ArtRage: The Norton Putter Gallery

505 Hawley Avenue Syracuse, NY

HOPE in a time of TURMOIL: Colombia & the art of Jafeth Gómez Ledesma

Artist, activist, dreamer and teacher – Jafeth Gómez Ledesma exhibited his vision of Colombia at the ArtRage Gallery as part of a visit to the United States to speak, conduct workshops and celebrate art & hope. We at ArtRage were honored to present this exhibit in conjunction with CNY-Cajbio Sister Partnership, the Caribbean/Latin America Coalition of CNY, the Casita Cultural Center Project at Syracuse University and the CORA Foundation.

Special events during the exhibit were:

  • Th3 Thursday, February 19th – Third Thursday “First Look” 5-8pm
  • Tuesday, March 3rd, Film screening, “Plan Colombia” & presentation 7pm
  • Thursday, March 5th, Meet the Artist & presentation 7pm
  • Friday, March 6th, Good-bye Party & fundraiser – Music by Colleen Kattau and Some Guys 8pm

Artist Statement:

“I think that we continue to bet on hope. We are not resigned to accept a present that is exclusive and repressive. We continue to bet on a different, just, balanced, supportive and fraternal society. A different society has to be built with a lot of emotion, with a lot of tenderness, with staying close to the heart. Economic well-being does not assure a better society. How many people in the countries of the first world, ‘have it all’ yet live in profound loneliness. Many commit suicide. We want to be better, to live in abundance starting from our different relationships. What is different is what we carry within our hearts, and is the way we relate to ourselves and to others.

Language, protests, these different expressions give us a new concept that little by little shapes how we talk and observe things. I let myself be influenced because I participate, I represent it because I experience it and I live it. I assume it as something that is mine (and everyone’s), it is not something that emerges outside of that. My work is not outside of the community. I participate in these processes. I am not the artist that sees these events from a studio or balcony. No. I am inside and I let myself be filled by tiredness, by sweat, by tears, by the power of the minga (collective process).

You have to be there inside in order to have enough authority to say I paint this or that. Art invites us to freedom. Art gives way to fantasy, to ideals, to dreaming- to that right to dream that cannot be taken away from us. If we lose this we lose everything. We dream and work in the search for this better world that we deserve. I don’t know it’s name, I don’t know how it will be, but I do think that it ought to be a just future where our rights are guaranteed and we can express ourselves freely- something quite different than what we are living now.”