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Victorino Cervantes’s Lindsay Art Gallery

Kason Clark

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COS art instructor Victorino Cervantes is converting his studio in Lindsay into a gallery for youth art. Cervantes is creating this gallery so that students in the area will have a space to exhibit their work on a regular basis. He also believes that Lindsay and Tulare County in general need more art venues.

He said that his gallery will, “promote the work of young artists in our area.”

Cervantes believes that his gallery is necessary for several more reasons. He believes that this gallery will serve as a space to expose people to new cultures that will enrich the community. He also wants the gallery to get students more involved with cultural activities and civic engagement.

He hopes that an art gallery will disprove the notion that all the good artists in California reside in the Bay Area or Southern California. He wants to show that this region has just as much potential for art as those areas and he believes that his gallery could serve as a seed for an art movement in Tulare County.

Cervantes said that he believes that, “Once it’s established, I’m sure that it will inspire other organizations to continue to do the same.”

However, he does want to expose the local youth to work from outside Tulare County.

He said he wants, “to bring in artists out of the area to share their work in our community.”

Cervantes also wants to challenge the idea that youth in low income areas such as Lindsay are not involved in their communities. He believes that they don’t have the opportunities to get involved and that they too often follow bad role models. He wants to give the youth in the area a space for art so that they can express themselves through it. That way, he believes the local youth will find meaning.

The gallery will be open to any student to submit their work and they don’t necessarily have to be an art major. The gallery will also be open to students from multiple educational levels including middle school, high school, and community college. The gallery will not just be a space for the visual arts but will eventually be a space for other art forms such as literature and music.

A writer that is setting up the gallery is Henry Reneau Jr. Reneau has worked on the gallery with Cervantes since last September. He writes short stories and poetry and wants to work with the youth once the gallery opens. He hopes to teach students about uncivilized writing which means students will write about what they see going on in the country. Reneau also wants to expose students to poetry from different cultures such as African-American, Mexican, American, and Middle Eastern.

Reneau said that “When a person looks at the whole world, they see the commonalities.”

He also wants to start a poetry slam team with the students that will attend the gallery. A poetry slam team is a group of students who write their own poems and perform them in front of an audience and are judged when they compete with other teams. Reneau hopes that his team will go to national competitions outside of the state. He also hopes that his poetry slam team will write about issues in Lindsay and share them with people outside of the area. He is planning on reaching out to local high schools to recruit students to the gallery and his slam team.

Reneau is motivated to help Cervantes set up this gallery because he wants to help people in the local community. He believes that this gallery will give the youth a voice through their art and help them understand their history. Reneau also believes that people living in poor communities tend to think less of themselves, so he is hoping that the gallery will demonstrate their talent and their worth.

Cervantes acquired the studio from a friend who used to use it as a graphic design studio. He got into contact with this friend about a decade ago while he worked for a non-profit organization. After he acquired it, he would often use it a space for his students to show their work at the end of the COS semester.

The only issue that Cervantes has dealt with while converting the studio is timing. He teaches art classes at COS every night from Monday through Thursday and also has other projects outside of the area. However, he hasn’t found this project difficult because he treats it like any other art project that he works on.

He is confident that the gallery will turn out well as he said, “You have to have a vision and everything will unfold.”

Cervantes is also confident in his gallery due to community support. Being fully-funded and the help of volunteers have allowed Cervantes to work on the gallery while juggling his other responsibilities right now. These volunteers and funds will continue to support the gallery after it opens with several people already filling slots to oversee the gallery while Cervantes is at COS or an art project.

Right now, his studio is usually open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 5. However, these times are sometimes limited due to his other commitments. Cervantes is hoping that all changes after the gallery officially opens. Right now, Cervantes is planning to open the gallery on April 21st. After it opens, the gallery should be open more but the times have yet to be determined.

Students at COS can support Cervantes’ gallery in several ways. If they are artists and want to display their work, they are invited to submit their work to the gallery once it opens. Cervantes has had students help him when he started working on the project. They helped him set it up and gave him feedback for what they would want to see.

Students can also be updated by following the webpage for the gallery on Facebook once Cervantes puts it up. However, Cervantes believes that the best way for students to support his gallery is to support other art events around the county. He believes that students have to be engaged in and take an interest in the arts and can’t wait to get invited.

Cervantes said that it is up to the students to, “take on the initiative.”

If students want to visit the studio now, help set up the gallery, or submit work there once it opens, they can reach Cervantes in several ways. They can reach him with either his phone number 559-568-8805 or with his email [email protected]

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Victorino Cervantes’s Lindsay Art Gallery