VCAC, in Hyperdrive, Spotlights Venezuela

her paintings
Natalya Critchley’s colorful paintings will be on display during the Destination Venezuela event sponsored by the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center. She lived in Venezuela for many years.

By Syd Bastos

If you haven’t seen the Studios Revealed exhibit at the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center, you still have time! The exhibit will be open in February on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. and Saturdays from noon-5 p.m., through March 14. The exhibit is loaded with beautiful art works from Avolio GlassWerks Studio along with storyboards about the history of glass, materials and tools used to make glass art and an amazing video in Avolio’s studio.

What’s next after this exhibit is over? Hang on for a whirlwind of programming at the VCAC.

“We have a great line-up for the first half of 2020. We start with Destination Venezuela in March, the Tournament of Writers opening in April, Arts Exploration Lab for Teens in May, and Arts Jam and Arts in the Burg Summer Camp in June,” says Jake Munson, VCAC Board member and chairperson of its programming committee.

Plans are nearly complete for Destination Venezuela with five events currently planned. The program begins March 20 with an exhibit of Natalya Critchley’s colorful paintings of Venezuelan cityscapes and landscapes coupled with an optional tasting of fine rums from Venezuela. On March 21, an evening of poetry features the iconic Venezuelan poem, Florentino and the Devil, written by Alberto Arvelo Torrealba and translated and read by award-winning rhyming translator Timothy Adès from London, England and Claudio Mendoza, Venezuelan-born scientist now residing in Kalamazoo.

On Friday, March 27, a panel of Venezuelan scholars will be discussing the current situation in Venezuela. The panel will share personal stories and perspectives on the political, economic and human impact of this crisis. As Claudio Mendoza explains, “Most Americans have not grasped the magnitude of the crisis in Venezuela.” The panel is sure to provide greater insight into the tragedy that is happening today.

The final event on Saturday, March 28, will be a concert with Venezuelan Carlos Capacho, considered one of the finest innovative cuatro players in the world, joined by the funky banjolectric musician Greg Mulkern from Detroit. “We are so fortunate to have access to so many Venezuelan scholars, artists and others who know and love Venezuela. Their involvement has taken the Destination series to a whole new level”, says VCAC Director Brian Berheide.

To learn more about Destination Venezuela, the VCAC organization, or to become a member, please check out its website at or follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

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