Indigo Arts features paintings by self-taught artists from the Sutiava Primitivista painting workshop, in Léon, Nicaragua. This collection includes noted artists Alejandro Benito Cabrera, Victor Santiago Crespin, José Ignacio Fletes Cruz and Rosa Delia Lopez Garcia.
The Nicaraguan Primitivista painting movement originated in a community of artists founded in the 1970's on the islands of Solentiname in Lake Nicaragua. The community was based on the principles of liberation theology and sponsored workshops in popular poetry, theater, music and painting. The painting workshops gave birth to the Primitivista Painting Movement, a school influenced by the Haitian paintng renaissance of the late 40's and 50's. The paintings were typified by idealized scenes of community life, lush natural environments and pastoral utopias, executed in bright colors and intricate detail.
This revolutionary vision of hope and possibility was at odds with the regime of Anastasio Somoza. The original artists' community was destroyed when the island was bombed by Somoza's forces, and those not killed were forced into hiding. But the painting workshops reemerged after the Sandinista revolution and still flourish today. In 1981 a workshop was formed in the community of Sutiava, near the city of Leon. The members of this group have won national prizes and exhibited in North America, Europe and Japan. The workshop has endured through the subsequent political change, economic hardships and most recently hurricanes of the last decade in Nicaragua. The work of three of these artists - Alejandro Cabrera, Santiago Crespin, and Rosa Delia Lopez - was exhibited at Indigo Arts Gallery in May and June 2000. Ignacio Fletes Cruz came to Indigo Arts for solo exhibits in 2004, February 2007, and most recently in April and May, 2011.