Taína Asili y La Banda Rebelde will perform at the opening of “Autohistoria,” an exhibition of painting, photography and text by two artists who have received funding from The Leeway Foundation—Marta Sánchez and Yaba Amgborale Blay—at Taller Puertorriqueño. The exhibition will kick off with a reception on Saturday October 22, 2011, at 7:00pm. “Autohistoria” will run through November 21, 2011. Taller Puertorriqueño is located at 2557 North 5th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Taína Asili hails from Philadelphia, PA and Albany, NY where she has worked as a musician, poet, educator and community organizer for over 10 years. Puerto Rican vocalist Asili carries on the tradition of her ancestors, fusing past and present struggles into one soulful and defiant voice. Her newest artistic work is with la Banda Rebelde (the Rebel Band), a six piece international ensemble based in Albany, NY. This dynamic force brings love, resistance, and ancestral remembrance to venues, festivals, conferences and political events across the globe. Powerful vocals laid over an energetic fusion of Afro-Caribbean, reggae, rock, and hip hop sounds, the band’s eclectic style represents the diversity of its members, who have origins in Puerto Rico, Sicily, Greece, Spain, Brazil and Ghana. Asili received the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award in 2005, given each year to a select few of women artists who profoundly use their work towards social change. She also began her work as a poetry workshop facilitator at Taller Puertorriqueño. She is excited to return to Philadelphia for this powerful collaborative event.
Yaba Amgborale Blay will produce (1)ne Drop, a self-published creative presentation of photographs, personal narratives, and essays exploring the varied faces of Blackness—from the passé blanc Creole from New Orleans to the Puerto Rican Boricua of North Philadelphia. Her hope is that in visually displaying images of a wide variety of people who self-identify as ‘Black’, the book will challenge narrow, yet popular notions of what Black is and/or what Black looks like, moving away from definitions based on visual accessibility.
Marta Sánchez is a visual artist and folklorist who is inspired to keep Mexican art forms alive and socially relevant, and to use her art to facilitate reflection on social issues. Her primary mediums are oil paint and printmaking. She often works within the retablo format, a Mexican traditional process incorporating narrative paintings on tin, integrating poetry or other text into her pieces. Her art reveals experiences shared by many Chicanos—displacement in a land where their ancestors lived for centuries; spirituality that is rooted in Christianity and indigenous traditions; and experiences of birth, work, family, love, and death. Her materials include scrap metal, tinplate, wood, and even eggshells, reflecting the ingenuity of the Chicano/a artist who needs to make art despite socioeconomic barriers.
For more information, see http://leeway.org/news-and-events.html?action=NewsDetail&newstype=ANNOUNCEMENTS&NewsID=166 and http://www.tainaasili.com/