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Luis Garcia: Cultural Intersection

What to heart at spyn
What to heart at spynCaroline Baehner

spyn design studio


Stomping up thin concrete steps to the door, heavy metal sign hanging in front of the gallery, one can stop in spyn design studio on First Fridays and meet the owner, peruse the gallery, buy the occasional Valentine's gift, an evening gown, or a beautiful creature of green and yellow glass. When asked who are you, he will reply, " Luis." Hand extended. Door open.

Luis Garcia specializes in the fusion of art and communication. spyn stems from the throat chakra, the source of expression, and create with backbone his design studio's statement. This Valentine's Day draws a crowd for skull hearts. "They are made of thick ass copper, for Day of the Dead, for people in my family made for love, life, and death." He also has an issue close to his heart, breast cancer awareness, and has created a mixed media piece donated to ART BRA KC on KC Live. It is made for his two aunts and is a PURPLE HEART.

"Pulling the Latino card now," Garcia says, "never ever showcased myself as a Latino artist. 3rd generation American made." That is, until La Esquina two years ago for Garcia's debut. He is a much studied artist, both at Johnson County Community College and at the Kansas Art Institute. At one time, Garcia interned underneath the tutelage of Jim Leedy, who owns the gallery across the street, the Leedy-Voulkos Arts Center.

Mixed media line the long, narrow white walls. This month Eugenia Ortiz, who "summons the elements,"Garcia says, as a visual artist. Next month possibly a commissioned exhibit, like the one he did last winter, whose idea of painting the canvas with radish juice, taken from the Radish festival in Mexico.

This year Garcia also is now Vice President of the Hispanic Capital Day Inc. and is going to Jefferson City on March 12th to advocate for Hispanic Americans. "Art and one's own cultural heritage: where is that intersection?" Garcia says. "It's obviously within you."