Breaking News
More () »

Local artist says there is a shortage of Latino artists in Des Moines

One local Latino artist says there is a lack of proper representation of Hispanic culture in the Des Moines art scene.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Inside the Mainframe building is the studio where Seso Marentes is changing the way Latino culture is depicted in art, one brush stroke at a time. 

But while Marentes is making waves, he's concerned about the lack of Latino artists in the Des Moines metro.

"Professionally I've been trying to look for another Latino artist to represent the community since 2013 and I haven't found one in Des Moines," Marentes said. 

Fellow Des Moines artist Eli Fox expressed the same concerns as Marentes.

"With the art being told with the diversity lens, it allows for diversity to really come alive," Fox said. 

The lack of representation has inspired Marentes to create the Iowa Series, a project that combines his Latino roots with his Iowa roots.

"What I do is I appropriate the Mexican icons that I grow up with and the icon, the symbol, of Des Moines to bring it together," Marentes said.

Fox says Seso's work is building bridges to bring cultures and nationalities together.

"He needs to keep doing what he's doing because he is building a voice," Fox said. "He is building a voice to the Latino community. . . [and] the diversity here in Des Moines," Fox said. 

Marentes plans to continue making his art in a way that properly represents his culture.

"Art now to me is very much like, 'let's speak about what we are now and not let everyone stereotype us.'" 

Local 5 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Before You Leave, Check This Out