“Love Letters to San Antonio” installation on the NEWS!

Our (Mari Hernandez and me – Kristin Gamez) window installation a part of the X Marks the Spot from Public Art San Antontio was chosen to be discussed on the Valdes View on Fox News San Antonio in April. Once the video is online, I will post it!

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Más Rudas Together Forever Freestyle Dance

Más Rudas Together Forever Freestyle Dance

Más Rudas host pre-Valentines dance to raise funds for our curation of the Mexic-Arte’s annual Young Latino Artists exhibit this Summer (2014)!

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Love Letters to San Antonio (X Marks the Art)

“Love Letters to San Antonio” – up till at least December

140 E. Houston st. (book building)

San Antonio, TX

on view day or night

I love my city, I love its mornings, I love it in the setting sun, I love driving through the Southside streets, I love Blanco, I love Bandera, I love Fredericksburg, I love the way it smells at the first sign of Fall, I love coming back to it; when I go to Austin, cause Austin is my other world, but I can’t stay away too long, I have to return. I’ll always return.

My love for my city is the inspiration for the art installation, “Love Letters to San Antonio,” a recent collaboration between my RUDA sister, Mari Hernandez, and I for the X Marks the Art: “Light + Technology” series. Public Art San Antonio (PASA) is the host organization behind X Marks the Art, which activates vacant downtown San Antonio storefronts into art spaces. Mari and I were so thrilled to be accepted into this round of the series, since we both work in a medium that is technology based (me being video and mari in photography).

Mari completed four portraits of gente that are near and dear to us, a diverse group of people that we both feel embody the puro San Anto spirit in their work, hearts, mind and souls.

Love Letters to San Antonio

Love Letters to San Antonio front view

In the top left we have Fashion Designer/D.I.Y. Artist: Agosto Cuellar, below is Art Consultant/our Wall Builder/Art and Social Media Extraordinaire: THE Chris Davila, upper right Más Ruda sister/Visual Artist/Muralist: Ruth Buentello, and last but not least Community Badass/Entrepreneur/Owner of Hi-Tones: Danny Delgado. So much can be said of these beautiful portraits of our friends; they not only capture their greatness, but their personality comes through tremendously.

I contributed a sort of moving image ode to my lovely city. I wanted to capture spaces the encapsulate my San Antonio: my favorite botanica, Casa Guajardo; senior citizen conjunto daily dancing spot, Royal Palace; and my home away from home, Hi-Tones bar. I also incorporated my written words to my city through text that floats through my video, articulating little pieces of why I love the space. These little written pieces are also included in the installation through vinyl lettering on the window and on the installation wall.

Below are some screen shots from the video.

Casa Guajardo

Casa Guajardo

Hi-Tones Bar interior shot

Hi-Tones Bar interior shot

Dear San Antonio still frame of text

Dear San Antonio still frame of text

Royal Palace line dancing

Royal Palace line dancing

Royal Palace Conjunto dancing

Royal Palace Conjunto dancing

Hi-Tones Bring Your Own Vinyl night - Tex-Mex record by DJ Adolf Acosta

Hi-Tones Bring Your Own Vinyl night – Tex-Mex record by DJ Adolf Acosta

“Love Letters to San Antonio” – up till at least December

140 E. Houston st. (book building)

San Antonio, TX

on view day or night

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Graduate Work excerpt in CineFestival Program

CineFestival Program

2013 CineFestival Program Cover

2013 is the 35th year anniversary of the longest running Latino film festival in the U.S., and I was asked by Director Jim Mendiola to publish an excerpt of my work on the history of the CineFestival in this year’s program.

I completed my final graduate report on San Antonio Chicano Cinema through the lens of the CineFestival based at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas. It was over a year of research, writing and revisions that I was more than happy to share with this year’s Festival.

Below is the published excerpt from the Festival Program, Tonantzin.

Articlescan

Articlescan_0001

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“Cemetery Baby” up and ONLINE

The video that I shot for the Girl in a Coma video contest is complete and online!! Thanks to my brother, Chad Gamez, for being my DP! We are a great team! Thank you to Girl in a Coma for giving us the opportunity to expand the video and for their great additional shot ideas.

check it out:

Cemetery Baby

 

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Girl in a Coma Video Contest – I WON!

still frame: body on table

Set Design Still

Set Design still

Girl in a Coma (GIAC) in conjunction with Blackheart Brigade ran a video contest for the GIAC song “Cemetery Baby.” I was alerted about the video contest and immediately contemplated the concept for the video and then it came to me, the legend La Llorona.

I heard about La Llorona at my grandparents holiday party when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I was bored in the kitchen with my grandmother and my aunts when I asked to go outside, which my grandmother said, “no,” because it was dark and La Llorona might get me. I asked “who is La Lloronoa?” My grandmother began to tell me me her version of the story.

La Llorona had two children and her husband had left her. Struggling to make ends meet, she led a hard and lonely life until one day she met a new man. She fell in love with the man, but the man kept her a secret, for he was ashamed because she was once a married woman and had two children. La Llorona knew of her love’s shame for her past life, so she decided to get rid of her children. So she took her children down to the river one dark and warm night and walked them into the stream. As they got deeper and deeper the children stood on the tippy toes to breath until finally their feet could not reach the bottom of the river. La Llorona held her children under water until they finally succumbed to death. The mother returned to her home and a huge longing and guilt over her children’s death came over her. She immediately ran back to the river wailing and crying for her babies and in her craze drowned herself. It is to this day that we will hear the wailing and crying of La Llorona at the river night calling out “mis hijos, mis hijos.”

I shot my video for “Cemetery Baby” based on my experimental version of La Llorona. Rather than shoot the story, I decided to shoot shots that would illustrate the end of La Llorona’s own life and her dance with death.

I was very excited to shoot on my Canon 5D mark II. All locations used are on the south side of San Antonio, which was very important to me. I grew up on the south east side of S.A. and the city’s urban legends were huge with my friends and family. For me, shooting on the Military cemetery and SA river was great to keep with the stories nostalgic purposes.

I submitted my video and I won the contest! I’ve been working with Girl in a Coma and my video will be the official video for their song “Cemetery Baby.” This is so very exciting for me, because I’ve been inspired by Girl in a Coma on previous video projects. The video will debut shortly, can’t wait to share it.

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Chingozine vol. 2 Release – I photograph too!

I recently bought a new camera with my brother – the CANON 5D mark II!!! I am so excited about my new baby. Luckily I’ve already put it to work with my first photography job this past weekend for the zine release of CHINGOZINE. As taken from their site, this zine is a “NEW ZINE FEATURING THE ORIGINAL DRAWINGS, DESIGN, AND
PRINT WORK OF EMERGING LATINO ARTISTS,” in Austin, Texas. This release was also very cool because it aligned with Dia de los Muertos, which touched on their theme of Chingos of Death. Here are just a few photos that I was able to snap.

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Más Rudas Brown Style

Más Rudas is currently exhibiting Brown Style at Artpace Window Works. You are able to catch our piece by simply driving by Artpace on Main Ave. any time day and night. However I recommend going at night and slowing down or stopping to take in the wonderful sounds that we have going on outside.

Here is a quick walk-by of Brown Style:

Brown Style at Artpace – UP NOW

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Brown Style – Más Rudas Artpace Window Works

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*slide show photos: Brown Style Promo image, Glasstire screen capture, Brown Style work in progress, Work in Progress for Brown Style by Kristin Ruda

There’s four more days to go for our Brown Style opening this Thursday Sept. 20th at Artpace. We are very excited and we are working very long hours on our individual works and our collective work. Some exciting news is that Sarah Fisch wrote a write up for Brown Style for the Fall Preview in Glasstire (scroll down)! So exciting, we even got to see our Family Portrait photo on the first page of the site when the story went up!! Sarah Fisch wrote a wonderful piece! Please check it out.

Brown Style, our Window Works title, was inspired by the article “Brown: The Politics of Working-Class Chicano Style” by Dr. Curtis Márez.1 Brown style is theorized and aesthetically articulated by Dr. Márez, and after we read this, it was a light bulb for our show.

In his article, Márez describes brown style  to be a “critical discourse that simultaneously coun- ters Anglo repressions, opposes the white supremacist assumptions of highbrow taste, and affirms the qualities of Chicano difference” (109). I feel that each of these points are included in the list of reasons why we formed our Chicana art collective.

A big step in our collective process is discussion and therefore many discussions took place in conceptualizing the Artpace Window Works. Much of our discussions touched on the critical discourse that Márez explained in his article. We discussed the perceptions of chicana/o art, chicana/o art and its place in contemporary art, chicana/o art content and issues past and present, high art and low art, and how all these issues relate to our collective work. After many discussions about our place and purpose, we felt it was time for us to reflect on why we became a collective. Brown style is a sense of pride in the brown and rejects brown inferiority. Más Rudas is proud to be a Chicana art collective and we came together to make art that showcases our Chicana perspective.

Márez also aesthetically described contemporary popular brown style to be “the makeshift, the flamboyant, and the nostalgic” (121). As he described each point, every one seemed to speak to us and our work.  For example, “one important form “making do” takes on is collage” (121). Márez goes on to describe why flamboyant in stating the “Chicano aesthetic objects are elaborate, extravagant, excessive” (121). Plus “[b]rown style often looks backward, into the Chicano past” (123). Más Rudas aesthetic style is similar to the traits of brown style described by Márez. We are rasquache (make do), flamboyant and nostalgic in our collective work.

Once we agreed on a show theme, we agreed Márez’ brown style was the title of our upcoming exhibit. Plus the connotation of “brown” was so fitting for us since we are Chicanas, brown and proud!

1  Márez, Curtis. “Brown: The Politics of Working-Class Chicano Style.” Social Text. 48 (1996): pp. 109 -132

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Freddie Hawk and the Mystery Lites Shooting Update

I am very happy to be the DP/Producer/Director Assistant on Freddie Hawk and the Mystery Lites because it is a beautiful film that is an extension of my creative inspiration. As mentioned Freddie Hawk is a film written and directed by Cruz Ortiz, a local San Anto Contemporary Artist. We had our first big shoot with extras at Hi-Tones bar in San Antonio. It was a good time, however as it goes, it took longer than expected. But thankfully all our extras were well fed and well styled thanks to our Wardrobe lady Velma! They all looked great! We even got a hand from local photographer Jenelle Esparza, who took some great behind the scenes shots for us.

Being able to create a visual representation of the story that has been in our heads is great feeling! Thanks to the efforts of great crew and people willing to give their time to help. SO BIG THANK YOU TO CAST, CREW, and Hi-Tones bar!

The film is looking great. We again are shooting on the iphone and it really pulls off a great look. Here are some photos from that shoot.

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