SAPIYKUNAPAQ: My Roots, Mis Raíces exhibition will be Thursday at ArtsBuild, 301 E 11th St., from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The exhibition portrays artist Alex Paul Loza’s Peruvian heritage, from ancient indigenous folktales to the encounter between the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors. It also highlights the Peruvian indigenous culture, African and European cultural influence.
Loza said, “The inspiration behind these paintings is a reconnection with my Peruvian roots and a response to young U.S. born Latinos who experience a disconnection with their Latino heritage. I can relate as I too experienced this disconnection during my adolescence. Only by connecting to our roots, we will understand who we are and at the same time construct a better appreciation for other cultures and opinions.”
Rodney Van Valkenburg, the director of grants and initiatives at ArtsBuild, said, "I appreciate the multi-layered impact of the 'Embracing Your Raices' series. The series celebrates the significant work of a local artist and explores historical and cultural influences within his personal story. It is a great example of an arts integrated project that blends all of these aspects into a cohesive, unified series.
"The Equity in the Arts grant program was designed to shine a bright light on the impressive talent among local African American and Latino artists. This project by artist Alex Paul Loza is an outstanding example that we are meeting the program's goals."
Mr. Loza’s exhibition was first displayed at John C. Williams Art Gallery on Southern Adventist University campus in Collegedale. He hopes that after attending this exhibition, "you take the opportunity to discover or rediscover your roots, bond with peoples of diverse cultures and celebrate each other’s similarities and differences."
Alex Paul Loza is a visual artist based in Chattanooga with his heart for social advocacy and a deep appreciation of figurative narrative art. He received his BFA from the American Academy of Art in Chicago (2001). With more than 15 years of experience, he has been commissioned to paint portraits for private collectors throughout North and Latin America. He has led, created and collaborated with national muralists in several public art projects in Chicago and Chattanooga. Learn more at alexpaulloza.com.