By Maureen Post Special to Published Dec 04, 2008 at 12:33 PM
This weekend, a collaboration between The United Community Center's Latino Arts program and Alverno College's "Alverno Presents" infuses the city with Latino culture. They join forces to bring the work of Mexican American artist Ramiro Rodriguez and sound of Cuban musician Jose Conde to Milwaukee.

Beginning Friday evening, Rodriguez’s exhibit, entitled "Herencia," opens at the United Community Center’s Walker's Point location. Rodriguez’s oil paintings and woodblock relief prints reveal the human and personal side of the artist through figurative representations of his past.

"The exhibit’s title is 'Herencia' in Spanish, which translates to heritage. So a lot of the works are based upon my experience and family ties. A lot of the figures are people I know or my own kids, myself, my family; it’s all tied in," Rodriguez explains.

Rodriguez’s work focuses on the collective interconnectedness of the past to the present as the artist explores his own role as a father, husband and son.

"I think Latino Arts is a pretty unique venue and organization. Looking around at the stuff they’re doing, it’s really amazing. I really think their selection of shows give a broader sense of what Latino art is," Rodriguez says.

Can’t make Friday’s gallery opening? Head to Alverno’s Pitman Theater Saturday night at 8 for a full performance by Jose Conde Y Ola Fresca. The New York-based Cuban band infuses pan-Latin sounds of bomba, compas and swamp funk.

Although Conde’s sound is based in traditional Cuban music, the band’s performances are more complex than traditional and encapsulate Miami influenced Latino rhythms. His newest release, "(R)Evolucion," melds percussion, guitar, organ, piano and bass.

 "We are really interested in presenting cultural events throughout the year and Jose Conde was also sought by Alverno College. So, we’re really excited to collaborate on these two events," Jonathan Waldbauer of the United Community Center explains.

Jose Conde Y Ola Fresca will also perform an acoustic set at the UCC Friday night during Rodriguez’s opening, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m.

Maureen Post Special to staff writer Maureen Post grew up in Wauwatosa. A lover of international and urban culture, Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After living on the east side of Madison for several years, Maureen returned to Milwaukee in 2006.

After a brief stint of travel, Maureen joined as the city’s oldest intern and has been hooked ever since. Combining her three key infatuations, Milwaukee’s great music, incredible food and inspiring art (and yes, in that order), Maureen’s job just about fits her perfectly.

Residing in Bay View, Maureen vehemently believes the city can become fresh and new with a simple move across town.