AV Arts Convo: Art & Poetry by Edwin Vasquez

HAPPENING NOW: Antelope Valleys Arts new initiative, the AV ArtConvo, poetry and Multi-Media art by Edwin Vasquez.

Presenting Art & Poetry by Edwin Vasquez

SATURATION 2.0: The Arts in Conversation project at Antelope Valley Arts is now live: Local artists (painters, poets, photographers, fiction writers) have been invited to submit art and partake in a conversation on artistic influence and inspiration as the print arm of Antelope Valley Arts is going digital.

This week’s featured artist is a substantial figure in the regional art scene in many ways: showing, helping others show, publishing, speaking and opening artistic doors – Edwin Vasquez.

Edwin Vasquez |Interview Part 1

Is there a certain emotional valence or emotional register that characterizes your work?

As an artist and writer, the term “Humanities” links my work together, especially since I was born in Guatemala, where a forty year internal political war gave the artists a voice for the voiceless. I don’t know if my work is still “political”, but it has definitely evolved because my focus is on creating art using recycled materials. I think art should include social issues because, even here, many don’t have a voice regarding political issues.




We shall not be denied the freedom,

the liberty and happiness

on which our country was built.


We are the farmer’s hands

rough like old leather

with blisters  and aches from working on the fields

where your food comes from.


We are the trash collectors

keeping the streets clean

where your limousine is parked.


We are the nurses and doctors

saving your brat kids from drug overdose,

from drinking like pigs with your filthy money

because at home there is no love other than for stocks and bonds.


We are the teachers

buying school materials out of our own pockets,

and preparing the next generation

so they can attend Ivy League schools

not because they bought their way in, but because they earned the right to be there.

Yes, we deserve liberty, freedom and happiness

even-though priorities deviate us from our dreams

and only takes hateful words from powerful blindness

and arrogant men to wake us up,

your words were like a cold shower that got to our souls.


Yes sir, we are Americans too,

we came here for a better future,

we didn’t grow up with a silver spoon,

we made that spoon with our sweat and hard work,

we are the Hernandez, the Robledo, the Vásquez

we are part of the puzzle that makes America great.


Thank you for your poisonous words,

they are spreading in our communities like California wild fires

and soon you will see a tsunami wave so strong

that your wealth and your ambition will be tarnished

and like the rest of us, you, Sir

can look at the White House from the street.


Interview Part 2

What artist do you currently find yourself talking about most often and why?

The artist I am currently following is Efrain Recinos, a Guatemalan contemporary architect, painter, and sculptor. Sadly he passed in 2011, but his art legacy is of tremendous value for Guatemala and for the world. He was born in the second city of importance, Quetzaltenango, which is the city I was born in as well.

How does music influence, shape or fit into your work?

Music is an essential tool in my art life; Jazz and Latin-American are my favorites. Since the internet gives us the opportunity to listen to the beats and sounds of many countries, I find myself listening to music from all over the world while exploring mixed media in my studio.


Hollywood, the endless play with real life actors,

those with rags and riches walking among the stars

and dancing the waltz of all nations,

where all dream how awesome meeting a movie star could be.


The seasoned actors make their moves unceremoniously

across the hot concrete stage, hustling the unsuspected tourists

drinking coffee or Red Bulls, while attempting to take selfies with faking smiles

and overflowing the sidewalks like hot lava rivers from Brea to Vine,

unaware of the homeless trying to sleep because it was yet another bad day.


Hollywood, glamour and seventy-five degree weather,

where the scent of urine is overpowered by cigarette smoke,

Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, or illegal weed,

where walking the long boulevard becomes another meaning,

where it feels real and, then, it hits you —

here, poets pick the stanzas just by opening the senses and

realizing, sadly, that the golden promise is nothing but fool’s gold.


Hollywood, the endless play

with characters and fake superheroes,

Gucci glasses and skateboarders,

where Starbucks and tarnished stars

compete with IPhones and Barbie dolls…

this endless play, where actors come for a piece of the pie

and end up living a new tomorrow

for the second act and their broken dreams.




Artists: Get Listed

Antelope Valley Arts Blog is dedicated to supporting arts and artists in the Antelope Valley through online word-of-mouth.

If you are an artist (of any kind) in the southern Mojave and you have a website and you’d like to direct more people to your site, then send a link to your website to poeticwax@rocketmail.com and we will list you here along with other AV artists.

If you have an arts related event coming up and you’d like to promote it, send us an email and we will post your message and photos and help spread the word.

It’s free. We’re just looking to keep things lively in the Antelope Valley, to help people find each other, and especially to help artists find an audience. Obviously, we are only one link in the chain, but all chains are made of links. Together they are strong.


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AntelopeValleyArts magazine, SATURATION, announces the release of its second issue.


Saturday June 11, 2011 the magazine will be available at Sagebrush Café in Quartz Hill, at Antelope Valley Thespians events, and in some new surprising places. Copies of this issue are $4.

This issue is bigger, stronger and faster than the first, featuring the work of poets, artists, fiction writers, non-fiction writers, photographers and designers. Movement & Motion were the twin themes of the newest AV Arts installment, and the issue takes up the idea through explorations of flight, travel, dance, nature and transformation.

Contributors of material and talent for SATURATION: Issue 2 are Steven Fiche, Curt Hanson, Sarah Allen, Nicelle Davis, Anna Delrosario, Rheagan E. Martin, Edwin Vasquez, Hannah Wilson, Michael Jones, Glenn Horst, Oleg Kagan, Cass Douglas, Benjamin Andrews, Kevin Hogan, AJ Currado, Nalin Ratnayake, and Eric M. Martin.  


SATURATION is a venue for the arts in theAntelopeValleypublishing essays, fiction, poetry and fine art. Find submission information here at the AV Arts Blog.

Artists Join in Online Fiction/Gallery Experiment: Failure of Theory

– painting: jeremy johnson

Failure of Theory is a collaborative art series focusing on the shape-shifting idea of consciousness.  Paintings, fiction, sculpture and essays are included in this meta-gallery alongside animated video versions of each text.  

The artists participating on the project: Michael Jones, Adrienne Pike Adelphia, Jeremy Johnson, Diego Johnson and Eric M Martin.  

Read an article about Failure of Theory from the Antelope Valley College Newspaper: Article.

Go to the site: Failure of Theory

Antelope Valley Thespians: February Writer’s Briefing

posted by Nalin

One of the main goals of AVT is to produce original work by playwrights local to Quartz Hill and the Antelope Valley. Seeing your play undergo the production process gives you a great insight into how your script might be interpreted by a director and actors.

This season, we will be bringing to the stage our first production written by a local playwright, HUNGER FOR PARADISE. Check out our 2011 Season for more information.

If you are a local playwright looking to write for the stage, please join us Saturday, February 26th at 1pm at Sagebrush Cafe in Quartz Hill.  AVT will hold a Writer’s Briefing to describe the nature of our company and to discuss upcoming events with local writers.  We will also have our directors available for Q&A on what we are looking for and why.

You can find out more information about how we work with playwrights on our Playwrights page.

SATURATION: Spring Issue Submission Deadline Coming Up

Submissions for the spring issue of SATURATION: AV Arts Publication are due by March 1, 2011.

The theme for spring: Movement/Motion.

Deadline for Submissions: March 1, 2011

Send submissions to: poeticwax@rocketmail.com

Accepting submissions of all sorts of work: fiction, essays, poetry, book reviews, film reviews, music reviews, (brief) philosophical tracts, summer show announcements, thoughts on the Antelope Valley, Photography, images of: paintings, sculpture, collage, and architecture.

 If there is anything left out, it’s because we didn’t think of it, not because we aren’t accepting it for consideration in the spring issue of SATURATION. 


Invite to those who create:

Would you like to be listed on AV Arts Blog?

AV Arts Blog exists as a medium, working to connect artists with an audience and artists with like minded artists. This goes for theatre, galleries, painters, musicians, photographers, writers, and the whole cultural she-bang we call ART.

If you are part of an arts group or an artist yourself, send us your info and we will set you up on our sidebar to help you get noticed (we hope), to bring some attention to your creative work, and to make the Antelope Valley a little more interesting by amplifying AV Art.

You can send info/links through a comment here or email to Poeticwax@rocketmail.com

If you don’t have a website but have an Antelope Valley cultural event to promote, send us the info and we will do our best to post it.

A new publication dedicated to the Arts in the Antelope Valley, SATURATION, has just been released.

Some of the artists and writers contributing to the first issue of SATURATION include Nicolas Shake, Larissa Nickel, Sarah Allen, Jason Hughes, AJ Currado, Steven Fiche, Nalin Ratnayake, Tim Jaeger, Rheagan E. Martin and Cassandra Douglas.

Featuring artist interviews, original art work, venue listings, book reviews, essays, original fiction, and more, SATURATION is currently available at Sagebrush Cafe in Quartz Hill. Copies may also be found via artist AJ Currado as well as at AVT’s ongoing theatre production, Crossings.  

Leave a comment with questions and submit at will with your writing and art. (SATURATION: AV Arts Publication)

Talk About Art

-by eric martin 

How can you help bring more cultural life to your community? This is a question I have asked myself and discussed with my friends.

As a coffee shop owner with a gallery space in my business, I am especially interested in the arts and in a lively interest in culture in my community, but I am not alone.

For every one person who wishes out loud that there were more opportunities to show art and more places to see art there are ten people who would take advantages of these opportunities – if they existed. Small scale art events are just as good as large scale art events in my opinion.

Often a good little gallery show can be more stimulating than a vast museum collection. The focus of a smaller show can be more easily concentrated and cohesive than larger shows and can make for an intimate experience. In a gallery setting we can feel often that we are in the presence of the mind of the artist.

Small scale art shows, in a gallery, are as valid and relevant to our sense of cultural experience as larger shows. This is worth keeping in mind when contemplating how to best support, promote and participate in your local arts scene.

Recently in the Antelope Valley of California a community of artists have undertaken some very interesting arts projects. These projects, presented in unique contexts, have successfully created “traditional” cultural experiences in non-traditional contexts.

A group of artists consisting of painters, ceramic artists, and photographers put on a show and workshop based in one of the painter’s houses. The event was open to the public and served to draw in the community at large and to display the fact that people are doing the work of creativity in the Antelope Valley – in their homes and private lives, and they are willing to share that work.

Another project takes theatre into an unlikely space – a private garage. The Antelope Valley Thespians consist of a group of people dedicated to the idea of theatre as an essentially socially engaged medium which can happen anywhere there is a will.

 These are just two examples of small scale culture, where the arts are brought to life in a community of people who desire opportunities to engage in the arts.

Success, for these cultural events, is measured in the same general way that success is measured for any audience-based event. Did anyone come? Of course, the expectations and the specific threshold numbers are adjusted to the scale of the event and the size of the venue. But the challenge for a garage theatre or an art gallery is identical to that of a large playhouse or museum.

In a word, the challenge is communication.

People won’t attend events they don’t know about.

People won’t buy tickets to a show if they have not heard that there is a show going on.

Somehow the fact that these events exist must be communicated to those folks who might be interested in attending.

For a museum like the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art: Los Angeles) or the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art: New York City), the public already knows that the institutions exist. The challenge then becomes one of keeping people interested in what is happening now. In the case of smaller groups or galleries or smaller museums, the challenge is larger because there is less awareness that they exist at all.

These cultural purveyors are asking themselves the same question that opened this discussion: How can we help to support and promote the cultural life of our community?

In a way, we have already answered this question. As artists, we can just do things.

Put on a show. Gather a group and host a performance. Open our houses. Invite painters to show work at our businesses. Bring friends to our favorite galleries in our communities.




As we said, the small scale cultural events are as valid and relevant as large scale events. This is also true of how we can spread the word about cultural events in our communities.

Two, three or five more people at a gallery opening can make a real difference as to whether or not that show meets its goals for success.

In the end, culture is about the picture we keep in our heads that describes what kind of creatures we humans are, what kind of minds. So the ultimate cultural success lies in the act of communication, in sharing an idea.

For all of us who want to live in a culturally rich and culturally alive community, we can help to make that wish come true by making a simple effort to pass on the idea, pass on the word that an idea is on display at the gallery down the street, or blog about where to find this idea or that idea in a garage or coffee shop near you.

eric martin is a local writer of the antelope valley, slinging coffee at Sagebrush Cafe in the daylight hours.

2nd Playwrights Expo Announced

posted by Nalin 

Attention local playwrights!

AVT is looking for short works by local playwrights to be considered for limited workshop production to be held in the AVT Blackbox on July 24. Each scene or short selected for this Expo will be given a reading and limited staging by actors and AVT’s artistic director (all who will have had advance reading of the scripts to develop basic characters) followed by discussion to receive feedback from actors, techies, directors, fellow writers, audience members, and AVT’s dramaturg.

For details visit: http://www.avthespians.org/productions/