A Conversation with Carmen Abelleira

Sunday, January 21, 2024 – 3:00PM – 4:30PM 

Carmen Abelleira (b. 1960) immigrated from Cuba with her family when she was nine years old. Hoping to begin a life beyond the restrictive reach of Castro’s regime, Abelleira’s parents struck a deal with the Cuban authorities in which the government would grant their request to leave the country in exchange for one year of service in a “work camp” harvesting sugarcane. Nearly a decade later, after an enormous amount of personal sacrifice, the Cuban military arrived at the Abelleira family’s home to inform them that their appeal had been granted. Given no time to prepare for their departure, the family had to leave all their personal belongings behind and make their way to the United States. Carmen grew up in Los Angeles, California and after working as a bilingual teacher, moved to Ojai in 1989. It was not until 1993 that she started creating art. Yet, the style she developed over the next 35 years is distinct and clearly steeped in her cultural heritage. Before leaving for America, Carmen’s childhood in Cuba was devoid of television, telephones, cars, and store-bought toys. Her grandfather created all her playthings from found objects and watching him work was her earliest inspiration. When the family came to America, with its culture of commerce, industry, and entertainment, it was dizzying. But young Carmen soaked it up, and the dissonance of these experiences left a lasting imprint- one that remains clear in her current practice – and informs the style and voice of her work. Read more about Carmen, here.

Spotlight Talk Sponsor(s) An anonymous patron

AfterGLOW Host(s) Dennis Mitchell & Richard Sanders

FOTM is thrilled to be partnering with
NAMBA Performing Arts Space
for the 2024 Artist Spotlight Series.

Venue Location
Namba Performing Arts Space
47 S Oak St, Ventura, CA 93001

Ticket Pricing
$20 for general public
$15 for seniors
FREE to FOTM Members

AfterGLOW Fundraiser – SOLD OUT
$30 FOTM Members
$40 Non-Members
Maps/directions provided to paid guests at Spotlight Talk.

A Note to Educators & Students
Artist Spotlights are open to students attending as a class assignment free of charge. Reservations required.
Please call (805) 653-2601