Pollen, an exhibit of marmoleado paintings by Esthela Calderón, will be on display at the SLC Arts Gallery at the Potsdam Town Hall from April 24 through June 5 with a special exhibit opening with a chance to meet the artist on April 26 from 5 to 7 PM.
Esthela Calderón was born in Telica, Nicaragua in 1970 and received her university education at the Universidad de Occidente. Her painting “Pigments of Memory” was recognized with an Honorable Mention at the Abstract Art Festival at Bluseed Gallery in Saranac Lake in 2016. Her first exhibit as a visual artist (“Inside the Ancestral Current”) was sponsored by the SLC Arts Council in 2017. Calderón studied in Madrid with Antonio Vélez-Celemín, a world-renowned master of marmoleado (marbling, paint on water) in 2018. “Pollen” is her second individual show and is comprised of work she produced in Spain. Her artwork was featured on the cover of a recent issue of Insula, a prestigious cultural journal published in Barcelona.
Calderón is the author of the following books of poems: Soledad (2002), which won first prize in the Juegos Florales Centroamericanos, Belice y Panamá competition, Amor y conciencia (2004), Soplo de corriente vital (2008), a pioneering collection of ethnobotanical poems, La hoja (Centro de Arte Moderno de Madrid, 2010), Coyol quebrado (2012), Los huesos de mi abuelo (2013), La que hubiera sido (Puerto Rico, 2013) and Las manos que matan (2016). Poetry from all these books is represented in the new dual-language volume of her selected poems The Bones of My Grandfather (Ecopoetry without Borders) (2018), translated by Steven F. White. Her historical novel 8 caras de una moneda (2006) is set during the Nicaraguan Revolution of 1979. She is the coauthor of Culture and Customs of Nicaragua (Greenwood Press, 2008) and edited the anthology of new poetry from León, Nicaragua El material de tu sueño (2015).
For ten years, she was Activities Coordinator for León’s Municipal Theater as well as the Technical Coordinator for the International Rubén Darío Symposium, for which she edited the annual conference proceedings. She also served as the Secretary General of the Nicaraguan Association for Women Writers (ANIDE). Her poems have appeared in anthologies and book publications from Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Spain. In the United States, her work has been published in journals such as World Literature Today (University of Oklahoma), Translation Review (University of Texas, Dallas: special issue on new Latin American literature), Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas (Americas Society-New York), St. Petersburg Review and, from the UK, ISLE, Oxford Journal. She has been invited to read her poetry at events throughout Mesoamerica and, in Spain, at the Universidad Alcalá de Henares, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad de Salamanca and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She also has given presentations at professional conferences such as the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) in New York and Washington as well as at Colgate University and Williams College. She is currently the Director of the Promotora Cultural Leonesa in León, Nicaragua and works as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Modern Languages at St. Lawrence University, where she teaches a Creative Writing Workshop as well as a popular class on Nicaraguan Cuisine and edits the online cultural journal Aquí y Allá, now with five published issues.