Art on art: More on “The Blue House” exhibit in January

Art on art: More on “The Blue House” exhibit in January

In conjunction with the launch of its 2013 national touring production Frida, un retablo, Milagro is also pleased to present “The Blue House”, an art installation created by Susana Espino that explores the life and work of Frida Kahlo. Situated in el Zócalo, a community space adjacent to Milagro’s lobby, the walk-through exhibit will depict vignettes from Kahlos’ home, the “Blue House” in Coyoacán, Mexico. Visitors will have the opportunity to read Frida’s letters and poetry, try on clothing and make-up, and even try their own hand at drawing a self-portrait.

The installation will also include work by a variety of local artists, including handmade dolls by Lulu Moon and photography by Sylvia Malán-González and Russell J. Young. A second exhibit in the lobby of the Milagro Theatre features the work of Lizdaly Cancel, Lina García Seabold and Yolanda Valdez.

The art installation and lobby exhibit are free and open to the public one hour prior to each performance, as well as all afternoon, 1-8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19. The exhibit will have a special opening night during the Central Eastside Arts District’s “First Friday” on Jan. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m.

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Susan Espino Rodriguez is originally from Morelia, Michoacán, México.  She graduated as Fashion Designer from “Instituto Dicormo” (Dicormo’s Institute) where she did a practicum, and trained at Escuela de Bellas Artes, in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. Susana Espino’s work has been supported, and well recognized in the areas of Michoacán, in Mexico, as well as Oregon and Washington.  In 2006, Espino was well recognized at Instituto Dicormo when she won presenting the fashion design at the Fashion International View, giving her recognition in the world of design internationally.

Portland, Oregon has been the cradle of her peculiar pieces of art. She has found inspiration for her sculptures in applying beautiful details using the skills of her career as a designer on her pieces.  Her sculptures are born with a touch of her designs and imagination inspired in the melancholy of Día de los muertos (Day of the Dead).  Espino’s art has been shown in well-known galleries and venues such as Onda Gallery, Milagro Theatre, Cha-Cha-Cha and La Calaca Comelona restaurants and the Latino Adventure Blog (

Susana has explored beyond her limits in arts, this time debuting as an actress for a full-length film called “DUENDE SUIT OF LIGHTS” in which she plays the role of Ria, one of the three witches lurking and disturbing the peace of a dead matador. Espino’s diligence and will to work for the community made her participated twice sharing workshops for Latino Artists Exchange/Intercambio de Artistas Latinos, which aims to create a network of artists in the Northwest to share ideas, expression and art. Espino is now exploring a new project based on sculptures of big dimensions; she also works as a Spanish teacher at Michael School, a Waldorf school

Lulu Moonwood Murakami is a mixed media artist engaged in creating playful whimsy as well as personal psychological narratives.  Formerly an elementary school teacher in a dual language immersion program, she feels a strong connection to the Latino community she served for eleven years, and invites the rich cultural traditions she was privileged to experience to inform much of her artistic work.  Currently, through artistic self-expression, she seeks to bring joy and compassion to our understanding of the human condition. She has an insatiable appetite for color, pattern, and texture.  Some of her inspirations include traditional and contemporary folk art, autumn leaves trembling against steel blue skies, overgrown gardens, skeins of dyed yarn nested in baskets, and traditional ethnic costumes rich in pattern and adornments.  Through mixed media, she is able to bring many of these influences together.  Her art is frequently her voice for expressing thoughts and feelings that would otherwise go unspoken.  

Sylvia Malán–González is born and raised in Portland, Oregon.  She has worked in theatre, poetry, as a serving wench and recently photography.  She currently attends Portland Community College where she is working on an Associate of Art degree.  Much of her inspiration comes from her early childhood, developing characters through dress-up with her neighborhood friends.  She has a long history of concocting stories and using visual art and photography to visually express them.  Taking portraits is her way of taking one aspect of a subject and transforming them into a persona that highlights or magnifies an aspect of their personality.  Her series of photographs are portraits of local women artists from Portland, Oregon depicting paintings or photographs of Frida Kahlo. To depict her style she captures the subject with rich color and a dreamlike quality to bring you back into time to the world of Kahlo. Her current projects include El Quixote and upcoming projects a spring series of portraits portraying Patron Saints.

Russell Young is a destination and assignment photographer, providing stock photography, studio services and fine art prints. Based in Portland, he works in both film and digital formats, and has traveled and intensively photographed hundreds of locations within 25 countries. When not on location, he is researching interesting destinations, new photographic techniques, and staying up to date with technology. He enjoys immersing himself in the destinations in order to feed his curious mind and satisfy his nomadic spirit. His photography is represented by major stock agencies in the USA, England and Sweden. His assignment photography is used by advertising agencies, tourist boards, print publications throughout Europe and the USA. His prints are currently displayed in museums and Embassies in the USA, Europe and Scandinavia. Russell is also the photographer of Miracle Theatre Group.

Lizdaly Cancel Tirado was born in San Germán, Puerto Rico.  Since her early years, she has possessed great interest in art, theatre and dance.  She demonstrated her abilities by participating in various dancing groups, such as CABA (Centro de Adiestramiento y Bellas Artes), more commonly known as COPANI (Banda, Coro Estatal Juvenil Y El Ballet Isleño De Puerto Rico) and the Modern Dance Conservatory Víctor Sosa. She was accepted to the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, where she began to take courses in painting and drawing.  Later, she transfers to the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, where she began her studies in architecture.  By doing this, she merged her two great passions: art and design. Her experience and knowledge of art was further developed when she worked with the Puerto Rican plastic artist Pablo Marcano García.  She performed a wide range of tasks such as preparing an exhibition and administering the plastic artist workshop.  LiCanTi (her artistic name), had her first debut in 2007. Theatre, dance and emotion blended in drama, passion, sensibility and rhythm are the source of her inspiration in her paintings.  Color, form and order are essential components in her work, driven by her zeal of architecture and a simplistic and clean design.  Each one of her paintings embeds the artist’s life experiences and transforms them into a unique work of art.

Lina is part owner of Seabold Construction Co., Inc. and Garcia Seabold Investments, LLC which manages several investment properties, including a number of Senior Housing facilities that provide independent, assisted and memory care services to Seniors in the Western Region. She is also an active artist and enjoys collage and plein-aire painting. Lina maintains a high profile in the local Hispanic Community and is the immediate past president of MANA de Portland, which provides education and advocacy to Latinas. Past professional experience includes working on the Eastside and Westside Light Rail Projects with Tri-Met as well as a stint in the Governor’s Office creating and developing the Office of Minority, Women and Emerging Small Business. Past affiliations include the annual El Poder de la Mujer Conference for Latina Women, Portland-Guadalajara Sister City Association Board, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Governor’s Trade Mission to Mexico 2001, Cascade Aids Project, SMG Foundation, Oregon Health Care Association, and Alzheimer’s Association of Oregon. Of her many accomplishments, one of note includes facilitating an art exchange between Portland and Guadalajara that resulted in a sculpture donated by Guadalajara Artist Alejandro Colunga, currently housed at the Portland Center for Performing Arts. Lina received her Bachelor of Science/Education at the University of Oregon.

Yolanda Valdez, originally from Baja California, is well known in the Latino community of Portland for her beautiful watercolors and oil paintings that capture the colors and spirit of Mexico.  Her painting of La Catrina, along with several other works are part of Miracle’s permanent collection that rotates throughout the theatre lobby.  Yolanda also shares her work as an educator and community organizer.  For many years she was an arts instructor at Catlin Gable and organized children’s arts activities for the Portland Guadalajara Sister City Association’s annual Cinco de Mayo Festival at Waterfront Park.  Currently she works with the Mexican Consulate and other community groups to help organize cultural activities for Dia de los Muertos and Cinco de Mayo to help share the culture of Mexico through her visual art.