The visit of Zarco Guerrero, sculptor, maskmaker and performance artist from Mesa, Arizona coincides with the celebration of the Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 2. It is a highly celebrated and significant holiday held throughout Mexico, Latin America and the Southwest, a day when homage is paid with prayers, offerings of food, and the building of altars to those who have gone before us.
His visit will include class visits in the Art and Theatre departments, Decorah High School art classes, and a community event for youth at the Decorah Public Library. He will give a public performance on Thursday November 2 in the Center for Faith & Life Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Guerrero's work is shown in the Preus Library August 30-November 3, 2007. An artist's reception is planned for November 2, 6:00-7:15 p.m. in Hovde Lounge in Preus Library.
Zarco Guerrero [Juañeno/Acjachemem] has been a force in the Arizona art scene since the early seventies, as a multi-media artist and community arts advocate. He has participated in the Artist in Education program of the Arizona Arts Commission and has conducted workshops throughout the U.S. since 1972. The artist has had one-man shows in Mexico and throughout the United States. He is the founder of Xicanindio Artes, Inc. , a non profit organization dedicated to better understanding of Latino and Native American arts. In 1984, PBS broadcasted nationally a one hour documentary about his art entitled The Mask of El Zarco. In 1986 he was awarded the prestigious Japan Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and spent one year in Kyoto, Japan, studying the Noh Masks as an apprentice to Joshun Fukakusa. From Japan, the artist investigated mask carving in Bali, Indonesia and China.
In 1990, Zarco received the Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project Grant to pursue his mask carving in Mexico. He was the mask maker for La Mascarada la Vida, a play by Childsplay, Inc. in which he also played the lead male and co-composed the musical score. This play was featured at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. In 1991 The Institute for Studies in the Arts at Arizona State University and its dance department performed A Song for the Forest People, a dance/opera written by Zarco in which over 30 of his masks were featured.
In 1993 he was awarded Arizona's Governor's Arts Award for his artistic contributions to the community. In 1994 he was the recipient of the 1994 Scottsdale Arts Council's Chairman's Artist Award.
Zarco had made powerful anti-violence videos for TV. He performed regularly for many years with the Latin and world beat band Zúm Zúm Zúm. Zarco completed in 1998 an over life size bronze sculpture of Farm worker Leader César Chávez commissioned by the City of Phoenix.
Face to Face in a Frenzy is a one man play by Zarco in which masks are extensively used, has been performed both locally and nationally at theaters, schools, conferences and community audiences. Zarco regularly portrays El Diablo as the lead role in La Pastorela, a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Mexican drama. Most recently Zarco and his family have written and produced Que Pasión! - An Extraordinary Easter Story, which depicts the crucifixion and the resurrection from a unique Chicano perspective. He is most well known for the masks that he carves and displays throughout the Southwest.
Examples of Mr. Guerrero's work may be found on his web site http://www.zarkmask.com.
Tuesday, October 31
Classroom visits at Luther and Decorah High School
12:45-2:00 p.m.: Lunch with local artists
Wednesday, November 1
Classroom visits in Postville and Luther
6:00 p.m.: Dinner with Spanish speaking students
8:00 p.m.: Jam session, "Music and Stories" at Marty's with Tony Guzman and Raymundo Rosales
Thursday, November 2
Classroom visits at Luther
10:30 a.m.: Speak in Daily Chapel, CFL
3:30-5:00 p.m.: Community event for youth at Decorah Public Library
6:00-7:15 p.m.: Gallery Reception in Hovde Lounge in Preus Library
7:30 p.m.: Public Performance, "Face to Face", CRH
Friday, November 3
Classroom visits in Postville