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¡Juntos! (Together)

Nathalie Bermudez
Amelia Casiano
J. Leigh Garcia
Camilo Gonzalez Barragan
Hugo Ivan Juarez (Alatorre)
Kenron Morgan, Jr
and Marilyn Oliveras de Ortiz

Jul 7, 2023-Jan 7, 2024

¡Juntos! (Together) installation at moCa Cleveland, 2023. Photo: Jacob Koestler.

Presented in partnership w/ Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center and moCa Cleveland


From Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center:

¡Juntos! (Together): A group of persons joined for a common purpose.


¡Juntos! (Together) tells the extraordinary tale of a diverse group of Cleveland Latino artists who, though strangers, embark on an exceptional journey of artistic creation for this exhibition. United by a common purpose, these individuals transcend their distinct backgrounds and unique artistic styles to collaboratively craft captivating pieces. In the vibrant tapestry of their shared Latino heritage and unwavering passion, cultural bonds form, celebrating the richness and diversity of Latino artistry and history. Through their remarkable creations, they intimately express stories of their family history and personal artistic journeys.


With support from moCa staff, this cohort receives invaluable mentorship from two esteemed artists, Bruno Casiano and Ariel Vergez. These established artists and industry professionals play a pivotal role in nurturing and empowering the emerging talents, offering guidance, advice, and encouragement. Their mentorship enriches the artists' creative development, fostering an environment where artistic expression flourishes.


As the residency progresses, these artists form a tightly-knit familia, sharing their unique perspectives, techniques, and experiences with one another. Every brushstroke and vibrant hue, every ounce of glue applied to their creations reflects not only their individual talents but also the profound collective spirit that emerges when Latino artists come together. Through the power of unity and collaboration, the Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center proudly presents ¡Juntos!, an exhibition that showcases the incredible artistry and unyielding spirit of these extraordinary artists.



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About the Artists

Nathalie Bermudez

Nathalie Bermudez

Nathalie Bermudez (she/her) is a Colombian painter, digital artist, muralist, and actor who came to the United States in 2015 to pursue her career as an artist. She began painting after moving to the U.S. as a way to remain connected to her culture. Through her work, Bermudez shares her personal story and perspective of the world around us. Bermudez has exhibited work and contributed to numerous large-scale projects throughout Cleveland and has collaborated with global brands including Samsung Mobile USA and Shein. In 2022, she worked alongside Alicia Vasquez  to create a mural in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square. In addition to her painting practice, Bermudez is an actor. She has performed with Teatro Publico de Cleveland and from 2018-2021, was a part of the LatinUS Theater Company. She received her Associate of Arts from Cuyahoga Community College and is currently studying visual art and theater at Cleveland State University.


Amelia Casiano

Amelia Casiano

Amelia Casiano (she/her) is a mixed media artist from the Near West side of Cleveland, OH. Formally trained as a graphic designer, she layers techniques she learned as a student at Baldwin Wallace University into her paintings and collages. Employing vibrant colors and abstract forms, Casiano expresses her personal history as a Latina growing up in America, often incorporating found objects into her work as a method of sharing her Puerto Rican heritage. She uses her own story as a jumping off point that extends outwards to highlight the interconnectedness of different cultures within her community. Casiano draws inspiration from music, fashion, and her peers to explore womanhood, emotional connectivity, and her relationship to the world around us.


J. Leigh Garcia

J. Leigh Garcia

J. Leigh Garcia (she/her) is an artist born and raised in Dallas, TX. Following the roots of her biracial ancestry, Garcia explores the complex relationship between Texans and Mexicans—particularly, the racialization and displacement of unauthorized Latinx immigrants. Using printmaking, papermaking, and sculpture, Garcia explores her familial history while highlighting aspects of racial and generational privilege/oppression. Garcia received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BFA from the University of North Texas. Her work is included in over 15 permanent collections including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; and Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX. Garcia currently lives in Kent, OH where she is an Assistant Professor and Co-Area Head of Print Media and Photography at Kent State University.


Camilo Gonzalez Barragan

Camilo Gonzalez Barragan

Camilo Gonzalez Barragan (he/him) is an artist from Bogotá, Colombia, where he studied film and television production at the UNITEC University of Colombia. He uses analog photography to develop his ideas and share his stories while simultaneously creating longform audiovisual projects. Gonzalez Barragan draws inspiration from film, music, and painting, using elements from these media to create work rooted in his personal experiences and dreams. Themes explored in his work include: melancholy, nostalgia, freedom, silence, loneliness, and forgetfulness. Gonzalez Barragan’s work has been published in magazines including The Paradox Magazine and Classics Magazine, and in exhibitions at Hardy & Nance Studio and the Cleveland Print Room. He currently lives and works in Cleveland, OH, where he has found inspiration in the magic of its forests, streets, and people.


Hugo Ivan Juarez (Alatorre)

Hugo Ivan Juarez (Alatorre)

Hugo Ivan Juarez (Alatorre) (he/him) was born and raised in his beloved Dallas, TX. He grew up with children of millionaires but mostly identifies with immigrant culture and brownness. While in high school, art class became his sanctuary and upon graduating, he created a clothing line to further harness his creative energy. These initial interests led him to study graphic design and art education, but he eventually discovered the wonderful world of printmaking. Printmaking became a vehicle for his education and in 2022, he began his academic career as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Akron. Juarez believes that artists are the most powerful people in the world and his practice consists of making friends, supporting other artists, and searching for teachers. His work manifests itself through conversation, infiltration, and teaching. Materially, he works with anything he can get his hands on.


Kenron Morgan, Jr.

Kenron Morgan, Jr.

Kenron Morgan Jr, Founder of Art School Reject Club, is an award winning multi-media artist, based in Cleveland, OH. As the name describes, Kenron is a self taught artist. His works show a variety of characters detailing a self-expressive journey through culture, sexuality, and self. Morgan Jr. transports audiences to a world of his own creation, displaying alternate realities that suggest a reflection of something familiar. The artist’s work has been included in RTA public transportation’s Dressing the Part, Akron Hospital’s Show Me Love, and most recently, Summit Art Space’s The Twins. Morgan Jr. has received awards for his work including Dressing the Part and High & Lows. He has also had the opportunity to give back to his community raising funds for creative youth development.


Marilyn Oliveras de Orti

Marilyn Oliveras de Ortiz

Marilyn Oliveras de Ortiz (she/her) is a poet and mixed media artist, first generation born in Cleveland Ohio of Puerto Rican heritage. Her creative interests began at an early age when the women in her family gathered around the table as makers and storytellers. They made paper flowers, dolls, Capias, and other party favors for social events while sharing stories in the oral traditions of Puerto Rico. These family gatherings inspired cultural teachings and sparked Oliveras de Ortiz’s imagination in both the literary and visual arts. Her lifelong profession working in the affordable housing industry in urban communities further inspired her to write and create art that reflected and advocated for real life social issues of poverty, homelessness, domestic violence and the human instinct of survival. As one of the first arts & crafts instructors at Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center, she facilitated workshops creating Vejigante Masks made of paper mâché and sharing about their historical significance during island festivals, she realized a calling for cultural preservation. Oliveras de Ortiz continues to explore methods in mask-making, using mediums including polymer clays and walnut shells. In her expansive practice, she uses photography, painting, jewelry-making, and upcycling techniques, and creates public installations for Dia de Muertos celebrations.




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