By: Luis Arjona Photos By: Aaron “Malone” Rodriguez
Our creative professionals, and the growing community, arebrcontinually working on manifesting their dreams and furthering their careers.brSimilar to the grind of artists in 1980s New York City, I see a parallelbrambition and scene of talented people. Those artists who rose to prominence atbrthe time range from Keith Haring, Cyndi Lauper, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Who’sbrto say the same phenomenon can’t exist here in the Coastal Bend? Luckily, webrhave ambitious professionals who are creating the “Alebrije,” a collaborativebrspace for the ever-growing creative scene in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Deriving from the definition, Alebrije means “imaginary” orbr“fantasy” and refers to the hand-carved and painted figurines from Mexico.brAlebrije is a multi-use “safe space” for creatives to meet and work. Thisbrcollaboration space is the brainchild of three local creative professionals.brThe team is composed of world-renowned Slovak painter Katarina JaneckovabrWalshe, photographer and “spiritual guru” Aaron “Malone” Rodriguez, and “curatorbrof vibes,” Svani Quintanilla. Located at 1307 Ayers St, Alebrije is looking tobrbring positive, creative energy, and inspiration to those who dedicate theirbrtime to arts.
Initially inspired by a conversation between Malone andbrQuintanilla, the trio credits Malone’s aspirations for a creative space beingbrthe catalyst for Alebrije. Furthermore, when discussing the team’s goals, theybrhope to offer other creatives a co-working space. Referencing how inspiring andbrmotivating working in proximity to one another, the Alebrije team recognizesbrhow the environment in which one works can push individuals to excel with thebrproper community and reinforcement.
Another goal is to establish a gallery space for all kindsbrof media and serve as a platform to propel fellow creatives by providingbrexposure. In the meantime, Alebrije plans to host workshops/classes forbrphotography, music production, and painting and share their wealth of knowledgebronce it is safe to do so. The Alebrije will serve as a cultural hot spot tobrshed light on the talent in our area.
Doing so will allow them to become a lodestone for guestsbrwho love art or see new ideas in the Coastal Bend.
When discussing the cultural impact of Alebrije, Janeckovabrstates, “I am not sure if we are doing anything new here. But, we hope othersbrwill join us or get inspired by our way of thinking. Corpus might soon be a hubbrfull of art and artists, cultural events, and creative minds. We can organizebropen studio days, exhibitions, exchange our experiences, and encourage each otherbrto grow and continue making our city a place to be. Which of course-it alreadybris!”
Janeckova, Malone, and Quintanilla are currently using thebrspace for their respective work after their DIY renovation. They added theirbrpersonal touches after a new paint job and furnishing the area with some grailsbrfound at local thrift shops. Janeckova will be working on her paintings andbrgetting ready for exhibitions. Malone develops film, shoots/edits photos, andbrmakes music at Alebrije. Lastly, Quintanilla will be using the space as abrfull-service recording studio. Showcasing the versatility of the Alebrije, thebrfuture looks bright in this collaborative workspace. Furthermore, Janeckova andbrMalone are already working together by integrating Janeckova’s paintings withbrMalone’s photography for an upcoming show in Europe next year!
Alebrije has notbrfully opened the doors to the public just yet but provides services on anbrappointment basis. One can enquire through their Instagram or by email. Untilbrtheir grand opening, be on the lookout for some events they will host in thebrfuture, such as open studios, clothes swaps, and album listening sessions.
We look forward to seeing the future of the Alebrije andbrstay updated through their Instagram!