10/15/2017 1 Comment
Presented by the chaskis of the Peace and Dignity Journey
Vanessa Quezada, Adi Ejekayani Suarez Reyes, and Iriany Itzel Lopez-Hernandez . Curated by Rebel Mariposa.
Re~membering Sacred Offerings for Abya Yala (the Americas) or Recordando ofrendas sagradas para Abya Yala is an exhibition of photographs documenting a 7-month ceremonial run that spans the length of the Americas and surveys three runners (chaskis) on The Peace and Dignity Journey (PDJ) in 2016 - native San Antonio-born Dr. Vanessa Quezada, Iriany Itzel Lopez-Hernandez and Adi Ejekayani Suarez Reyes and is curated by Rebel Mariposa. Starting in 1992, PDJ is a prayer run that occurs every four years and spans over 14,000 miles; from Alaska and from Argentina, to the Bridge of the Americas in Panama, and these runners are guided by sacred staffs entrusted to them by First Nations. In this exhibition; Quezada, Lopez-Hernandez and Suarez Reyes collaborate with Fuerza Unida to create tela (fabric) frames, reminding us that one thread alone is weak, but the weave of our community gives the strength of resiliency in difficult times; calling for us to re~member who we are and how to take better care of the land and each other.
Join us for Community Storytelling and Closing Reception
Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 7p-9p at AP Art Lab, 1906 S. Flores.
What should visitors expect to see inside the gallery?
Quezada: Reflections of ourselves, our families and our cultures. Photos will be in frames of telas or tejidos that are handmade from different regions where the journey prayed. Expect to see other people with their hearts open and who are looking for community just like you. Experience a weaving of time that demonstrates the strength of our native traditions. A thread, on its own is weak, but as a weave shows us the strength of the community when we feed our relationships.
What was your role in the 2016 Peace and Dignity Run?
Quezada: This show is an offering to my home community in San Antonio to share all the beautiful things I was able to witness thanks to their unwavering prayer and support of my community. It is only through their support that I have been able to organize the journey from Alaska to Panama.
What is the significance of highlighting the journey of
Iriany Itzel Lopez-Hernandez and Adi Ejekayani Suarez Reyes and yourself?
Quezada: All of us have a journey. The importance is not who is doing it, the important part is how it's ONLY possible in commUNITY. We didn't make it a "Peace and Dignity Journey" gallery because the journey is a spiritual movement. This "art gallery" is an interactive community offering to give people a reflection of themselves and regain a sense of dignity for the different truths that exist to generate recognition and respect for the many worlds that exist with us today that are calling us to take responsibility for each other and the earth.
As a Pharmacist, how did that knowledge inform and guide you on the Peace and Dignity Journey?
Quezada: My relationship to knowledge is complex. In dominant society knowledge is perversely used to sever relationships of peoples and the land to be used for control and manipulation. Unfortunately, we see the same human patterns with spiritual knowledge as well. The Journey has proven to be the most powerful education I have ever received: How to Love More.
As a documentation of the prayer run, do you consider yourself a photographer,
documentarian, artist? Or, from what standpoint do you present this to your audience?
Quezada: Chaski. Chaskis were the messengers of the Incan Empire. The staffs entrusted to us remind us we are only a small part of this prayer. The staffs carry the medicine and do all the work. We are responsible to share the messages passed to us and share them respectfully.
How can people contribute or participate in The Peace and Dignity Journey?
Quezada: Check out www.txpeaceanddignity.com for updated events. Also thanks to our fiscal sponsor, the Society of Native Nations PDJ accepts tax deductible monetary donations to help this prayer move too!
Do you have any hobbies?
Quezada: I had to look up with word hobby - "leisure time activities". Right now I have the privilege to not have a "job" that would divide my time between leisure and/or work so I do things I like to do: cultivate relationships - to the land, going on hikes, swims, talking to the birds and to people through body work, good conversations and organizing community shares/builds like this one.
Do you have any advice for younger generations on how to become better citizens on Earth?
Quezada: Learn your family history. Reflecting on these patterns and tendencies allow us to recognize them, respect them and take responsibility for who we are and use our power for good to continue becoming who we want to be.
Thanks again for taking the time to provide insight into what this space represents and we thank you for all the work you are doing with and for the community, Vanessa, as well as everyone within the PDJ family. Thank you.
Please join us on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 from 7p-9p for Community Storytelling and Closing Reception at AP Art Lab.
Re~membering Sacred Offerings for Abya Yala (the Americas) is supported by Lady Base Gallery, an artist-run community initiative for women and lgbtq artists in San Antonio, Texas. While working to exhibit emerging to mid-career artists; Lady Base Gallery also builds partnerships with local galleries such as AP Art Lab run by Amanda Poplawsky; a space that supports “civic, social, and community engagement through art”, to provide gallery space for professional development.