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Amigo Club recital: poetry in Spanish

 Posted: 2:00 AM June 28, 2013

Spanish, already a lyrical and rhythmic language, will take an even more poetic turn on Monday.

Ashland's Amigo Club is holding its second annual poetry recital event at 1 p.m. in the Schneider Museum on the campus of Southern Oregon University.

Active for more than 40 years, the Amigo Club promotes the long-standing, sister-city ties between Ashland and Guanajuato, a culturally rich city in Mexico.

During the poetry event, Amigo Club members and Guanajuato City Councilor Avelina Aguilar will be among those reciting poetry in Spanish.

Aguilar is the winner of many competitive poetry declamation events.

Poetry declamation is a dramatic form of reciting — not reading — poems. Participants are asked to memorize their lines, according to Betzabé "Mina" H. Turner, the president of the Amigo Club.

The public is invited to the event and light refreshments will be served.

Last year, the first annual poetry recital was held at the Ashland home of Graciela Magdalena Tapp-Kocks, who is better known in Ashland and Guanajuato as Señora Chela.

A professor emeritus of foreign languages and literature at Southern Oregon University, Señora Chela has worked for years to strengthen ties between Ashland and Guanajuato.

University of Guanajuato Professor Francisco Licea Montiel entertained attendees at the first poetry recital with his magical recitations of Mexican poetry, according to Turner.

Those attending then proposed making the recital an annual event.

With its move to the Schneider Museum of Art, the second annual poetry recital coincides with a retrospective exhibit of the drawings, paintings, prints and murals of Ashland artist Betty LaDuke.

That exhibit opened on Thursday and runs through Sept. 14.

In her vibrant, colorful paintings, LaDuke depicts people from all over the world.

She has traveled to numerous countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia, often chronicling the lives of men and women as they work and raise children.

The retrospective at SOU covers decades of LaDuke's long and prolific career as an artist.

The poetry recital at the Schneider Museum of Art will take place during a week of festivities as Ashland and Guanajuato honor their sister-city relationship. Representatives of the two cities traditionally visit each other in Ashland during Fourth of July celebrations.

According to the Amigo Club, Ashland and Guanajuato have many similarities.

Both have universities and draw flocks of tourists with their beautiful natural settings, picturesque downtowns and historical, cultural and recreational attractions.

Guanajuato's International Cervantes Festival is the counterpart to Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

For more information on the Amigo Club, visit http://ashlandamigoclub.org.

For more information on the retrospective exhibit of LaDuke's artwork, visit http://www.bettyladuke.com.

The Schneider Museum of Art is located uphill of the southwest corner of the intersection of Siskiyou Boulevard and Indiana Street. For directions, visit http://www.sou.edu/sma/location.html.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.


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