Lisa S. Lenkiewicz
Latino visual artist, textile designer and weaving instructor Ruben Marroquin is a big dreamer.
For the past two years, he has operated an art and weaving studio out of a storefront at the Arcade Mall in downtown Bridgeport.
Now he wants to go a step further and build a sustainable business offering weaving workshops to those who wish to learn the crafts of weaving and fiber art making. To reach this goal, he organized an online fundraising campaign on the crowd-funding website Indiegogo. Those who donate $15 or more will receive a gift, ranging from a small woven sample, all the way up to a hand-woven throw for a donation of $1,000 or more. As of press time, his campaign has raised $3,470 towards his $5,000 goal. The campaign ends on March 7.
Funds raised will not only help Marroquin improve his Weaving Workshop at the Arcade Mall but will aid in the purchase of costly equipment and high quality yarns, weaving shuttles, portable looms and other art materials.
“My goal is to contribute to the artistic and cultural community of Bridgeport while stepping up to the global arts community,” Marroquin writes on his website. “I see that Bridgeport is becoming a center for creativity and I am proud to be part of this emergence of talented people, but I find that I can’t sustain my efforts alone and I reach out for help from my community.”
His goal is also to improve the quality of the courses he teaches to “empower” the city’s art community. Every year, he conducts weaving demonstrations at the Bridgeport Arts Fest. He has also visited area schools, the Westport Library and places such as the local YMCA.
Inspiration from colorful Central America
Marroquin’s Venezuelan mother and Guatemalan father met in the United States. Born in Chicago, at the age of one Marroquin moved to Venezuela with his mother and lived there until age 20. He studied painting and first formed a strong connection with textiles at the Armando Reveron University Institute, in Caracas.
To connect with his father’s roots, he traveled around Guatemala, and then lived in Mexico for three years. Marroquin says he is inspired today by…