Publications and Reviews

 
 

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Neo-Latino Visual Artistic Creativity Publication New Jersey City University

Posted on June 24, 2011 

Neo-Latino Visual Artistic Creativity Publication New Jersey City University, Volume 13, #2, Spring 2005 by Jose Rodeiro, Art Professor

Bautista: If I lived in Colombia, then I would address political and social issues there. But I live in New Jersey; therefore, my concerns are for Latinas/os that are struggling for acceptance, approval or basic issues in USA. I prefer working with human figures. My art is currently moving from figurative -abstraction toward naturalistic representation” As she spoke I thought of her recent abstract images, particularly her triangular piece Mujer # 1(2003, 14″ x 6″ stoneware) with its deep Andean Amerindian significance. My works is primarily figurative, depicting human bodies. After years of abstract 3-D configurations, my new art will concern itself with creative approaches that are naturalistic, mimetic, and direct,…for more see: http://neolatinovisualarts.weebly.com/7.html » ».

 https://reportehispano.com/category/locales/ nueva-jersey/)

Una artista en medio de la tormenta

Reporte Hispano newspaper

Publication: Mayo 19, 2018

Cuando la tormenta Sandy dejó miles de casas y árboles destrozados en las costas de Nueva Jersey la escultora Olga Mercedes Bautista encontró una forma de convertir ese desastre en una advertencia contra la contaminación ambiental. Sandy le destruyó parte de su casa lo que le produjo una sensación de impotencia que se propuso rebatir. Y lo hizo con la materia prima de los sueños: el arte. Se dedicó a juntar ramas y troncos de árboles caídos durante la tormenta de aquel 18 de octubre del 2012 y con ellos tejió algunas veces y talló otras una representación artística que plasmó en la instalación “After Sandy” Allí las ramas y árboles muertos se transforman y cobran vida: se presentan como testigos sufrientes de un desastre. Todo eso lo convierte en una mirada alerta sobre los estragos de la contaminación ambiental, que se expresó en la fuerza de Sandy, debida, en buena parte, según los especialistas, al calentamiento global. “Intento generar apreciación y respeto por el balance de la naturaleza” anota Olga. “El uso de materiales encontrados después de Sandy intentan crear una nueva percepción visual al tornar esos elementos en nuevas formas” El arte ambiental que Olga representa trabaja otras piezas: ha recogido plásticos usados en diferentes formas, algunos encontrados a las orillas del mar, que al ser expuestos en una galería y sacados de su contexto informan de una denuncia contra el daño irreversible que estos materiales, que son casi imposible reciclarse o eliminarse, causan al medio ambiente. Reconoce que aún hay gente que niega que exista un problema ambiental en el mundo, “pero hay cada vez más preocupación sobre lo que hay que hacer para parar el desastre ambiental. Vemos que la industria está cambiando, por ejemplo en California ya se obliga a la gente a que ponga paneles solares en sus casas”. Olga Mercedes es una escultora de origen colombiano, profesora de arte en Perth Amboy High School con maestría en Fine Arts Education por Kean University, entre otros estudios, que actualmente está presentando su “A Restrospective” en la galeria Art Space Gallery 88, en el 46 East Front St, de Keeport, Nj 07735, hasta el 27 de mayo. Aquí presenta las obras de arte ambiental referidas líneas arriba, además de piezas en bronce, mármol y otros materiales. Aprendió en el Ecuador a trabajar los telares y muy pronto derivó a la cerámica para adentrarse en el arte precolombino, quizá uno de los más emblemáticos del pasado histórico Latinoamericano. Aunque ha cultivado diversas disciplinas se considera, sobre todas las cosas, escultora. “Yo he hecho pintura, pero me considero más escultura. Creo que un artista trata de comunicar un mensaje y para eso trata de buscar el medio más adecuado para expresarse. Yo encontré la escultura como medio, es el medio con el que puedo crear y conectar con la gente,” dice. Su exposición abrió puertas el 11 de mayo, y ya ha vendido algunas piezas. Cree que esto se debe a que el coleccionista, las galerías y el mercado del arte en general, que antes estaba centralizado en el mundo anglosajón, se está abriendo al artista latinoamericano. “Es una batalla constante del arte latinoamericano en Estados Unidos”

 http://neolatinocollective.squarespace.com

The Evolution of October 17th Show, “NEO-LATINO ARTISTS COME TO NJ DISCOVER LIVE TV” TUNE IN 8 PM. Monday October 17th Hint: “NOT to be Missed. Hugely RELEVANT” by Calvin Schwartz October 9, 2016(0)

http://www.njdiscover.com/wp1/tag/hugo-x-bastidas/

 

Reviews-Newspapers and Magazines

 

SCULPTURE-A publication of the International Sculpture Center

March 2011-pg# 70.

Akron, Ohio, Herb Rosenberg, ‘s interactive installation Dialogo with an Ancient Forest, which was selected as the first solo exhition at New Jersey’s news Perth Amboy Gallery Center for the Arts (PAGCA), recently appeared at the University of Akron’s Emily Davis Gallery….Rosenberg’s Dialogue reverses the adague, asserting “you can’t see a tree for the forest.” PAGCA’s director, Olga Bautista, says, “Rosenberg’s all  embracing epic-work embarks viewers on a sublime and visionary hero’s quest.”

Neo-Latino Visual Artistic Creativity Publication New Jersey City University, Volume 13, #2, Spring 2005 by Jose Rodeiro, Art Professor

Bautista: If I lived in Colombia, then I would address political and social issues there. But I live in New Jersey; therefore, my concerns are for Latinas/os that are struggling for acceptance, approval or basic issues in USA. I prefer working with human figures. My art is currently moving from figural -abstraction toward naturalistic representation” As she spoke I thought of her recent abstract images, particularly her triangular piece Mujer # 1(2003, 14″ x 6″ stoneware) with its deep Andean Amerindian significance. My works is primarily figural, depicting human bodies. After years of abstract 3-D configurations, my new art will concern itself with creative approaches that are naturalistic, mimetic, and direct,…for more see: http://neolatinovisualarts.weebly.com/7.html.

 

HOME NEWS AND TRIBUNE-Up Front-Art in America
April 23, 2004 by Laurie Granieri

Bautista’s work will be part of  “Transcultural New Jersey” a state -wide iniciative to celebrate New Jersey’s ethnic and cultural diversity. To that end her art will be seen
as part of a Jersey City show called “A New Diversity, Art of Northern New Jersey Latino artists”. Right now, Bautista, diercyor of the Perth Amboy Gallery Center for the Arts since its December opening, is showing her work there as part of a group exhibition by city artists…

 

HOME NEWS AND TRIBUNE-Nuestra Comunidad-Artista Local Expone su Obras en Centro de arte, “El Place de Crear” by Carlos Caprioli, pg # 36
Friday October 6, 2006

Caras sin cuerpos , observan desde los estantes. Sus expresiones impresionan, amilanan. Tanto o mas que los grupos sin cuerpos sin cara, que reciben a los visitantes de la galeria. Enfrancada ne una sesion de fotografias y video, Olga Mercedes Bautista, la creadora de las caras y los cuerpos, se concentra en la descripcion detallada de cada una de sus creacions…

 

EL OBSERVADOR-Artista Hispana  Presenta Esculturas de Arte Indigena pre-Colombino.

La Galeria de la Escuela de Arte Mason Gross en la Universidad de Rutgers,  en New Brunswick, exhibira este 25 de Septiembre tres hermosas y originales esculturas indigenistas de la artista colombiana, Olga Bautista…

Latest Interviews:

Bonding with Plastic” – an interview with sculpture artist Olga Mercedes Bautista

December 30, 2018 Heather Fenyk  Comment

Interview by TaeHo Lee, LRWP Fall 2018 Raritan Scholar

Olga Bautista’s “Tree: Bonding with Plastic

On Boxing Day 2018, Olga Bautisa and I met at the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick to talk about Olga’s art installation that will be featured in Windows of Understanding, a city-wide public art project, on behalf of the LRWP. Windows of Understanding is a project of The New Brunswick Community Arts Council, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and the Highland Park Arts Commission that unites local artists, organizations and businesses to promote compassion and awareness around social justice issues in our community. Olga was paired with the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership, and has developed sculptural pieces that address pollutant and littering concerns at the heart of the LRWP’s community outreach. Her work will be displayed in Kim’s Bike Shop (111 French Street, New Brunswick, NJ) from January 21- February 28, 2019.

Olga was born and raised in Colombia and moved to New Jersey when she was 24. She graduated from Kean University and New Jersey City University with Sculpture and Studio degrees, respectively. Living in Perth Amoby, Olga now travels between the town’s high school where she teaches photography, and her studio. She has also founded and served as director for Perth Amboy’s public art gallery. Check out her website to learn more about her art, and read below to learn about what she found inspiring in her “Windows of Understanding” partnership with the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership.

TaeHo: What was the environmental ah-ha moment that prompted you to address environmental issues through art?

Olga:  Superstorm Sandy. The roof of my studio was damaged. Since then, I noticed that I was looking for something more… real, something that is representing what is going on. For a long time, I had been working with clay, ceramics, mass media, a bunch of installations. I wanted something more real. The roof incident happened six years ago. That personal moment, partially caused by climate change, motivated me to reflect environmental issues to my art. 

T: What materials do you use for your art, and what are your processes?

O: Right now I use leaves, tree branches and bark that I found after Sandy, and any trash or litter that gets washed into the Raritan River. After collecting this debris, I used the real bark and make a mold out of it by pouring silicon on top of it. This process allows me to make a copy of the original bark. I then add leaves, trash and other plastic pieces before the silicon dries up to enhance color and texture. When the silicon dries, the material is opaquely visible, and through my assembly I work to highlight interesting words and colors of plastic. These are essentially sheets of a duplicated bark, and I can connect and hang them, shaping them like trees. While on first glance these pieces look like trees, a closer look reveals the bits of plastic and trash. 

A sheet of faux bark. Several sheets will be crafted into “hanging trees” and installed in the windows of Kim’s Bike. 

T: What is your goal with the sculptural pieces that you are creating?

O: The goal of this piece is to portray the plasticity of the world in our impacts on the environment. I hope that the piece creates conversation between people about their plastic use and make people question their own habits and change their behavior to be more environmentally-friendly. I hope they will see the words and logos of big corporations and brands dissolved into what looks like a real tree made of plastic. Many of these companies are responsible environmental harm. Just like this fake plastic tree, if we do not change our patterns of plastics consumption, plastic will take over everything, no? (laughter). And I want to see how people react to the piece. Let’s just see how they react.

T: How do your pieces reflect the work of the LRWP?

O: Trees are such an important part of the watershed. Appropriating and connecting the benefits of trees to my art, I think, resonates with the work of the LRWP. Trees create oxygen, provide habitats for innumerable kinds of species, and hold the soil and water for the health of the watershed. I see these traits of trees as symbolic in its relation to what the LRWP does to restore the environment.

Additionally, plastic litter and trash is a huge issue for the Raritan River and tributaries. The LRWP regularly conducts clean-ups of the Raritan and area streams, and gathers hundreds of bags of plastic litter a year. The action of collecting and integrating plastic into my work is important. These materials highlight the littering problem in the watershed. As I explained, my approach is to appropriate real tree bark by introducing leaves with plastics debris to mold a new plastic tree bark. I want to show how the plastic which is used to make shopping bags, plastic bottles, or other items found in abundance as litter and debris during clean-ups is impacting the health of area streams and the watershed.

T: Can you tell me more about creating the Resin Piece?

O: The process of creating the plastic tree bark involves handling chemicals for a long time, like three hours per day at least. So, creating the piece takes quite a time, especially when I dry the mold in the barks. And being exposed to these chemicals gives me headaches sometimes. Also, during the winter time, it is difficult to work in studio and collect debris from the waterways because of the cold weather. 

Close up of tree “bark” with onion bag peeping through the silicon

Close up of tree “bark” with plastic bag debris.

T: What effect do you think the Windows of Understanding project has on you and the community?

O: People will be able to communicate something artistic and unique at commercial places as they see and pass through the area with the projects. I hope they will be curious about how the tree piece is done. Taking a look at the piece inside these commercial places is where the curiosity starts. And they will reflect their lives on this piece and create more conversations with their friends or family. This chain effect will, I hope, create a strong connection between people and the environment. I see the Windows of Understanding Project as a great platform to raise local environmental awareness through art. 

T: As an artist, what do you stand for?

O: The difficult part of being an artist is communicating a message that is going to transcend the beauty of the piece. For example, some might think seeing a ceramic container is nice and pretty and useable or practical, but how the container makes people think beyond that is difficult. That is what I stand for as an artist. Additionally, not only is the transcendental communication part of art important for me, but especially considering the urgency of the issue these days, addressing environmental crises is extremely important. My project, Bonding with Plastic, addresses the daily stress of individuals facing global crises of overconsumption and climate change. Through my sculptures, I want to contribute to a greater awareness of these issues before we reach a point of no return.

The opening reception for Windows of Understanding is at the Zimmerli Art Museum on January 22nd. Olga’s art installation will be exhibited at Kim’s Bike Shop, 111 French St., starting on January 21st. From 10-noon on January 21 the Olga and the LRWP will participate in walking tours of the art installations and seed plantings at 10am and 2pm.