ICAI proudly presents our artists of the month for February – Laura Caraballo & Dana Caraballo Garcia. Their collective is RAZA. We had a nice time interviewing them and presenting here the journey of RAZA as new immigrant artists in Calgary, their struggles, passion for the arts and goals with our art community.
Hi, could you please introduce yourself to our artists community?
Hi, this is Laura Caraballo & Dana Caraballo Garcia – visual artists and RAZA is our art creation.
Tell us a little about your artistic background and journey
We both have been making art since our childhood. However, it’s been just five years since we started looking at art as a career. From then, we have been actively seeking our own style and purpose in developing and investing in our skills.
How long have you been in Canada?
It’s been five years since we moved to Canada and the journey so far has been interesting and challenging.
Have you had opportunities to showcase your works since you arrived in Calgary?
As new immigrant artists, we are having a tough time looking for opportunities to showcase our work and get a foothold. Indeed, this is the first platform we have been offered to present our work.
Can you tell us what inspires you to create your works?
Our inspiration to create art comes from the need to externalize mental images and ideas that produce concern, fear, passion and sensations. In general, such creations render a sense of imbalance and sometimes uncomfortable too. Making art helps us lessen the power of feelings by physicalizing them. The creative process is fun for us, a flow of peace and happiness.
How did you feel having your works displayed at ICAI Event?
We are very honoured to have our art and the journey showcased in ICAI’s ‘artists of the month’ section. We consider it as a huge opportunity for RAZA.
What are the challenges you are currently facing as an immigrant/newcomer artist?
Challenges have always been exciting. As new immigrant artists, we had a tough time identifying right platforms or art communities in Calgary to guide us and hence felt lost and unsure. But, with organizations like ICAI, we have the right guidance on community interaction and opportunities to participate.
What would you like to share with the people of Calgary about your works?
Our works are similar to a human persona complete with ideas, emotions, actions, confusion, etc. Hence, we expect you to look at our artwork as a human character and interact with them. We hope our artworks converse with you, feel you, and house you! It will be a great achievement for us, if you feel emotionally drawn to our artwork and please feel free to reciprocate.
Can you share some pictures of your works with us? Please share links only
Our artists community would like to connect with you and learn more about you and your creations. We would appreciate you sharing your contact information with art enthusiasts and businesses.
Tell us how the journey has been so far and what opportunities you are looking for?
Our journey with RAZA has been a learning curve in terms of who we are and how we want to approach our work, we are in constant development. We would like to push beyond our boundaries and continue to experiment with various forms of art, besides painting and sculpture. We want to promote our art and reach people. Hence, we are looking for opportunities to display our exhibits with several organizations. Currently, we are planning to take “I lost the Keys to Apartment 302”, across Canada and even to places where art is not always accessible.
How do you feel being selected as the artist of the month?
We are very honored to have our art and journey showcased as artists of the month. It is definitely a huge opportunity for RAZA.
How did you know about ICAI and how have we impacted your artistic growth?
We learned about ICAI while looking for opportunities to expand our artistic practice, and we felt connected to the organization’s initiatives to support immigrant artists. ICAI has helped us find confidence in our work and our skills, something we are sure to carry forward to our future artistic endeavors.
Has ICAI provided any specialized information for you? How did that help your work?
Yes, ICAI has provided us the right connection and opportunity to work with ‘The Bow to produce’ – our first ever exhibition. Consequently, we were able to explore and further develop our artistic practice and identity as a collective. Without this opportunity, we would have struggled to find a foothold and opportunities to showcase our work and make it evolve.
Have you attended ICAI’s event before, how do you feel about them?
This is our first event with ICAI and we are looking forward to engaging more with them in future. We appreciate and respect the active support offered to immigrant artists through them.
What are the goals you are hoping to achieve in the next few months through your arts?
Our goal at the moment is to successfully run our current exhibition with maximum reach and engagement with the audience. We also want to seek opportunities to bring “I Lost the Keys to Apartment 302” to various cities across Canada.