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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA student heads art exchange

    Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Victor Navarro, a tucson artist and UofA Alumni, worked with other local artists and artists from France to create the mural behind him at the Armory Park Senior Center. The mural is part of an ongoing art exchange between Tucson and Paris.
    Lisa Beth Earle
    Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Victor Navarro, a tucson artist and UofA Alumni, worked with other local artists and artists from France to create the mural behind him at the Armory Park Senior Center. The mural is part of an ongoing art exchange between Tucson and Paris.

    Victor Navarro, along with his mentor Hana Ripp, organized an event last year that blurred the geographic boundaries of the artistic world. Ripp had a vision, and three years ago, when she met Navarro, she foresaw her vision coming to fruition.

    Several years ago, Navarro, a marketing and studio art student at the UA, was working with Ripp as a curator for Vila Thai Cuisine during its monthly art walks. At first, Ripp was not impressed with Navarro’s work. What impressed her was his persistence in approaching her. “”He didn’t know anything about my vision,”” Ripp said of Navarro. “”But I could tell that he was a networker and an opportunist.””

    After Navarro was presented with Ripp’s vision of bridging the gap between separate cultures through art, he adopted and pursued this philosophy. Navarro shared these ideas with contacts in Paris, and shortly afterward he was able to organize the international art exchange in the student union, which took place in November of last year. Ripp and Navarro invited 20 artists from all over France to come to the UA’s Student Union Memorial Center and exhibit their art alongside local artists.

    They hope to create a new exchange, which would take place in this fall.

    “”I believe this was an experience of sharing cultures, trends, and techniques,”” Navarro said. “”It impacts (the artists’) personal lives through a unity of artists. Not only in their professional fields but in their community.””

    Ripp was captured by Navarro’s perseverance. “”I studied him, and the main thing was, he was open to growing, to evolving and being criticized,”” Ripp said, “”and for the past three years he hasn’t stopped.””

    “”I read her vision that was developed in 1988 and I thought that it would be interesting since I am an artist and am interested in the international community,”” Navarro said.

    Once Navarro traveled to Paris and met Parisian art critic Denise Woirin, Ripp’s vision began to unfold. Navarro has been recognized for his artistic talent many times and his work has been exhibited all over the world, including France, Taiwan and Germany. This success allowed him to network and pitch Ripp’s ideas to new supporters.

    Navarro said the purpose of the artistic exchange is to unite cultures from different backgrounds. There are already plans in place for upcoming years that include an exchange in Vietnam and Guadalajara, Mexico.

    The event for fall 2010 will take place at the Body Center for the Fine Arts, located about 30 miles outside of Paris, France.

    Navarro said he believes that as a young person, and as a minority, there have been many barriers that could have stopped him from achieving his goals.

    “”I believe breaking those barriers and following through with the vision and our plan is a message for everybody else who has a dream,”” he said.

    Ripp emphasizes that the event stresses bridging cultural and artistic gaps.

    “”There are no boundaries,”” Ripp said.

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