On November 1st, Cruces Creatives showcased a new art gallery and an open-mic night for the public. The art exhibition, “The Distance Was Very Frightening” by artist Mónica Martínez-Díaz, was a beautiful and contemplative work on love, and it was an honor to be one of the first to view it. In addition to the main art exhibit, this Art Ramble also featured a holiday tree, decorated with miniature paintings and hand-made ornaments that Cruces Creatives put up for auction to raise funds. Combined with the fantastic music from the open-mic, November’s Art Ramble was fantastic.
“The Distance Was Very Frightening,” incorporating captioned photographs and a pink-and-red color scheme, was dedicated to the duality of love and how people tend to express it. This was explained by Martínez-Díaz when I had the brief pleasure of talking about the exhibit with her during the event. Martínez-Díaz expressed that the collection was inspired by an observation of how the vocabularies for love, hate, and obsession tend to be very similar, to the point of being near-interchangeable, and so the artist engaged in a study of how phrases could be switched around (for example: “This romance feels like sadness / this sadness feels like romance”) to mean something different despite using the same words. The second set, pictures of an arm in different positions, contributed to this notion in a more abstract way that is better left to the viewer to decide. Using the colors of pink and red on the walls and on the picture frames, the exhibit takes advantage of the viewer’s associations around Valentine’s Day to get them thinking about romance as they look at the art.
“Every explicit duality is an implicit unity.”
The holiday tree was also a thing of beauty, decorated with miniature paintings in wooden frames and stuffed hearts decorated with beads. Each ornament was hand-crafted by a volunteer at Cruces Creatives, making the holiday tree near priceless when one considers the love and time poured into it. Bids, starting at $200, came in to buy the tree for one’s own home, a treasure that will grace the lucky buyer’s house for years to come. Even for those not interested in a holiday tree, there were a few jokes and remarks that each ornament could make a gift to friends and family, accomplishing all shopping in one fell swoop. No matter what the winner of the tree does with it, it was certainly gorgeous to look at as it stood, glittering, in Cruces Creatives’ lobby.
The music, of course, was amazing as it always is when we gather together at the Cruces Creatives stage, featuring folk songs, country songs, and a few more modern songs at the very end of the night from various singers. After the deep-contemplation and appreciation brought on by Martínez-Díaz’s exhibition, it was relaxing to be able to sit and listen to songs sung from the heart, both traditional songs and original pieces, whether I was in front of the stage or in the lobby talking to other attendees.
Cruces Creatives has again kept its record of being able to create a homey environment while showing off various kinds of art. I look forward to next month’s Art Ramble when the feelings of the holidays have really begun to settle in, and when, for those who celebrate it, the need for a holiday tree no longer seems so far off (at least, of course, for the few of us who have not started to celebrate since the end of October 31st).