Monday, October 7, 2019

Las Olas Lifestyles Magazine: Art That Advocates

Rolando Chang Barrero featured in

By Sally O'Dowd Las Olas Lifestyles Magazine 2019 Publisher Lifestyle Media Group

Rolando Chang Barrero "Art That Advocates"
By Sally O'Dowd Las Olas Lifestyles Magazine 2019 Publisher Lifestyle Media Group

Read Magazine Here:

A Must See Exhibition! Immigration show educates and presents 1st hand experiences!

A Must See Exhibition!
CONstitutionX: Our Human Rights
Immigration show educates and presents1st hand experiences!

The Box Gallery
811 Belvedere Road
West palm Beach, Florida 33405

Groups and Institutions are welcomed!

Photo: Kim Fontaine

"The opening of the CONstitutionX: Our Human Rights held last week was spectacular to say the least. It was a grand success on so many levels! It was really engaging and created the much anticipated empathic response. The interactions between audience and artists were a sight to see and experience, as was the artwork itself!"
 -Rolando Chang Barrero

Artist: Maria Lino

The exhibition which opened  last Saturday on September 28, 2019 was purposely held on the anniversary date that The U.S. Congress voted to send the new Constitution of the United States to the state legislatures for their approval and will close on November 8, 2019; the anniversary of the election of President Abraham Lincoln who authored of The Emancipation Proclamation.

The curators, Rolando Chang Barrero and Sonia Baez-Hernandez selected together 23 International Artists and 2 organizations unite for Social Justice and awareness. The exhibition includes a series of visual art presentations, theatrical performances, performance art, films, workshops, artists talks and video curated by both artist/curators who have long established their presence in the the art world as leaders of social justice art and have exhibited alongside many of the artists in the exhibition.

Among the 23 International Artists which are included are Rolando Chang Barrero (US), Lisu Vega (Venezuela), Muu Blanco (Venezuela), Donna Ruff, Diane Arrieta , Ruben Riviera Matos, Sonia Baez-Hernandez (D.R), Narciso Martinez (Mex.), Maria Lino (Cuba), Sunny Marquez (P.R.), Edouard Duval-Carrié (Haiti), Lisu Vega (Venezuela), Muu Blanco (Venezuela), Diane Khalo, Ruben Riviera Matos, Izel Vargas, Zonia Zena, and others. Please see blog for complete list of artists:

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The art and artists of "CONstitution X : Our Human Rights" at The Box Gallery

CONstitutionX: Our Human Rights

The Box Gallery
811 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, Florida

Opens with a reception on September 28th, 2019 | 7 PM

September 28, 2019 - November 6, 2019

An exhibition and series of visual art presentations, theatrical performances, performance art, films, workshops, artists talks and video curated by 
Rolando Chang Barrero, Daynalis Gonzalez,  and Sonia Baez-Hernandez.

   These art interventions address a range of narratives regarding immigration and our basic human rights. The inclusion of the varieties media included in this exhibition we hope extends the dialogue of what art and activism can and does look like when it merges. Its purpose and intent is to introduce, inform and educate the viewer of some of the most powerful work being created in the social justice arena and to share the issues and the experiences of the artists which shapes, not only their work, but their very lives. 

All three are artist/curators have long established their presence in the the art world as leaders of social justice art with the purpose of showcasing and participating in a wide range of visual and performing art that aim to raise critical consciousness, build community, and motivate individuals to promote social change.

The exhibition opens on the anniversary date that The U.S. Congress voted to send the new Constitution of the United States to the state legislatures for their approval and closes on the anniversary of the election of Abraham Lincoln the author of The Emancipation Proclamation.

Artists in all media will unite to respond to the various "CONs" that have been revealed during the current political climate in the United States and perceived as a blatant disregard of our “X" basic guaranteed freedoms presented in the Constitution of The United States’ Bill of of Rights.

Special presentations by 

Guatemalan Maya Center

In the 1980s, at the height of the Guatemalan genocide, many indigenous migrant workers were facing harassment from employers while struggling to find their place in a new home. The founders of the Guatemalan-Maya Center lobbied and advocated for the migrant community, gaining numerous victories throughout the past three decades, including securing special agricultural work visas for nearly 1,000,000 people.
Thanks to a grant from the Palm Beach County Health Department, The Guatemalan-Maya Center was officially incorporated in 1992. With just a staff of 5 and a van, we began driving mothers with limited access to the health services and prenatal care to their doctor visits - interpreting both language and culture.
Years later, we continue to accompany the immigrant communities of South Florida, and have expanded our programs to serve over 1,000 people each month from more than 28 different countries.

We Count!
a grassroots membership organization in Homestead, Florida, founded in 2006 and dedicated to promoting the rights and well-being of the immigrant community through education, support and collective action.
Help build the power of Latin American immigrants and farm workers in Homestead with a generous tax-deductible contribution in support of WeCount! Donations can be made at

Among the 24 international artists which are included are  Rolando Chang Barrero (US), Lisu Vega (Venezuela), Muu Blanco (Venezuela), Donna Ruff , Diane khalo, Ruben Riviera Matos, Sonia Baez-Hernandez (D.R), Narciso Martinez (Mex.), Maria Lino (Cuba), Sunny Marquez (P.R.), Edouard Duval-Carrié (Haiti), Lisu Vega (Venezuela), Muu Blanco (Venezuela), Donna Ruff , Diane khalo, Ruben Riviera Matos, Izel Vargas, and others. Please scroll down for complete list of artists.

Artists List:


This Taco Truck Kills Fascists (2018) | Rodrigo Dorfman in attendance

Rodrigo Dorfman (born 1967 in Santiago, Chile) is a multimedia award-winning filmmaker and producer living in Durham, North Carolina. He has worked with POV, HBO, Salma Hayek's Ventanazul and the BBC among others.


Aurora Molina was born in La Havana, Cuba, in 1984. She emigrated to the United States at the age of sixteen, where she opted to pursue an education in art. Molina received her Associates of Arts in Visual Arts from Miami Dade College, a Bachelors in Fine Arts specializing in Mixed Media from Florida International University and Master Degree in Contemporary Art at the Universidad Europea de Madrid completed in 2009. She currently resides in Miami, Florida, where she works as a full time artist.


Over a five-year period, I developed an installation of artwork that is a memorial to the thousands of girls and young women who have disappeared and often brutally murdered in Juárez, Mexico. My intent was to create a “sacred space” and a memorial wall of portraits of the victims. I painted portraits and built frames for more than 150 victims as well as created other large sculptures and paintings which made reference to Mexico’s indigenous roots to help memorialize these victims of feminicide (the murder of women because they are women).



Written By Elisa Turner, BT Contributor 

Permeating Ruff’s art is a passion for social justice. She’s active in the social justice network of her Miami Beach synagogue, Temple Beth Sholom. With network members, she demonstrated against the detaining of immigrant children at the Homestead Detention Center.

”No wonder her art is included in the exhibit “CONstitutionX: Our Human Rights,” opening September 28 at the Box Gallery, 811 Belvedere Rd., in West Palm Beach. “Box Gallery concentrates on socially conscious art,” says gallery owner and curator Rolando Chang Barrero. Ruff uses “new forms and traditional material, as well as imagery which is extremely powerful,” he adds. Her art “is one of the more perfect examples of work that should be seen today.”


My art seeks to spark a conversation on subjects that touch me deeply, such as place, motherhood, breast cancer and the fragility of the natural environment. The relationship between the fibers I work with and the place where I was born evokes the comfort of belonging. Regardless of whether I am physically “here or there”, the question is always … but where do you come from?

Working in fiber art allows me to foster community , bringing people together to knit for different positive causes.


Born in the village of Rancheria in Chinandega, Nicaragua, Jahaira Ríos Campos y Gálvez immigrated to the U.S. in 1979 with her parents fleeing the civil war. She is an alumna of New World School of the Arts High School. Jahaira received her B.F.A. from University of Florida and her M.F.A. from Barry University. She currently lives in Miami, Florida with her husband and four children and works at Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) as a Teaching Artist. As a teacher she has a passion to show others how art can enrich their lives and the understanding of the world around them. Her work as an artist stems from her desire to touch on difficult subjects in a way that provokes conversations and reflection.




In 2014, Venezuelan artist Jose Antonio Blanco decided that enough was enough.
Known as Muu to his friends and fellow artists, Blanco took to the streets in Caracas to protest alongside thousands of other people in what would later become one of the most violent days in Venezuelan history: Students’ Day or Dia de los Estudiantes. The protests also coincided with the imprisonment of opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez.
Dozens of young people were killed ... continue.

Her art crosses boundaries from installations and performance arts to documentary to poetry. The work responds to issues of human rights, police brutality, embodiment (art healing), health disparities, biomedicine, medical deportation, climate change and the immigration detention deportation apparatus. Her interest in the arts allow her to expand the dialogue and awareness about social transformation, climate and racial justice and meditations about identity., gender... Please watch  link

Sonia Baez-Hernandez (born 1958) is a Puerto-Dominican interdisciplinary artist. She works with a wider variety of media including drawing, painting, instillations, performance art, poetry, and filmmaking.


“We have to be able to at least sort the bodies later of we’re not going to take care of the issue.”-CBS NEWS

Rolando Chang Barrero’s “School Supplies for a New Generation” makes another stark, strong statement as he lays a series of white printed tags and bags that may look like school supplies but are actually body bags. “School Supplies For the Next Generation” is meant to disturb the audience. “It should anger you and maybe shame you into action,” says Barrero. “These are not times that I am concerned about you, nor your response to my work! What you see is my response to the inaction of our country and the possibility of normalizing events that should not have occurred, but did, and may very well happen again.” - Florida Daily Post


Sandra L. Portal-Andreu (Performance Artist/Choreographer/Educator) is a Miami native of Cuban/Colombian descent who began her dance experience at the Mirochnik Ballet Institute under the direction of Madelyn Alfonso. Later, she trained intensively in the Vaganova Technique with Ballet Master Vladimir Issaev. Under Issaev’s direction with the Arts Ballet Theater of South Florida, she performed as soloist in The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, Ballet Concerto, and Suite of Waltzes No.1. She received an A.A. from New World School of the Arts, a B.F.A. in Dance from Florida State University, and a M.S. in Movement Sciences from Barry University.


Aimee Perez was born in Habana Cuba in 1955. She left for the United States when she was twelve with her family through the Freedom Flights and grew up in Miami in Cuban immigrant community. As a young adult she won the Gold Key Award in painting and several honorable mentions as she continued her pursuit of the arts during her college years. In 1989 she moved to Mexico City and continued painting and exhibiting with Cuban and Mexican artist.


XII Biennial of Havana / Photographer Artist/ Arts & Technoscience / 
Intelligent Media/ Curatorial Assitance & Producer.


Mojado is a slang term meaning Wetback.(Someone who illegally enters the 
U.S. by crossing the Rio Grande).

This photo is a reminder of the hardships my husband faced when trying to navigate the immigration system. He is now an American citizen but it was a long, arduous process. Depending on which country you are from, the rules change a bit. Not everyone who wants to become 
a citizen is granted that privilege. 

The United States helps fund wars in other countries to benefit their agenda and then are very slow or reluctant to help the people fleeing from violence, crime and other atrocities of war. -Diane Arrieta


Edouard Duval-Carrié’s work navigates the historically rich and culturally complex traditions that comprise a uniquely Caribbean perspective. Duval-Carrié’s recent works attend to themes of water, travel, and Francophone culture. For him, water becomes both a symbolic passage and a barrier – the means by which enslaved Africans were brought to the Caribbean and modern-day Haitians migrate to the United States. Both circumstances have been driven by capitalism, a force that occupies Duval-Carrié’s work materially and iconographically.

Edouard Duval Carrié is a contemporary artist and curator based in Miami, Florida. Born and raised in Haiti, Duval Carrié fled the regime of “Papa Doc” Duvalier as a teen ager and subsequently resided in locales as diverse as Puerto Rico, New York, Montreal, Paris and Miami. Parallels thus emerge between the artist’s cosmopolitan lifestyle and his artistic sensitivity toward the multifaceted identities that form his native Haiti. At heart, Duval Carrié is an educator: he challenges the viewer to make meaning of dense iconography derived from Caribbean history, politics, and religion. His mixed media works and installations present migrations and transformations, often human and spiritual. Recently the conceptual layering of Duval Carrié’s works has been further emphasized in his materials and through consistent attention to translucent and reflective mediums, such as glitter, glass, and resin. The introspective effects of these mediums transform his works into spatial interventions that implicate the viewer in their historicity.


Ignacio Font was born of Cuban parents on the island of Puerto Rico, where he began his search as an artist. As a child, Ignacio always felt an outsider, not belonging to his family, neighborhood or school. At the age of 10, he visited New York with his family and felt a warm embrace when in front of a Jackson Pollock painting. A year later his family moved to Miami from Puerto Rico and the disjointed feeling he always had became an even greater contrast to the warm embrace of the Pollock painting. This disjointed feeling, coupled with the warm embrace, are the driving forces in his works.





“Before I decided to be political in my art, I would get critiques about how I was making statements that were too social and political, so I decided to embrace it,” said Martinez.

At the age of 20, Martinez moved to the United States to pursue better opportunities, as most immigrants do. Now at 39, Martinez is a drawing and painting major showcasing his art throughout the Cal State University Long Beach campus and the country.

“I grew up poor in Oaxaca. [My family’s] goal was to have enough to eat,” said Martinez. “We didn’t really have time to dream.”

Martinez’s artwork is a collection of portraits of agricultural workers painted or drawn on recycled produce boxes he collects from grocery stores who have thrown the boxes away. The majority of his pieces are done in charcoal pencils, ink wash, and oil paints.




Ricardo Levins Morales describes himself as a “healer and trickster organizer disguised as an artist.” He was born into the anti-colonial movement in his native Puerto Rico and was drawn into activism in Chicago when his family moved there in 1967.

Ricardo left high school early and worked in various industries, and over time began to use his art as part of his activism. This activism has included support work for the Black Panthers and Young Lords to participating in or acting in solidarity with farmers, environmental, labor, racial justice and peace movements.

Increasingly Ricardo sees his art and organizing practices as means to address individual, collective and historical trauma. He co-leads workshops on trauma and resilience for organizers as well as trainings on creative organizing, social justice strategy and sustainable activism, and mentors and supports young activists.





Experienced Art Teacher with a demonstrated history of working in the fine art industry. Strong education professional skilled in Photography, Printmaking, Logo Design, Microsoft Word, and Conceptual Art. 


Zonia Zena is a photo based artist born and living in Lima Peru. Her photographic work has evolved on the genre of portraiture with a documentary approach. She has been working on projects dealing with women and inmigration, family and her own interaction with her surroundings.

Zonia completed a Bacherlor’s degree in Fine Arts with concentration in Creative Photography and a Minor in Art History from New World School of the Arts in partnership with University of Florida. She is a member of Women Photograph.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Rolando Chang Barrero's Pajaro Story

Rolando Chang Barrero's Pajaro Story

El Pajaro / The Bird is a symbol that has many meanings. Culturally it has, for the most part, been a symbol associated with  freedom and strength, as well as harmony with fellow creatures. 

The bird meaning signifies illumination and empowerment. It ushers in fortune and luck, and it represents purity, elegance, opportunity, and victory.

Pajar(o) has also, been used as a slang term in a many latin countries ( ie: Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Republica Dominicana ) to refer to the male homosexual, inversely the feminine Pajar(a) is the slang term for lesbian. 

While attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago during the 80’s the AIDS pandemic was devastating the gay community. Among the often overlooked during this crisis were young, homeless, and disenfranchised young gay latino men who were my friends and were about my age or younger. Most of us were in our late teens or early twenties I was one of the eldest at twenty-four. 

As the deaths arrived, one here and one there at first and subsequently growing exponentially each month, there were a few of us that took it upon ourselves to contact parents and next of kin upon the deaths of our friends and other young men who we didnt know. We were naive and were hoping that our friends would be put to rest peacefully after such an excruciating battle with this awful disease. Many of these calls were heart wrenching experiences; some of the parents and family members would reply with unbearable scathing anguish upon the news of the loss of their loved one, but most indelibly stamped on my soul were the cold and heartless responses of some of the righteous and homophobic families who made it clear that they had buried, not only their sons, but seemly all of us years ago without as much as a Hail Mary. There would not be cards sent, nor condolences offered by either group. No thoughts and prayers were ever offered that I can remember.

My response to the repetitive chorus: “En mi casa no hay pajaros! Estas equívocado!” (translation: “In my house there are no birds! You're wrong ) was to make a commitment  to place a “pajaro” in everyones home in honor of my friends that died unacknowledged by their birth families, but honored by a few of us that were a part of their chosen family, of which I was proud to belong, if only too briefly.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Pulitzer Prize recipient and distinguished speakers to address free speech at upcoming forum in South Florida.

Pulitzer Prize recipient and distinguished speakers to address free speech at upcoming forum in South Florida.
Megan O’Matz, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, South Florida Sun-Sentinel  joins powerhouse panel, The Free Speech Forum, produced and moderated by freelance journalist Sally-Ann O’Dowd alongside group of distinguished speakers including: Author Darius V. Daughtry Jon M. Garon, J.D., Karla D. Kennedy, and Aurelio Moreno.

Watch the Hola Palm Beach Interviews with Rolando Chang Barrero and Sally O'Dowd.
Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

Press Release

Fort Lauderdale’s FATVillage 
Ripped from the Headlines: The Free Speech Forum
June 28, 2019 | 6-9 pm 

Seating is limited for this free event please reply today 

Forum content reflects and drives the cultural zeitgeist, from South Florida SunSentinel’s Pulitzer to activist poetry mirroring a new Netflix hit

Fort Lauderdale—June 20, 2019—FATVillage on June 28 will host “Ripped from the Headlines: The Free Speech Forum,” designed to foster dialogue about the First Amendment amidst “fake news” demonization of professional journalists, the rise of hate speech, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas in Parkland.
The forum — an extension of FATVillage’s “Ripped from the Headlines” art exhibit — is even more timely given its literary dimension. African-American poet Darius V. Daughtry will read from his new book echoing the social injustices explored in “When They See Us,” the internationally acclaimed Netflix series recounting the true story of four black teenagers and one Hispanic wrongfully convicted in a notorious rape case.
“Our mission is to curate, exhibit and provide a forum for critical dialogue among artists, curators and the public, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Ripped from the Headlines,” says Doug McCraw, founder of FATVillage Arts District. “The ‘Headlines’participants are using their visual artistry to comment on news of the day, so it makes sense to host an event with a journalistic and literary perspective. We’re particularly honored to recognize the Sun-Sentinel’s Pulitzer with two reporters on the panel.”
Curated by Elle Schorr the exhibit features numerous artists including: Manuel “Change the Ref” Oliver, whose son Joaquin was one of 17 people murdered in Parkland; Rolando Chang Barrero, who lays body bags on the floor; Aurora Molina, whose fiber art depicts immigrant children in cages; Mary Catello, whose six female figures tell of their sexual assault; and Arctic-exploring climate change activist Xavier Cortadawhom I also interviewed for Lifestyle.
A group of distinguished speakers will lead the June 28 forum’s dialogue with attendees:
  • Darius V. Daughtryauthor,And the Walls Came Tumbling: Poems that Unapologetically Speak Truth to Powerand executive director, Art Prevails Project
  • Jon M. Garon, J.D., dean of the Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeastern University
  • Karla D. Kennedy, instructor, Department of Journalism and Media, Florida InternationalUniversity
  • Aurelio Moreno, multimedia reporter, South Florida Sun-Sentineland Spanish edition El Sentinel 
  • Megan O’Matz, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The Free Speech Forum is produced and moderated by freelance journalist Sally-Ann O’Dowd, whose communications company, Sally On Media, promotes non-profits and progressive brands. She self-published the multimedia magazine “Creativity Is Risky: Free Speech in a Charlie Hebdo World” following the 2015 murders of 11 French journalists by two Al Qaeda members.
“Within a few minutes of viewing ‘Ripped from the Headlines,’ I saw genius in Elle’s curation and each artist’s soul,” O’Dowd says. “Together, we’ve set out to create an event focused on the First Amendment, without which we wouldn’t have the media coverage catalyzing their work. Whether you attend in person or livestream, we hope you walk away enlightened.”
The Free Speech Forum
June 28, 6 – 9 pm, FATVillage, 521 NW 1stAvenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Schedule of events
  • 6–7pm: wine reception and tour of the “Ripped from the Headlines” multimedia art exhibit with curator Elle Schorr
  • 7–9pm: poetry reading by Darius V. Daughtry; official welcome by FATVillage Founder Doug McCraw; panel discussion and open dialogue
Tickets are free but limited. RSVP to attend:

About FATVillage
The purpose of FATVillage is to curate, exhibit and promote the work of emerging, contemporary artists. We strive to generate an inclusive art community through a diverse series of programs and by championing cross-disciplinary collaboration and experimentation.