The Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center hosted the highly anticipated Black and White Exhibit on Feb. 6, which drew in crowds from all over the region. The event, a long-standing tradition in Calexico, showcased the extraordinary talent of artists from Mexicali, Imperial Valley, and even as far as Germany and the Czech Republic.
More than 200 art projects were on display. The exhibit was a testament to the power and beauty that can be achieved through simplicity and monochromatic artistry. With pieces ranging from photography to paintings, the Black and White Exhibit provided a platform for artists to express their creativity and showcase their unique perspectives.
Calexico resident Jazmin Mendoza saw the opportunity to participate in this exhibition since she wanted to show her passion for the arts. She participated with her acrylic on canvas art called Beauty Moon.
“Art has been a passion of mine since childhood. I find joy in painting and drawing as a means of expressing and communicating my emotions to others,” shared Mendoza. “These exhibits play a crucial role in promoting artists from the Imperial Valley.”
Another group that participated was Adjoin of El Centro which offers services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping them create optimal experiences where they live, work, learn, and play.
“We had 10 participants from Adjoin showcasing their black and white photography, it was a class that was offered this semester. Now, they get to see their work featured in this exhibition,” shared Sofia Salazar, the creative coordinator at Adjoin.
Roxsanna Pacheco, a member of the Community Services Commission in Calexico, highlighted the success of this event, attributing it to the established tradition where people eagerly participate upon seeing the call for artists.
The success of the Black and White Exhibit is a testament to the thriving arts community in Calexico. The event continues to provide a platform for both established and emerging artists to showcase their work and gain recognition.
Since 2008, Calexico has been organizing Black and White Exhibits, even before the completion of the Art Center. This initiative emerged from the collective dream of providing artists with a dedicated space to showcase their artwork. The city recognized the importance of promoting and supporting the arts and thus began hosting these exhibits. Over the years, the Black and White Exhibit has evolved into a signature event in Calexico’s art scene, attracting artists and art enthusiasts from all around. It has become a platform for artists to express themselves uniquely and distinctly, while also fostering a sense of community and appreciation for the arts.
Despite the absence of a formal art center back then, Calexico has successfully established a tradition of hosting the Black and White Exhibit. This event has become a celebration of creativity and a testament to the city’s commitment to the arts.
The Black and White Exhibit has become a highly anticipated event in the city’s cultural calendar, drawing attention not only locally but also regionally. It has played a significant role in shaping Calexico’s artistic identity and continues to contribute to the growth and development of the local arts community.