In part one of this three-part installment exploring the emerging art community in El Salvador, Danielle Mackey visited Artefacto Espacio Cultural, an art space committed to exhibiting the work of emerging Salvadoran artists — from students, to established art makers. In part two, Mackey talks shop with three Salvadoran artists, narrating photos of their work with tidbits from their conversation.
“We have to have these conversations more frequently!” Sara Bolougne, a Salvadoran modern ceramic artist, both a lamentation and celebration of the space that four of us created on a rainy, cool evening on the back porch of a San Salvador café. Bolougne, together with Fredy Granillo and Sandra Leiva, represent three leading figures in the movement of emergent artists of El Salvador. That night they shared with each other and myself some samples of their work, along with thoughts about topics ranging from the power of art in the family, specifics of their own pieces, and the divisions within the Salvadoran art community.
Though all three were educated at the National University of El Salvador’s School of Art and Culture, Bolougne and Leiva had never met before that night. What brought them together was Granillo: he had been a student of Bolougne’s, and has taken classes with Leiva. This surprising lack of contact within a specific community in a small country became a thread woven throughout our discussion that night. “I can’t believe we’ve never met,” Leiva said at once point, confounded. “Clearly we do not have the dialogue spaces we need.” Thus, the real power of the evening happened long after I left: Bolougne and Leiva stayed, holed up in our corner table on the patio, smoking cigarettes and reveling in this newfound space for two talented people to lay important groundwork for the future of Salvadoran art.