by Andrew Crisp
After local artist Allison Corona's parents moved back to Mexico, she felt lost.
"Her family migrated back to the state and she felt suddenly alone," said Valerie Mejer with the Mexican Consulate in Boise.
So Corona began frequenting Mexican markets around the Treasure Valley, like Campos Market on Orchard Street, that sell Jarritos sodas or Marinela cookies. Corona used photography to rediscover her culture.
"She found in these little cantitas her universe created again," Mejer said.
Corona is part of a group of artists called Boisicans, which combines "Boiseans" and "Mexicans." On April 27, she will debut her cantitas exhibition alongside work by Luz Camarena, Bobby Gaytan and Alma Gomez at the Mexican Consulate, 720 E. Park Blvd., Suite 260.
The exhibition is part of a larger event called the Latin American Arts Festival. From Saturday, April 21-Monday, April 30, Hispanic arts will take center stage in Boise. Organized by the Mexican Consulate, the Idaho Humanities Council and Boise State, the festival will spring up in venues across Boise State and downtown.
"We try to put together, really, a sample of the best we have in Hispanic culture," said Mejer. "A big sample of this is culture from Mexico."
But the festival will include Cuban and other Latin American influences as well. For example, on Monday, April 23, Liliana Lieberman's documentary Visa al Paraiso will screen at the Boise State Special Events Center at 7 p.m.; on Tuesday, April 24, novelist Martin Solares will read from The Black Minutes—which has been published in Spanish, English and German and was reviewed by The New York Times—at the Boise State Barnwell Room at 7 p.m.; and on Sunday, April 30, Alejandro Escuer performs Flute Concert at the Egyptian Theatre at 7 p.m.
This year, photographer Alejandra Regalado joins the festivities as a special artist in residence. She's continuing a series she began in New York City, where she photographed 100 Mexican women, each with an object they immigrated to the United States with. Thirty-five Hispanic Idahoans have agreed to do the same.
"It's a diversity of women from indigenous to scholars," said Mejer. "We're bringing a fragment of the exhibition in New York, and at the same time, we're starting the project. We think it's going to be very well-rounded."
For a full schedule of events, visit the festival's Facebook event page.