iMPeRFeCT Gallery. (Rasheed Ajamu)

A colorful, 30-foot-long crotched art piece by local artist Linette Messina will soon grace the iMPeRFeCT Gallery in Germantown. 

Messina is one of 15 local artists who will be featured in the gallery’s newest exhibit, “Latinas in Philly: These are our stories.” A show which hopes to garner community and celebrate Latina women. 

The opening reception is this Friday, April 19, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will feature a variety of pieces curated by Ayiana Viviana.

“I did my best to choose pieces that I felt had powerful stories because I wanted that to be the theme of this,” said Viviana. “I feel like it’s very rare that we find spaces as Latinas to tell our stories.” 

Various mediums will be on display, including photography, paintings, and knitted art.

A preview of the piece “Ponte Vicks” by Adriana Reyes.

Rocio Cabello, who founded the iMPeRFeCT Gallery alongside Renny Molenaar, is excited for the community to see the work and speak with the artists. 

“There’s something that happens when you connect to people; there’s strength in that,” said Cabello. 

Guests can expect a full sensory experience that will immerse them in Latin culture’s tastes, sounds, and sights. 

An interactive installation by Viviana allows visitors to eat Latin candies as they walk through a room or see crumpled pieces of paper hanging from the ceiling, which are pages from Viviana’s own personal journal. 

“The walls and the pages will be for people to interact with, and leave their own messages, and share parts of their stories however they want to engage with the work,” said Viviana. 

For five artists this will be the first time five artists’ work will be displayed in a gallery. 

Local artist Alison Bermudez, also known as Llorona, has been featured in galleries before, but this is the first time her work will be shown in Philly. She describes her art as stapled soft sculptural pieces that serve as bridges between the physical world and the subconscious. 

“I feel extremely blessed to be a part of this special exhibition. I connect so deeply not only to the Latinx artists in Philadelphia and our stories but also to the multi-sensory experience this gallery is going to provide for the audience,” said Bermudez. Aiyana created the most inclusive space I’ve seen a gallery put together for all kinds of art appreciators.” 

The show is free and open from April 19 to May 18. After the opening reception ends at 9 p.m., the gallery will have its Friday Night Rumba–an Afro-Cuban percussion jam session celebrating life. 

There will be more events throughout the month the exhibit is open, including an artist talk on May 1. 

The closing reception will be on May 18, and afterward, there will be a Latin Dance Party featuring DJ Spice. 

To learn more about the events, check out iMPeRFeCT Gallery’s calendar