ArtspeakRadio with Hugo Ximello-Salido and Yetunde Felix-Ukwu

ArtspeakRadio, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1FM KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd talks with multi-discipline artist Hugo Ximello-Salido and Yetunde Felix-Ukwu, Artistic Associate KCRep.

HUGO XIMELLO-SALIIDO is a self-taught, Mexican-American artist whose work explores cultural identity, personal identity, communication, connection, and more. Born and raised in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, Mexico, Ximello-Salido’s natural creativity and passion for painting stems from a family background full of artists. Upon moving to the United States, initial cultural shocks and difficulty with communication prompted him to begin expressing himself visually and to develop his own style and techniques.
Ximello-Salido’s early work was primarily inspired by the traditions and colors of Mexican culture. Through a fusion of folkloric symbols, old-world history, and contemporary social issues, the artist creates a dialogue about identity and culture that abounds with color and texture. He continues to find inspiration in the intersection of various communities, especially the LGBT community, and strives to convey distinct yet universal perspectives to the viewer through his work.
Ximello-Salido’s paintings have been displayed in galleries and at events in both Mexico and the United States (including at the Agora Gallery in New York City), and the artist has been featured in several print articles and a documentary, Art Views: Creativity and Culture in Kansas City.

As a native Mexican, culture and tradition are a vital part of my heritage. As a Mexican-American, I am fascinated by the dialogue between different cultures and traditions. As an artist, I explore personal experiences, emotions, and connections through the lens of my past and present in order to create a vibrant future. Through my work, I strive to increase social awareness of the many parts of my intersectional identity and experience as a Mexican-American member of the LGBTQ community.

My early work focuses on the legacy of Mexican culture and its collision with the American experience. Major inspirations include Mexican colonial style, “La Catrina” (the elegant skull), and other culturally significant symbols such as La Loteria Mexicana (Mexican bingo), papel picado (perforated tissue paper), and Talavera. I use a variety of materials, including acrylic paint, ink, gels, sand, papier-mâché, spray paint, and more to modernize, revive, and reinvent the Mexican art that inspires me.
Through each piece, I seek to convey a unique yet universal sense of being, feeling, or thought. I hope to challenge stereotypes, commercialization and commodification, and the arbitrary barriers we create between our shared humanity. My point of view emerges from varied perspectives on language, cultural differences, race, cultural bias, and more. My process is meditative and expressive, an expulsion of demons and a dispensation of beauty.
By crafting original artworks inspired by Mexican folklore, diverse communities, and daily experiences, I endeavor to bridge the gap between past and present as a modern, Mexican-American artist.
Three Things I Believe As An Artist. Anyone can create art; Art should be accessible and affordable to everyone; All work should be original.

As part of my ongoing effort to celebrate and explore Mexican culture through art, I have been greatly inspired by Muxe – one-of-a-kind individuals who are assigned male at birth but grow up to dress and behave in ways traditionally associated with women. While there is some overlap with the transgender community, Muxe exist within a particular cultural context in Oaxaca, Mexico. They are not transgender women, as they don’t identify as women; they identify as Muxe. The Zapotec culture, concentrated in Oaxaca, is dominantly Catholic today and yet accepts Muxe as a vibrant and even necessary part of the community.
The main purpose of this project is to research the Muxe community and immerse myself in their culture, beliefs, and views on gender. Through this endeavor, I hope to gain a better understanding of Muxe and Zapotecan culture, which I will then translate onto the canvas in a series of art pieces intended to celebrate Muxe and illuminate this unique community for a broader audience.

YETUNDE FELIX-UKWU, Artistic Associate KC Rep-Introducing ArtSpark: a brand new web-series from KCRep! Tap into the pulse of Kansas City’s art scene to ignite your own creative spark! Join Yetunde Felix-Ukwu, our Artistic Associate, as she engages with the artists who are shaping Kansas City and beyond to discover what gets their creative impulses firing. ArtSpark is a digital studio that offers collaboration with artists from diverse mediums to explore and inspire artistic expression.

Episode 4 Local Muralists with featured guest Jose Faus and special guests Vania Soto, Hector Casanova, and Alisha Gambino

Share your Spark – Art Prompt!
Each ArtSpark episode features an interactive prompt that will spark your creativity! Up for the challenge? Viewers can share their creations using #ArtSparksArt on social media, or email us your creations at [email protected]. We may even feature your submission in a future ArtSpark episode!
Art Prompts:
Episode one: Enrique Chi challenges you to write new lyrics to your favorite song.
Episode two: Lonnie McFadden challenges you to add some flair to a dance you know well.
Episode three: Hadara Bar-Nadav asked you to explore a meaningful object thru poetry. These printable worksheets, provided by Hadara, will help you with this art prompt: Worksheet No. 1 • Worksheet No. 2. Huascar challenges you to write a poem inspired by a color.
Episode four: Jose asks you to play with scraps of paper to make new designs and images.


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