La Casita will commemorate Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) with the opening of a new exhibit, “Once Upon a Time… A Toy Show / Erase una vez… un show de juguetes, Friday, Sept. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. The show will present work by Latin American and U.S. artists inspired by dolls and toys as the gallery transforms into an interactive playground. Admission is free and open to the public. La Casita is on the ground floor of the Lincoln Building at 109 Otisco St. in Syracuse.
The new exhibit features work by artists Matías Roth, Dashel Hernández, Rochele Royster, a collaborative piece by Liliana Porter and Ana Tiscornia, and a 9 ft. mural by Abisay Puentes, teaching artist at La Casita, who created the piece with the children in this year’s summer programs.
“Toys contain stories about all of us,” said Tere Paniagua ’82, Executive Director of the Office of Cultural Engagement for the Hispanic Community and co-curator of the project. “This showcase serves to establish a common thread that unites us as a community by examining the vast range and depth of experiences that have an imprint on who we are and shape our future generations.”
Toys are a testimony not only of human creativity but also of intercultural connections across generations. In a toy that we recall from our childhood, there are memories associated with our collective and personal stories. Toys live in our stories, our journey, and our history. Their significance lies in their capacity to contain stories from one generation to another.
This new exhibition is at the center of a series of inter-generational community dialogues that will be taking place at La Casita and will be preserved by the Center’s digital Cultural Memory Archive, established in 2013 as a resource for education and scholarly research.
La Casita is a program of Syracuse University established in 2011 to advance an educational and cultural agenda of civic engagement through research, cultural heritage preservation, media studies, and the arts, bridging the Hispanic communities of Syracuse University and Central New York.