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Past the Paints: Capilla del Hombre

la capilla del hombre art gallery

The Capilla del Hombre (Chapel of Man) is a gallery that showcases the artwork of Oswaldo Guayasamín, who was a Quechua Indian, and master painter and sculptor. Sadly, he passed away in 1999 before his gallery was completed in 2002.

The two-story building does not have all the pieces that Guayasamin completed, but presents a good variety that allows you to get the full effect of this man’s brilliant style and legacy.

The museum is open Tuesdays through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cost of admission was pretty steep when my friends and I went but we managed to get in for $2 USD, which is the price for students, even without any identification. I believe that speaking Spanish definitely aided in our mission for the lower price.

some of the faces in a series, look at the colors and emotions

After a friend’s death during a demonstration in Quito, Guayasamin’s artwork soon turned into the expression of the people and world that he lived in. Eventually, his travels throughout Latin America provided him with a vision that translated onto the palette’s where his brush stroked.

La Capilla del Hombre became a dedication to the Latin American people. Guayasamin painted their emotions in series and solo pieces filled with all sorts of shades and colors.

At the bottom of the museum there is an area where you can purchase Guayasamin’s artwork. Some are re-prints whereas others are originals at an extremely great investment price. Everyone was pretty much getting their hands on some piece of his work to take home with them. The hardest part was deciding which one because they are all truly breath-taking and thought-provoking masterpieces.

the mural painted on the ceiling of the cone

You can see the pain in each of the unique, individual faces. I think the brilliance of his work shows in the fact that Guayasamin could use whatever colors he wanted (i.e. blue, orange, yellow) in the faces of his subjects and yet, your eyes and heart immediately see and feel the emotions he is portraying. The positioning of the bodies was enough to set the tone of the painting. One mural that continues to come to mind is the white, skeletal bodies against the black backdrop reaching for the circular light shining down upon them. It is one of the most memorable because it is painted on the inside of the cylinder cone on the ceiling, where the circular hole is open toward the sky, as if to say their souls are reaching toward heaven.

the tree of life, where guayasamin's ashes are buried

The museum was built on the grounds of Guayasamin’s estate. Visitors can walk up to his house that overlooks Quito and the Pichincha mountain range. In the corner of the grass yard is a tree. He planted and cared for it. Upon Guayasamin’s request, his ashes were buried beneath the leaves and branches of the tree on March 10, 1999.

The day of his death, an archaeological excavation found a 1,000 year-old Pre-Inca ship, along with 13 tombs. A museum was set up to preserve the indigenous artifacts and educate the public.

Though he may have passed, Guayasamin’s artwork continues to live on revealing the lives of the Latin people and the land from which he was born.

Beneath his paintings are the anecdotes of the past.










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The Northwest Valley of Arizona

Ten years ago, the settlers of the Northwest Valley would never have dreamt it to look as it does now: bustling intersections, a brand new football stadium, a man-made lake and an antique shopper’s paradise.

The city of Glendale has seen its fair share of transformations. Some of which include a prominent grammar school in the early years to today having Arizona State University West, Glendale Community College and the Thunderbird School of Global Management within its borders. The Santa Fe Railroad that once steamed through the city will look toward the future as the Valley Metro Light Rail is completed in 2011. The more modern part of the city consists of the Arrowhead Mall, the new Westgate shopping and dining region right next to the Cardinal’s University of Phoenix Stadium and the Jobing.com Arena, where concerts and hockey take spotlight. However, with so many changes, the community has been able to hold onto its heritage in the tiny downtown district. Some of the historic homes are actually antique shops full of books, furniture, clothing, dolls, paintings and more while other homes have been turned into restaurants with eclectic menus. Winter brings the traditional Glendale Glitters attraction, where lights sparkle in the trees and shops stay up late, booths overtake the lawn with food and merchandise, kids enjoy rides as dancers and singers perform in the amphitheater. Do not forget to visit the Cerreta Candy Company and take the factory tour, where visitors can get a first hand look at how the fudge and fine chocolates are made.

You won’t ever find yourself indoors while in the city of Peoria. It is a mecca for those who love nature, sports activities and those who want to learn something new. The Peoria Sports Complex hosts the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners for their Spring Training and is also the site of the Dolly Sanchez Egg Hunt, 4th of July All-American Fest, and Halloween Monster Bash and Balloon Illumination events. The ice skating rink and roller rink are located close by, as well as the Rio Vista Recreation Center and Park where a gym, sand volleyball courts, fishing lakes, playgrounds, baseball fields and skate park can be found. Those who can’t get enough, head up north to West Wing and Sunrise Mountains where new hiking trails have just been constructed, or even farther up north to Lake Pleasant Regional Park for boating, fishing, hiking, camping, and picnicking. The park itself sponsors many activities from scuba diving, stargazing, nature tours and even running events. If adrenaline is still pumping, enroll in Turf Soaring School, and glide through the blue skies or watch the speedsters at the Canyon Speedway Park.

Surprise, surprise, surprise…it just keeps multiplying and multiplying and it isn’t any wonder because the city already has an active shopping center and sports complex. The White Tank Mountains are the backdrop of Surprise and provide hiking trails, the Waterfall Trail being amongst the more popular and numerous events suitable for every age. For the more artistic bunch, The West Valley Art Museum offers collections of over 4,000 items from around the world, exhibitions, musical performances, and activities such as classes and workshops. If you like straying from the pack, visit the Speedworld Motorcross Park where you can practice or watch the throttles reach their maximum performance.

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The Southwest Valley of Arizona

It is not debatable that the Southwest Valley has been growing faster than a saguaro’s arm ever could. Developments have sprouted up and spread as far as the White Tank Mountains and beyond with the lure of affordable land and homes bringing thousands just like the Gold Rush. The cities and towns of Buckeye, Goodyear, Litchfield, Wickenburg and Gila Bend comprise most of this area that is filled with activities for those interested in the arts, outdoors, sports or indulging themselves in the many shopping centers that are springing up.
Buckeye was once the home of author, Upton Sinclair, but is now known as one of the largest growing neighborhoods in Arizona with 22 master planned communities and the future site of a 900-acre Buckeye Town Lake. Head south on the State Route 85 toward The Buckeye Hills Regional Park, which is composed of 4,474-acres to hike trails in the lush desert landscape, pitch a tent for camping, enjoy a family picnic or try for a bull’s-eye at the shooting range.
Goodyear is a prime living arrangement for the family team. The Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds host their Spring Training in the city, which is conveniently located 20 minutes from Downtown Phoenix. Take the family out to a game or visit one of the many community parks: the Splash Pad, the Skate Park, Roscoe Dog Park, or any of the other neighborhood playgrounds. The outdoor sports enthusiasts can enjoy the Estrella Mountain Regional Park, which provides bikers, horseback riders and hikers miles of trails to blaze in a perfect desert landscape. The surrounding area, Casey Abbot Recreation Area, has volleyball courts, an 18-hole golf course, picnic areas and a jungle gym for the kids. Every two years, Goodyear hosts the Luke Days, an air show that draws many crowds and if you want to see the largest collection of bibles, look no further than in the Grand Lobby of the Hampton Inn and Suites, and in the summer cool off with Movies in the Park and Dry Heat Comedy. For those not interested in recreation, stay tuned for Estrella Falls, the newest mall will be opening in fall 2011 and spans 105-acres in the budding city that still has reasonably priced land available.
A small suburb is maturing within the farming community of Litchfield Park, situated 16 miles from Phoenix near the 1-10. The city is recognized for its family atmosphere and easygoing lifestyle. Throughout the year the Recreation Services holds “Arts in the Park Live”, a free concert series with performances by diverse bands that play everything from blues, jazz, country to even big band swing. Art festivals are always marked on calendars and the recreation center provides a variety of programs for the youth, adults and senior citizens so everyone can become involved.

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