdoor dwelling that modernizes his grandfather’s healing space in Mexico.

Creando Espacio will be on view on the grounds from June 16–November 14. With multiple activations planned over the course of the summer, this work will welcome all and serve as a participatory and meditative space for community members to reflect on their own memories and experiences of migration, connection, placemaking, and family rituals.

The June 16 opening is free, but guests should make reservations: RSVP >>.

Photo credit: Frances Phillips