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The Bend Magazine

Creative Coexistence

11/25/2020 01:06PM ● By Luis Arjona

By: Luis Arjona   Photos By: Aaron "Malone" Rodriguez

Our creative professionals, and the growing community, are continually working on manifesting their dreams and furthering their careers. Similar to the grind of artists in 1980s New York City, I see a parallel ambition and scene of talented people. Those artists who rose to prominence at the time range from Keith Haring, Cyndi Lauper, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Who’s to say the same phenomenon can’t exist here in the Coastal Bend? Luckily, we have ambitious professionals who are creating the “Alebrije,” a collaborative space for the ever-growing creative scene in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Deriving from the definition, Alebrije means “imaginary” or “fantasy” and refers to the hand-carved and painted figurines from Mexico. Alebrije is a multi-use “safe space” for creatives to meet and work. This collaboration space is the brainchild of three local creative professionals. The team is composed of world-renowned Slovak painter Katarina Janeckova Walshe, photographer and “spiritual guru” Aaron “Malone” Rodriguez, and “curator of vibes,” Svani Quintanilla. Located at 1307 Ayers St, Alebrije is looking to bring positive, creative energy, and inspiration to those who dedicate their time to arts.

Initially inspired by a conversation between Malone and Quintanilla, the trio credits Malone’s aspirations for a creative space being the catalyst for Alebrije. Furthermore, when discussing the team’s goals, they hope to offer other creatives a co-working space. Referencing how inspiring and motivating working in proximity to one another, the Alebrije team recognizes how the environment in which one works can push individuals to excel with the proper community and reinforcement.

Another goal is to establish a gallery space for all kinds of media and serve as a platform to propel fellow creatives by providing exposure. In the meantime, Alebrije plans to host workshops/classes for photography, music production, and painting and share their wealth of knowledge once it is safe to do so. The Alebrije will serve as a cultural hot spot to shed light on the talent in our area.

Doing so will allow them to become a lodestone for guests who love art or see new ideas in the Coastal Bend.

When discussing the cultural impact of Alebrije, Janeckova states, “I am not sure if we are doing anything new here. But, we hope others will join us or get inspired by our way of thinking. Corpus might soon be a hub full of art and artists, cultural events, and creative minds. We can organize open studio days, exhibitions, exchange our experiences, and encourage each other to grow and continue making our city a place to be. Which of course-it already is!”

Janeckova, Malone, and Quintanilla are currently using the space for their respective work after their DIY renovation. They added their personal touches after a new paint job and furnishing the area with some grails found at local thrift shops. Janeckova will be working on her paintings and getting ready for exhibitions. Malone develops film, shoots/edits photos, and makes music at Alebrije. Lastly, Quintanilla will be using the space as a full-service recording studio. Showcasing the versatility of the Alebrije, the future looks bright in this collaborative workspace. Furthermore, Janeckova and Malone are already working together by integrating Janeckova’s paintings with Malone’s photography for an upcoming show in Europe next year!

Alebrije has not fully opened the doors to the public just yet but provides services on an appointment basis. One can enquire through their Instagram or by email. Until their grand opening, be on the lookout for some events they will host in the future, such as open studios, clothes swaps, and album listening sessions.

We look forward to seeing the future of the Alebrije and stay updated through their Instagram!