Z’otz* Collective: Words From Returning Rocks

Residency & Exhibition at ARTSPLACE Gallery

Z’otz* Collective, Last Message, 2020

Z’otz* Collective Brings Their Playful Spirit and Collaborative Storytelling to ARTSPLACE Gallery

February 25 – March 25 / Opening February 25
Artist Residency: February 20 – 24
Annapolis Royal, NS

Three visual artists with a passion for collaboration are getting ready to create a site-specific work at the ARTSPLACE Gallery in Annapolis Royal. Z’otz* Collective was formed in 2004 by Nahúm Flores (Honduras), Erik Jerezano (Mexico), and Ilyana Martínez (Mexico/Canada) who share Latin American roots and a Toronto studio where they’ve joined forces to create drawings, collages, sculptures, and site-specific installations.

“Their work has a playful spirit, quirky subjects, and hybrid characters that connect to the storytelling traditions of their culture and history. Drawing is their primary means of expression and is used to respond to each other and to what surrounds them. Their approach allows them to create idiosyncratic images that touch on the experiences of migration, transformation, and regeneration,” said Ted Lind, ARTSPLACE Board Member.

The upcoming exhibition, Words from Returning Rocks, will include collaborative drawings, sculptures, and an in-situ ephemeral wall drawing.

Z’otz* is intrigued by the niche—from the French “nicher” meaning to make a nest—as a space to incubate, collect, investigate, and share stories. The concept of the niche is used as a point of departure for their installation and contains mythological beings, animals, and symbols. The group’s name comes from the Mayan word for bat, an animal that represented dreaming and intuition in the Mesoamerican world.

“An important part of the artists’ process is to be engaged with the communities that view their work, through a series of artist talks and workshops. While they create their wall work in the gallery, they’ll be available to talk about it so viewers can get a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the process,” said Sophie Paskins, ARTSPLACE Gallery Director.

Z’otz* Collective, Invisible Circumstance, 2021

Z’otz* Collective is a group of three artists with Latin American roots: Nahúm Flores (Honduras), Erik Jerezano (Mexico), and Ilyana Martínez (Mexico/Canada). For over fifteen years, Z’otz* has worked collaboratively out of a shared studio in Toronto, on drawings, paintings, collages, sculptures, and site–specific installations. They have attended residencies in Croatia and Serbia, where they initiated work with ceramic sculpture. Since then, the trio have incorporated ceramic pieces into ephemeral wall drawings.

They have received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. The three members were awarded grants for their individual practices from the esteemed Pollock–Krasner Foundation in New York City. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal commissioned Z’otz* to create a series of ceramic sculptures for their permanent collection.

ARTSPLACE is a public Art Gallery that is operated by the Annapolis Region Community Arts Council (ARCAC). ARCAC is a registered charity, dedicated to encouraging and promoting the arts. Supported through the Province of Nova Scotia and the Canada Council for the Arts.

396 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, NS
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ARTSPLACE is partially accessible (main floor galleries).