Baylor > Lariat Archives > News

Austin-based Latino artist kicks off Fiota culture week

Nov. 15, 2005

by KELLY MYERS, reporter

Members of Phi Iota Alpha welcomed artist Sam Coronado Monday night as part of the fraternity's Fiota Week, an annual celebration of cultural awareness.

Coronado is an associate professor in the visual communication department at Austin Community College and founder of the Serie Project, a nonprofit organization designed to create and promote serigraph, or silkscreen prints by Latino artists.

Jessie Solomon | Lariat staff
Sam Coronado, an Austin-based artist, discusses his reflections and struggles of growing up in a bicultural world on Monday night at the 3:1 Seasons Café as Fiota Week, a celebration of cultural awareness, kicked off.
"We brought Mr. Coronado and his art to Baylor in an attempt to further diversify the campus's cultural awareness," said David Trevino, Waco sophomore and Fiota Week chairman. "His Serie Project and serigraph studio in Austin are a prime example of the Pan-American ideals and goals our fraternity strives for on a micro level."

This was the first year a guest was invited to speak during Fiota Week, said Antonio Sandoval, San Antonio senior and president of Phi Iota Alpha.

He also said Coronado was selected because his work embodies the values and ideals the fraternity wishes to portray.

"We wanted to do something different this year, so we decided to focus on Latinos in fine arts," Sandoval said. "We felt that Mr. Coronado fit perfectly into our theme because ... he's someone who could bring his art and explain it to the Baylor community as well as explain the struggles and successes of Latinos in art."

Coronado spoke on the history of Latinos in art and gave examples of their contributions to mainstream art in the United States.

"I enjoyed viewing his artwork and hearing his insights into the Latino culture," Waco senior Andy Padilla said.

Fiota Week will continue at 8 p.m. today with a free Latino Greek Unity Mixer at Click's Billiards. The mixer will be hosted by both Phi Iota Alpha and Omega Delta Phi.

Trevino said the mixer will provide fraternities and sororities with an opportunity to interact in a positive environment, while furthering their relationships within their specialized niche.

He also added that although the mixer is specifically for the multicultural Greek organizations, anyone interested in learning more about the culture is welcome to attend.

"This mixer is being used to show the unity among the Latino Greeks," Sandoval said. "We may all be wearing different letters, but behind all that we must remember we all share a common ground -- our strong Latino roots."

Fiota Week will conclude with a showing of the film Romero at 7 p.m. Wednesday at North Village Community Center. Sandoval said the film is a true story of the Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero. He explained the film chronicles Romero's leadership against political unrest during the 1980s.

"The film depicts an honorable attempt to help the oppressed and poor of El Salvador to escape the injustices of a tyrannical regime," Trevino said. "This struggle is still seen in many Latin-American countries today but ... often goes unnoticed by the rest of the world."