Paso Valiente

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“Paso Valiente”

Rosemary Cooley

Original Monoprint Collage on Somerset
paper with 23k. gold leaf

Paso Valiente tells of the bravery needed for people who choose to leave familiar culture for a new land, and often the resulting loss of identity, family, friends and the warmth of their music, art, cuisine and history.

The pull of a better life prompts these people and those who come to the Chesapeake area where they are fortunate to find support at the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center in Easton, MD.

Together, they work to acclimatize to their new environment as they search for homes, employment and schools for their children. The staff of caring individuals at MRC help newly arrived people navigate hurdles as they strive to become part of the American Dream.

Leaving a culture behind is no easy task. Others have felt it too, especially South American authors and poets, who put into words, the myriad feelings of loss and forging ahead. As noted and quoted in the artwork:

Pablo Neruda – Chilean poet and diplomat and politician who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Columbian novelist and Nobel Laureate in 1982. He is an interpreter of Magical Realism in such novels as Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Rodolfo Gonzalez – a Mexican boxer and poet who led the crusade for Justice and urban rights for the Chicano cultural urban movement during the 1960s. He focused on social, political and economic justice for Chicanos.

Sergio Elizando – Mexican poet and educator whose work harkens back to deep cultural roots of immigrants of their native land and their culture. He taught for many years in the US.

Diego Rivera – Considered the greatest Mexican artist of the 20th century. He re-introduced the fresco, most often for political purposes, into modern art and architecture. A fragment of his painting is used in Paso Valiente.