February 13, 2009 - April 11, 2009

Curated by William Cordova

  • Johanna Almiron
  • Dawolu Jabari Anderson
  • Jade Cooper
  • William Cordova
  • Nathaniel Donnett
  • Leslie Hewitt
  • Gean Moreno
  • Glexis Novoa
  • Mari Omori
  • Ernesto Oroza
  • Keijiro Suzuki
  • Ronny Quevedo
  • Mary Valverde

ATLANTA – SALTWORKS is pleased to present a group exhibition of  13 contemporary artists entitled, CUMANANA.  The exhibition is organized by artist William Cordova.


“es copla de cuatro versos octosilabos aunque el metro es muchas veces descuidado. El primer verso y el tercero son libros; Segundo y el cuarto pueden ser de rima o consonante. La cumanana se canta, muchas veces improvisada con acompanamiento”

-Fernando Romero (Afronegrismo en el Peru: 1988)
“I brought the flutes this time”

-Jay Z (Blue Note II: 2002)

The Cumanana exhibition includes two different generations of visual artists, from diverse backgrounds, that highlight the importance of the collective thinking in art practice. Under this criterion, the artists are not solely invested in preserving these traditions, but in passing them on.  Concepts of ritual evolve from family and community, transcending through the oral tradition, textiles and the written language, instilling methods of working and thinking that are deeply rooted in a continuum of presence.

The individuals selected for this project are all multi-media artists. Their contributions to this exhibition include drawing, video, performance, photography, sculpture and creative writing. Participating artists include Nathaniel Donnette, whose work conveys evolutionary constructs within familial environments. His graphite works on reclaimed paper create examples and lessons that question and evaluate socially accepted norms and re-strengthen lost values. Keijiro Suzuki is an artist interested in creating situations that invite audiences to participate by questioning and reconsidering their relationship to their immediate surrounding. Suzuki’s recent work includes a meditative video connecting Native American spirituality to traditional Japanese origami making.  Glexis Novoa creates a continuum of the past and present through graphite renderings of his lived experiences. Novoa will create a site-specific wall drawing focusing on Atlanta’s landscape. Johanna Almiron’s writing evolved out of her multi-cultural experience that seeks to connect and highlight commonalities between different cultural groups.  Leslie Hewitt works with autobiographical experience to create biographical moments through photography. Distance is always near and perspective is a constant lens that Hewitt utilizes, like a filmmaker who constructs a story. Her use of reclaimed objects to create unique gestures or vehicles for ancestral passage are complemented by Artist Dawolu Jabari Anderson whose work merges sculpture and drawing to re-emphasize traditional commercial drafting techniques and marginalized histories to re-connect the past to our present.  Artist Mary Valverde constructs equations and systems of value that materialize in three-dimensional objects. Her work conjures up similar meaning, function and values all at once through different cultural signifiers.

~william cordova