by REBECCA HICKOK
Beginning on Feb. 7 and ending on March 1, the Weeks Gallery in Drake University’s Fine Arts Center will feature an exhibit put together by Drake Spanish students and Drake painting students.
The collaboration is called The Leyendas/Legends Project. It consists of written and visual components depicting several Spanish legends.
Spanish students in Professor Inbal Mazar’s Spanish class, “Latin American Legends”, interviewed Spanish speaking people in the community. Students then translated, from Spanish to English, what the legends told to them in the interviews.
Senior Aili Huss, a double major in psychology and Spanish, was in Mazar’s course last semester. Huss interviewed a community member and translated their legend, which was “La Tatuana” from Guatemala. This legend describes humans regaining their independence and freedom.
Each legend was translated to English, and then given to one of the students in Professor Angela Battle’s painting courses.
“I produced two works for the show,” said sophomore painting major Kara Andreski. “We were asked to put into picture form legends from Latin countries that were told to us via written translations.”
Andreski was given the legends of LLorona of Mexican legends, and la Ciguapa of Dominican Republic legends.
“They say of indigenous style because it’s a small woman with dark skin and long, long, long hair that walks without clothes,” Carolina, a community member interviewed by a student in Professor Inbal’s class, said of the legend of the Ciguapa. “Then, the interesting part of her is that she has feet the other way around.”
Carolina continues, explaining that the legends says Ciguapa hunts cheating men in the night, and kills them. This legend is often used to motivate children to do chores, by telling them that if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do, Ciguapa will get them.
“I painted a version of The Legend of the Fifth Sun, which was originally an Aztec story but is now a Mexican legend,” senior Caroline Bushman said.
Community member, Ana, was interviewed about the Legend of the Fifth Sun, and explained to a student in Professor Inbal’s class that in the legend, each sun signifies an era.
“It says the legend is that the gods meet in the city of Teotihuacan to create the sun,” Ana said. “The gods then ask the ‘lower gods’ if one of them would volunteer to become the new sun. So then he [a god] asks Nanahuatzin to throw himself in the campfire to convert himself into the sun, and Nanahuatzin said he would.”
All of the collaborations for the Legends project are on display in the Weeks Gallery on the second floor of Harmon Fine Arts Center. Each display has a Spanish version of the legend, a translated English version of the legend, and a painting student’s artistic interpretation of the legend.
The Leyendas/Legends Project will be on display until March 1, with a mid-show reception held on Thursday, Feb.13 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.