|Luz Rios Duarte||
Title: La mujer solitaria en una cantina / The Solitary Woman in a Bar
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 25" x 22"
Luz Rios Duarte is one of six members of Corazones Valientes (Valiant Hearts), a women's folk-art cooperative from Costa Rica. All of the women live in La Unión de Monterrey, a small agricultural village in the north-central part of the country. They develop their own designs and paint them with acrylic and watercolor on paper and on hand-carved cedar trays. The group started as a drawing class in May 1991 when Rebecca Hart, a Peace Corps volunteer, responded to requests from the women to teach them how to draw. The goal of the course was to engage the world around them through their art. They began by drawing familiar things in their lives-- their bedrooms, kitchens, houses, families. Then they worked on composition, learning to combine their simple, separate drawings to make more complex works. After five months they began painting and incorporating color. By January 1992, they were selling paintings to various galleries in San José, Costa Rica. The art they create deals with their everyday lives, traditions, customs, work, recreation, history, myths, and dreams. The women of Corazones Valientes are now part of a movement of Costa Ricans to recognize the uniqueness of their country and preserve it through developing their own expression.
Duarte, in her mid-thirties, is married and has six children. She loves to bake bread in her outdoor dome shaped adobe type oven every month. She participates in community activities as much as possible, such as by being the secretary of the school council. Although her eyesight has given her some problems, she loves painting and says she can't go a day without it. Her designs include people doing thingsŠinteracting in dynamic ways. They are full of movement, color, and activity.
Corazones Valientes' selected exhibitions include: La Mama La Galeria, New York, 1999; St. John the Divine, New York, 1998; Elsa Mott Gallery: YWCA, New York, 1998; Right Brain Gallery, Atlanta Georgia, 1998; Folk Fest '97, Atlanta, 1997; Casa de la Cultural Popular José Figueres, Costa Rica, 1997; Centro Cultural Managua, Managua, Nicaragua, 1996; Schattam Gallery, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, 1996; Casa Cultural Julia de Burgos, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1995; Unity Church Art Gallery, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1994; Maya's Room in Silliman College, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1994; First Congregational Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1993; Northfield Arts Guild, Northfield, Minnesota, 1993; Anne Harper Gallery, Amagansett, New York, 1993; Festival of Nations, St. Paul Civic Center, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1993; Janet Wallace Gallery, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1993; and Costa Rican Independence Day Special Celebration, Ordway Theater, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1992.