Sunday, October 6, 2013

Turning the Idea of Latin American Art on its Head: P-Squared Gallery

"We have a pre-conceived notion of what Latin American art is," says Patricia Prevatt. "It's more than Frida Kahlo. Come and look, whether you like her or not." The pieces she sells represent "art by Latin Americans, not 'Latin American art'; there's really no such thing!" Through her gallery, she shows that Latin America is a diverse cultural area, with as many different styles of art as there are artists. 

Prevatt is the founder of P-Squared Gallery, an Orlando-based online gallery that showcases photographs, paintings, and prints by Latin American artists.

Although Prevatt and her partner, Bob Reinauer, an economics professor at Rollins College, are based in Orlando, P-Squared Gallery was originally intended as a solely online venture. However, "people like to see prints in person, it makes it a little more personal." In addition to seeing works at pop-up events and art walks around town, the website still provides the best way to get in touch with artists: through biographies, interviews, and videos. P-Squared curates no more than 30 artists on a limited-run basis. One of their artists is 18-year-old Brazilian Lucio Piantino.

Lucio Piantino was born into a family of artists. His first contact with paint and brushes was at 11 months old and by his mid-teens Lucio was registered as a professional artist. Lucio’s bold and expressive style is clearly influenced by his affinity for the works of Jackson Pollack.
In March 2013 a documentary about Lucio’s life titled “From the mischievous artist: the saga of a boy with down syndrome” was released by filmmaker Rodrigo Paglieri.

Artist selection is a thoughtful process for Prevatt. "They have to be professional artists." Whether emerging or established, "this is how they make their living." This not only gives hard-working artists a chance to show their works, but also ensures that the quality of pieces is maintained. Prevatt and her partner meet artists on their extensive travels through Central America, South America, and the Caribbean; through RFPs; and through direct contact with art schools.

"Is there something more I can do?" she asked herself when starting the gallery. And there was. A portion of every sale goes to a fund to buy equipment and develop art-centered initiatives throughout the US and Latin America. Proceeds have benefited a variety of programs, including Las Fotos, a program in Los Angeles designed to empower young Latinas through photography and mentorship.

The primary purpose of P-Squared Gallery? "It's about education," says Patricia Prevatt.

See the works in-person at an upcoming pop-up gallery:
Art Brunch
Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13
Mi Tomatina Paella Bar (433 W New England Ave, Winter Park)
Browse striking museum-quality limited edition prints from Latin American and Latino artists while enjoying endless plates of paella ($13) or fantastic items off the brunch and lunch menus (around $8).
Exclusive art prints are being offered at 16-20% off.

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