In this week’s episode of Encuentros Politicos/Political Encounters, I highlight two art projects in South Philly

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Community altars, a conversation with the creators of La Ofrenda

Earlier in September, renowned artist César Viveros, opened his installation La Ofrenda, in the 9th Street commercial corridor in South Philadelphia.Across diverse communities and throughout the world, altars have been spaces for veneration and introspection. They are structures that assist individuals and communities during moments of celebration as well as during times of need or despair. The Philadelphia Folklore Project’s La Ofrenda initiative captures stories of hope, resilience, faith, fear and strength that are pillars of home altar-making practices within Mexican immigrant communities in our city. César Viveros has collected the stories behind the altars of local community members as a way to preserve and celebrate a sense of belonging.

To further discuss the art installation I am pleased to be joined via phone by Cesar Viveros,  Jose Ortiz-Pagan, Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe, Sinta Penyami Storms

Here’s a link to videos that you can share:

Location: 1135 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Open Houses
Thursday, September 12, 19 and 26 – 5:00-7:00 pm.

Special Presentation by national award-winning California altaristas Ofelia and Rosanna Esparza
Saturday, September 28 – 5:00-7:00 pm. (Limited seating. More details to come.)

For Full Details: Visit the Philadelphia Folklore Project website:; or contact the office for more information: 215.726.1106.

Major support for this program comes from the William Penn Foundation, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation and individual Philadelphia Folklore Project members.


Sinta Penyami Storms

the beautiful (un)ordinary, a conversation with photographer Jose Mazariegos

In August, photographer Jose Mazariegos opened his first photo exhibit, the beautiful (un)ordinary: street portraiture of the people. To talk about the exhibit and his art I’m please to have Jose as a guest.


Animator, Photographer, Videographer and amazing Husband and Father, Jose Mazariegos, hails from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala via Trenton, New Jersey and currently resides in Philadelphia. An alum of the Art Institute of Philadelphia he studied multi-media arts and animation and has been working professionally as an animator for the last eighteen years. He is a self-taught photographer, exhibiting a passion evident in the grace and beauty of his work, and 2019 marks his tenth year practicing the art form. A versatile artist, his subject matter, color choice and composition runs the gamut with a focus on portraits and landscapes. His favorite models include his lovely daughter, Marina Nicolasa, his cats, Mr. Cesar J. Cat, Raja and Sasha, as well as a plethora of craft beer. Never afraid to experiment he has employed a multitude of photographic techniques which are on display in today’s exhibit. Pay close attention to his use of bokeh, the “art of the blur” where the subject snaps into focus while the background fades into a dreamlike haze. His work has been featured in three juried exhibits through the Da Vinci Art Alliance, “Lens on Latin America” where he won the third place prize, “Open Lens V” and “South Philly Pretty and Gritty”, as well in various Philadelphia media outlets and peer reviewed photography blogs. His animation and motion graphic work includes the visual effects for “Resistance: The Battle For Philadelphia” and animation for artist Michelle Angela Ortiz’ art installation pieces, “Seguimos Caminando”, “Quizas Manana” and the documentary, “Las Madres de Berks”.  Those close to the photographer can attest that not only is he rarely without his camera he is also one of the best human beings on the planet. A loving and caring person, Jose is a devoted family man and a true friend to all.

Photo exhibition at South Philly Barbacoa
1140 South Ninth St. Philadelphia

Contact: Jose Mazariegos

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