In the last few years of my life, I have constantly been struggling to strive between two passions in my life, coffee and art. Having been active in the coffee industry for almost 10 years (specialty coffee for 6 years) and most recently after getting my BA in Art Practice at UC Berkeley in 2014, I juggled working for multiple cafes I loved in the Bay Area, to traveling the world to give my art away, and teaching myself how to tattoo.
Time and time again I struggled an internal battle of having to either let go of coffee or art because I felt I was hindering my potential and growth....
However, if it had not been for my stubbornness or ignorance, I kept at it, pursuing both to the best abilities I could.
So, in 2014, I decided to compete in the Southwest Regional Barista Competitions in Palm Springs, CA. In what was the most competitive region at that time, I failed to advance to the Regionals by almost one point...
However, through the entirety of the competition experience, I knew I was representing a coffee that meant so much more than deliciousness. That year I competed, I had the fortune of connecting with Mayra Orellana-Powell, the producer of the coffee I used from Santa Elena, Honduras. A relationship through this coffee had been established that would impact the way I viewed my role not just as a barista in the specialty coffee industry, but also as an artist.
A Seed Planted
Through maintaining a relationship with Mayra over the next two years, I have come to understand a sense of deeper connection of what coffee is to her as what art means to me. Both are a medium to connect with people and community.
The last two years I traveled to Japan and Mexico with an ongoing project titled "The Traveling Artist" that would further allow me this pursuit of connecting with people through my art. More info/photos about this can be seen here: www.demartdenaro.com
In collaboration now with Mayra and her husband Lowell who have recently both moved back to Honduras to further develop their non-profit project "Catracha Community", I am excited to announce the beginning of a new extension of "The Traveling Artist" series in Honduras with a project called "Catracha Community Artist Residency".
As the first Artist-in-Residence, I intend to create the foundations of an annual or bi-annual intake of artists to make work and be part of the work of this beautifully growing coffee community. The money gathered from this kickstarter is to fund resources and tools to build out the space of the artist studio, art supplies, as well as transportation costs.
During build out, I will be making art engaging with the community of Santa Elena, working on coffee farms, and hosting art workshops for the youth.
Following the future of Catracha Community Artist Residency, and together with Mayra and Lowell, I hope to open the dream of a trip to origin for people and let them share a piece of themselves in a world they may never have the chance to give to. I do not have intentions to make life or community impacting actions in Santa Elena, but may this be an international exchange of hard work and creativity. Another medium of coffee and art bringing people together. A spark of what is possible by combining interdisciplinary fields together and creating something beautiful.
How YOU can help!
On top of the rewards and the amount you decide to fund, your name will also be recognized as a distinguished contributor to the Catracha Community Artist Residency website.
Thank you so much for your time!
Here are some links for more info of Catracha Coffee:
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge is the time to build out the studio space.
Using adobe, a very resourceful and sustainable material to build out the studio will be the biggest impact on getting the space up and running.
However, with the help of this kickstarter, there is no doubt it can be completed rather quickly.
4 blocks of adobe building material cost $1.
Having 4000 blocks = $1000 (Which will be more than enough)
On top of that, labor and construction will be around another $1500
Art supplies and furniture will cost another $1000. Which totals to about $3500.
We will have a team of many workers with many various skills including help from an Architect already creating floor/site plans that are nearly complete.
On top of that, there are already major key contributors helping out internationally for a current existing project called Catracha Quality Project (CQP) that is about creating better data for the quality of the coffee that the farmers produce year in and year. Major coffee companies such as Blue Bottle Coffee and Royal Coffee currently work with and have a deep relationship with Catracha Coffee.
With these connections, and lots of work already being contributed to other various projects within Catracha Community, the momentum is growing and the excitement of a unique Artist Resideny sprouting is more than enough to get through the challenges. These are all projects created by the power of community!
For more up to date info about existing contributors to Catracha Community as well as the Catracha Quality Project click here:Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)