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Many students have passions outside of their studies, but recent Arizona State University graduate Antonieta Carpenter-Cosand leveraged her language and art studies to showcase and teach others about Brazilian culture.
“I started taking Portuguese and got very interested in learning more,” Cosand explained, even though she was already a Spanish literature major, “Spanish is my first language...I started realizing that Latino countries, not only Spanish speaking countries, have a lot in common.”
As part of a class project, Cosand’s exhibit featured four paintings representing Tropicalismo, an influential Brazilian music movement from the 1960s she learned about in a class on contemporary Brazilian art. Cosand displayed her paintings and introduced visitors to the Tropicalismo sound.
“A lot of people do not see painting now as something so important, it’s not as noticeable as it used to be … people don’t realize the power of visualized art,” said Cosand, who graduated from the School of International Letters and Cultures.
“More than a music movement, [Tropicalismo] was an artistic movement in Brazil,” which Cosand explained was a way to dissent against culture regulations by Brazil’s military dictatorship.
She saw her paintings as a way to advertise this aspect of Brazilian art and history, serving as an entry point to the diversity of Latin American culture.
“The sense we use the most is seeing. If people were more open to seeing art, we could use art in other contexts,” Cosand said. “It connects me to them, and it connects a lot of things. For example, this was about Brazil. I connected a country through painting and their culture and their music to other people who might not even know where Brazil is.”
You can see photos from the event and list to the songs that inspired Cosand’s paintings here.