Home Ain’t Only Where You’re From •  Elmer Calata


Home Ain’t Only Where You’re From

On Display: March 15-29th by appointment

Opening Reception: March 15th7-9pm

Home Ain’t Only Where You’re From, 11x15 in. ink on paper

Home Ain’t Only Where You’re From, 11x15 in. ink on paper



(Washington DC) Artist Elmer Calata has an extensive background traveling and living in multiple cultures. Born and raised in both urban and rural Philippines, much of the inspiration in Elmer’s art practice takes from both the loud vibration of Manila and the peaceful stillness of its surrounding provinces. Elmer's work conveys his experiences drawn not just from his native land, but also from the "campo" and "pueblo" lifestyle of South America, which he experienced intimately during multiple immersive travels to various countries.

Elmer’s artwork emerged from clay, and the discarded and found objects in rural Paraguay in 2011. Upon his return to the US, he began working in visual media primarily ink on paper. His drawings consist of clean lines of strong, solid colors which reflect his vision to create artwork that is simple, crisp, and organically pleasing. 

Conversation around adaptation to the western world are included in Elmer’s realization of the roots he has specifically planted in Washington DC. There is a process of awareness that takes shape when a multi-cultural person decides to stay still for a while and call a place “home”. Particularly interesting is the decision to do so for someone whose professional work is connected to the politics of global cultural exchange, at a time of a rather upset political climate in Washington DC.  

The artworks on display, all ink on paper, are reflections that either pay quite literal homage to the city of Washington DC - such as maps of each city ward - as well as conceptual representations of personal stories of planting roots, creating relationships, and the processes one adventures through when turning a new city into a home. This collection of artwork is rich in symbolism and invites dialogue about creating a lifestyle in a new city while simultaneously highlighting the unique retrospectives of Washington DC from a global point of reference. 

Home Ain’t Only Where You’re From. On display March 15-29, 2019 at Latela Curatorial (716 Monroe Street NE Studio #27 Washington DC 20017, 202-340-3280). Viewing by appointment only. A public reception will be held on March 15, 2019: 7-9pm.