Category Archives: American West

Enjoy Cinco de Mayo with Celebration of Mexican Heritage and Pride in America

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Cinco de Mayo which is Spanish for “fifth of May” is a celebration held on May 5. This celebration occurs in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla which in English is called The Day of the Battle of Puebla.

One important note that needs to be mentioned is that although Mexican citizens feel very proud of the meaning of Cinco de Mayo, it is not a national holiday in Mexico, but it is an official holiday in the State of Puebla where the mentioned battle took place.

What is interesting is how Cinco de Mayo originated and became a celebration with colorful art from the color wheel filled with Segmation Amigos hot pink dancing, red skirt, flamenco women, colorful singer and playing guitars. This celebration originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War, thus therefore the date, May 5th is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

The American Cinco de Mayo celebration originated in the Mexican-American communities of the American West, SouthWest, and Northwest in the 1860s. It grew in popularity and evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, first in areas with large Mexican-American populations, like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.www.segmation.com

Eventually the celebration expanded across the United States. On June 7, 2005, the U.S. Congress issued a Concurrent Resolution calling on the President of the United States to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe Cinco de Mayo with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

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It is worth to mention that Mexicans and Latinos living in California during the American Civil War are credited with being the first to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States.

In the United States Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. Celebrations tend to draw both from traditional Mexican symbols. Celebrations include display of Cinco de Mayo banners and special events to educate people about the historical significance of www.segmation.comCinco de Mayo and to highlight Mexican culture, especially in its music and regional dancing. Commercial interests in the United States have capitalized on the celebration, advertising Mexican products and services, with an emphasis on beverages, foods, art, and music.

How Are You Celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Will you be celebrating in a major cities across the country and taking part in cultural and colorful art festivities as well? Share with Segmation by leaving a comment below.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo

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Albert Bierstadt: Painter of the American West

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On January 7, 1830, Albert Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany. Just one year later, his family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts. It was here that he began to take an interest in art. This was made apparent by the “clever crayon sketches” he would create as a young child.

When Bierstadt was about 21 years old, he tried his hand at oil painting and found that he wanted to pursue art. In 1853 he traveled back to Germany , this time to Dusseldorf, to study art with distinguished painters Andreas Aschenbach and Karl Friedman Lessing at the Royal Academy. Bierstadt remained in Dusseldorf, polishing his skills and expanding his artistic abilities until 1857.

Returning to America in 1857, Bierstadt taught art for a short season. Soon after, in 1859, his life took an exciting turn of events when he had the opportunity to travel westward with an overland survey expedition.

The young artist took advantage of his time in the west by taking many photographs of the landscape as well as sketching plenty of drawings. The sketches would serve as skeletons of paintings that Bierstadt would create in the future. The American west remained his muse throughout his life, and he traveled there frequently.

Albert Bierstadt’s paintings of the American West were popular and sold for high sums of money. Still, the artist didn’t seem to impress the art critics of his time. His unpopularity in the art world might have been attributed to the large canvases he painted on, which were considered to be an “egotistical indulgence.” Also, the way he used light in his paintings was thought to be “excessive,” as was the romanticism of his subject matter.

Regardless of art critics’ lack of acceptance of him, Albert Bierstadt’s art remained sought-out by the public as his career grew. He became a member of the National Academy in 1860 and was a medal winner in Germany, Belgium, Bavaria, and Austria. He secured a studio in New York City, which he kept from 1861 to 1879. In 1862 Bierstadt continued to build his artistic success by becoming a member of the Century Association.

Bierstadt’s art often featured the landscapes he had seen in his travels across the American west. The painted landscapes, though rugged, were bathed in extravagant light, giving them a romantic feel. The artist paid great attention to detail and adorned his paintings with “mist, fog, and clouds” to create the effects he desired. Bierstadt used colors in an exaggerated way so as to make his paintings more ideal than realistic. Art collectors were (and are) strongly drawn to this type of work.

Albert Bierstadt didn’t paint landscapes of the American west exclusively. His works also feature international locations. Yosemite Park (Oakland, California), Staubbauch Falls (close to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland), Mount Corcoran, Lake Lucerne (Switzerland), the Bernese Alps, the Wolf River (Kansas), and the Oregon Trail are all specific locations that were captured in Bierstadt’s paintings.

Throughout his career, Bierstadt exhibited his artwork at the Boston Athenaeum (1859-1864), the Boston Art Club (1873-1880), and the Brooklyn Art Association (1861-1879). Some of his works are currently housed at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts as well as other prestigious museums.

On February 18, 1902, Albert Bierstadt died in New York City. He is buried alongside his parents in New Bedford’s Rural Cemetery.

German-American painter Albert Bierstadt made a success of his life. He died having created between 500 and 4,000 paintings. To this day, Bierstadt’s art is in demand. His original paintings are sporadically made available for purchase, and the prices at which they sell continue to climb. Commercial prints of his work are most common. In capturing the heart of the American west, Albert Bierstadt also captured the hearts of the American people, which brought him great success in his artistic career.

In your opinion, what artists changed culture and society in significant ways? Who is your personal hero of the art world? We’d love to hear from you, so feel free to share your thoughts in the “comments” section below.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Bierstadt

http://www.askart.com/

http://www.albertbierstadt.org/

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