Q&A: Len Dominguez on “Carlos and Dominguez Art Gallery”

Ever since opening 18 years ago, “Carlos & Dominguez  Fine Art Gallery”  has served as an open space for a diverse artistic community where they can express their emotions through different mediums.

Carlos Dominguez and one of his favorite pieces from “Puntadas del Alma / Stitches of the Soul “  (photo by Juan Latapi,2013)
Carlos Dominguez and one of his favorite pieces from “Puntadas del Alma / Stitches of the Soul “ (photo by Juan Latapi,2013)

Sitting in the middle of the gallery located at the intersection of Cullerton and Ashland in Pilsen, Len Dominguez, art collector, former art magazine editor, retired board of education member, and owner of the gallery, proudly discusses his gallery’s involvement in the community while showcasing his latest exhibit “Puntadas del Alma / Stitches of the Soul “ which was created for the Pilsen’s Open Studios event earlier in October this year.



Q: How does your gallery fit in the Pilsen/Chicago art scene?

Well, we’re a pretty well known community-art gallery. We often try to have a good mix of lot of veteran artists, and young upcoming artists.  We do a lot of first time exhibitions for photography, sculpture and of course regular plastic arts. It’s not about money, but helping and supporting arts and artists will know that and appreciate it.  The community of artists knows we’re here, everybody supports each other, and it’s a pretty tight community. We will occasionally do art auctions to help artists that are ill or that are recently defunct to help with the families with the different costs. This exhibit in particular was for the Open Studios event that just passed and it is possible thanks to women that work in the back rooms of The National Mexican museum of Art and it involves them telling their stories through quilts. When we proposed to them the idea of doing an exhibit, they were immediately excited to do it and it has a received a good response form the community so far.

Q: You mentioned Open Studios, do you think that these kind of events help to support the artistic community?

Yes, it’s been going on for ten years now and it’s something that most everyone participates… it increases the sense of community and forces artists to go out and see different art while creating a support network.

Q: Since we’re talking bout Pilsen being a tight community, what role do you think it plays in the art world as a whole?

Pilsen artists are well known around the world.  Thanks to modern technology, once something is posted online, we’ll have people from places like Germany contacting us when visiting to make sure they come see the pieces. A lot of the pieces have been exhibited in places like Berlin and Paris. I think it’s only going to grow because of multimedia elements like twitter and blogs, I just started myself and I’m enjoying it because I can get more information from different sources about art.

Q:  Do you think besides technology and media, are there other factors that are changing the way artists express themselves now at days?

Ever since I started in the 1970s, I always knew that artists are very sensitive to stuff going on around them. They’re sensitive to politics to culture, they are open and they way they absorb information and translate into art mediums. They illustrate the essence of their stories; I call them the soul and conscience of society. They often think about where is society going. That will affect their delivery and message. Unfortunately you see more violent images, because society and the world is a mess and that affects everyone especially artists and you cant put your finger on it but they are able to react to everything going on out there in their neighborhood, city, etc. more effectively. I think that’s always been the case and now they can get information more quickly now through technology. The standards of how much we can push issues like sexuality and violence are rising as well and that changes a lot of the imagery.

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Carlos & Dominguez Art Gallery

1538 W. Cullerton St. Chicago, IL 60608




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