Butter Gallery's "Las Ilustres" Showcases Notable Local Latina Artists

"There's no doubt that women are underrepresented in the art-gallery world," says Butter Gallery director Francisco de la Torre. "I make sure that's something we don't do."

In the case of Butter Gallery's latest exhibit, "Las Ilustres," de la Torre happened to gather work not just from female artists, but from Latina artists. The exhibit, which opens Saturday, August 13, will feature some of Miami's most notable women illustrators.

The title of the exhibit, "Las Ilustres," refers to women celebrated for a specific talent or activity and sounds like the Spanish word for "illustrators." Ultimately, the playful semantics points to Butter Gallery's role in identifying this group of artists it has chosen for the exhibit.

Featuring work from such talents such as Nicole Salcedo and Tatiana Suarez, the exhibition showcases diptychs, or two-piece works. "The diptychs ultimately become one piece that serve to make a statement," de la Torre says. "The gallery provided each artist with the materials to make their piece and to frame it so that they are all uniform. It's a very clean presentation, while showing six different artists at the same time."

The exhibit also features the debut of Butter Gallery artist and Wynwood Murals editor Diana Larrea. Larrea’s participation includes photographic documentation of the exhibit and the participating artists’ processes.

"We really wanted to present these artists as distinguished in their respective field while acknowledging the contributions of Latina women to our city’s cultural landscape," de la Torre says. "If we can, on a yearly basis, showcase the state of the female illustrator scene, that would be great."
Other artists in the exhibit include Cuban-born Wynwood sign painter Cinthia Santos, as well as Nicole Salgar, a painter and street artist known for her Latin folk art. Amliv Sotomayor, another Cuban-born illustrator and Latin Billboard Music Mural Featured Artists selection, will also be featured.

Together, they're an all-star lineup of female illustrators to present to Miami.

"It's not so much that we approached this with, 'Oh, we need to show off women,'" de la Torre says. "But having an all-woman show brings in a vibe and aesthetic that's just very different and cool."

Among the most notable artists featured are Danielle Estefan — a Wynwood Walls artist and former New Times "100 Creatives" choice — known as Knee. 

"Each artist is part of our local scene and our cultural landscape," de la Torre says. "I think the cool thing is that anyone who follows our local art scene will recognize some of these artists while discovering ones they didn't necessarily know. And our a job as a gallery is to recognize artists who are doing great work."

"Las Ilustres"
7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, August 13, at Butter Gallery, 2930 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 305-303-6254;
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Chris Joseph