Female artists band together for ‘Artistas Femeninas’ event

Julia Hettiger, Staff Reporter

In the middle of Texas Street on a cool Saturday night, female painters, craft makers, dancers and singers gathered to celebrate love and feminism through art and performance.  

The eighth annual “Artistas Femeninas” took place at the San Carlos Building on Nov. 14, bringing together many talented women in one place.

Adrianna Bustillos, curator of the event, said she wanted to bring female artists to one place where they could support one another and share their art. In previous years, the event took place at various bars and clubs and “Artistas Femeninas” felt more like a party. This year, Bustillos said the goal was to give it a more comfortable, backyard party kind of feeling.

“I wanted to get together with us women because we’re powerful, and I wanted to share our love and our passions,” Bustillos said. “The theme and the concept of love are getting across, and that’s the point.”

The first “Artistas Femeninas” festival was held in 2007. Bustillos was inspired to start an event like this after being kicked out from film school in Los Angeles. She said she needed to find another outlet where she could release her creativity and share it with others.

“We started with 10 girls and now, we’re more than 100 artists,” Bustillos said. “I want to take it to Mexico City and UCLA, and find artists all around the country and bring them together in an explosion of light and love.”

The event was kicked off with a prayer to share love with everyone and help those in need. Sharon Corsaro, a creative solutions expert and voice artist from Los Angeles, led the festival in prayer through song. She focused her prayer on loving oneself and sharing that love with those around us. Corsaro said she does not plan ahead before a performance, and the song she sings is something she conjures up based on the various souls in the audience.

“I wasn’t sure until minutes before the prayer what was going to happen,” Corsaro said. “I don’t share my art very often, so it was very unusual for me to perform at this.”

In addition to occasionally performing voice art at events like “Artistas Femeninas,” Corsaro also works as a creative coach, where she spreads her love for art and creativity with the world.

“In the nature of what I do, I’m a creative coach and I help others embrace the creativity in us all and use it to solve all of our problems,” Corsaro said. “Creativity is the answer to everything.”

Guadalupe Gonzalez Quezada, who graduated from UTEP in 2009 with a degree in metalsmithing, had a booth at the festival. Her booth, which was promoting her business Dora’s Boutique that she opened with her mom, had a wide variety of soap, bags, stuffed toys and earrings and jewelry made from clay for sale. Quezada started the business with the hopes of combining doing what she loves and sharing it with others, and said she uses a lot of what she learned from her days at UTEP in making her jewelry.

“The jewelry process is with polymer clay, so I have to draw out what I want, make the shape, pick out the colors, shape the clay and cut it out, and I use an old metal technique that can be used on clay,” Quezada said. “Sometimes I use templates or stencils from what I was taught at UTEP, but some of it is also what I’ve learned along the way.”

Along with booths selling artwork and crafts, the festival also featured many live performers. Darlina Bolding belly danced at “Artisitas Femeninas.” Bolding said she’s been belly dancing for 11 years, and was inspired to start dancing after seeing a show at a festival similar to the event.

“I used to do a lot of spoken word, and at an art show years ago I met one of my future teachers,” Bolding said. “I learned to dance tribal belly dancing because it really sparked an interest in me.”

“Artistas Femeninas” gave many unique artists a chance to perform and be heard. For more information about Artistas Femeninas, call 575-694-4078.

Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected]