New GO-Art! exhibit aimed at helping expose Peruvian children to art

Jun 16, 2018

Gregory Hallock, executive director of the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council, was expecting 30, maybe 35 pieces of art to arrive from Peru for a new exhibit.

When the package came, he opened it and discovered more than twice that many, 73 in all.

Wednesday, those pieces, matted by volunteers, hung in the Batavia Rotary Club Room Gallery, covering two huge sections of walls.

Hallock couldn’t be more thrilled with the art, painted by children of Otuzco, Cajamarca, Peru.

“It’s a great story,” Hallock said. “The children have no opportunity to learn art, whatsoever. They don’t teach it in schools, because they can’t afford the supplies.”

That’s where artist Daniel Cotrina Rowe stepped in. He is a native of Cajamarca and, with friends, opened a studio called Archikwayra.

The studio teaches art to the children, for free.

Hallock heard about the program through Veronica Collantes Rebert, whose daughter and Hallock’s were in dance together.

“She said ‘I have an exhibit you should do,’” Hallock said. “Her friends are art teachers in Peru.”

Hallock immediately agreed and the exhibit, “Peru Children by Daniel Cotrina Rowe,” opened Thursday at the gallery.

The exhibit will coincide with another, Ty’s Painted Poles by Ty Dickey. Dickey is an African-American artist from Detroit who paints fabric poles with mostly African symbolism.

“He’s very excited to show here,” Hallock said. “His work has been displayed all over, including the Netherlands and Spain.”

It is the Peru childrens’ exhibit that will be the highlight of the Rotary gallery.

“They realize the value of art so they had the kids make all these,” Hallock said. “I am hoping people purchase them.”All the proceeds from the sales will be sent to the Peru art center to help pay for supplies.

Hallock recalled the story of Alex Segovia of El Salvador. who came to this country with no art education at all.

“He didn’t have art,” Hallock said. “There was no art and he came here and was exposed to art and now creates some amazing pieces.”

Segovia is a GO Art! member now, Hallock said.

He hopes to help further expose the children of Peru to art.

That, he said, is what Rowe is doing.

Rowe has his own art in the gallery, on the opposite wall from the childrens’ art.

Rowe studied at the Fine Arts School of Mario Urteaga and his work is included in the Latin American Artists Registry of the Latin American Museum of Long Beach.

His pieces focus on folklore from his region, with various depictions of animals and humans, colorful and, at times, in risque’, Kama Sutra-like positions.

For Hallock, this is another chance to feature work from artists living outside Genesee County.

“We want to book more outside artists,” he said. “We have the extra space with the Rotary gallery and it exposes us to more art.”

And in this case, will serve a dual purpose with the sale of the childrens’ works.

He expects the pieces to be $25 each. Rowe’s work also will be for sale for $120 each.

“We want people to grasp what we are doing,” Hallock said. “We’re giving kids access to art that don’t have that access. It’s folklore. It’s colorful.”

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A reception for both Ty Dickey’s art and the Peru exhibit will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. The bar will be open. The reception begins at the end of the START-UP Genesee Think and Drink event tour of downtown. The tour ends at GO ART!.

By Scott Desmit, Batavia Daily News