18th Street Pilsen Open Studios
Every participating artist is asked to talk about their connection to Pilsen. And if new to the neighborhood, to describe what drew them here.
This is what Montse shares with us:
"You know me. :-) I have lived in Pilsen forever and one of the co-founders of 18th Street Pilsen Open Studios."
Click on Image to enter Montse's photo gallery.
Montserrat Alsina, originally from Venezuela, is a multidisciplinary artist, teacher and cultural worker. She received a B.A. from Rhodes College in Visual Art and Education, and an M.F.A. in Performance Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is certified as a 200 Level yoga instructor and has studied other modalities of energy healing. She spends her time between Chicago and Las Galeras, Dominican Republic, creating art, doing yoga and supporting the communities. She is co-founder of several initiatives in the Pilsen neighborhood: Colibri Studio Gallery, 18th St Pilsen Open Studios and Nahui Ollin Danzas Ceremoniales. She worked full time at two leading educational institutions in Chicago, Francis W. Parker School and North Shore Country Day School, for a total of 19 years. She has also taught in numerous Arts organizations in Chicago as an independent contractor. She has received a number of grants from the Illinois Arts Council as well as from NSCDS giving Alsina the opportunity to travel to different countries, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Java, and Bali. She has exhibited in the U.S.A., Mexico and Canada.
The work I do comes from a place deep inside, from that place of silence, it is a dialogue with the inner self, an expression of feelings, emotions and senses, it is of the effects of the environment and of people surrounding us. In order for me to express myself I need to not only use drawing, printmaking and painting but also incorporate movement, video, sound, lighting and the written word. Creating for me is like a breath, dancing, stretching, moving, making that first line on the surface plane, using a brush, a roller, charcoal or conte to make marks; filling the spaces with textures and colors, and different movements emerge, like dancing on the surface, creating infinite mazes where the eye of the viewer can travel and discover a worlds of wonders, joy, stability and chaos.