Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

In a bright display of life and light, the Knauer Gallery in Swope Music Hall now features the painting, photography, and digital media of Esperanza Esplugas Marcos. She uses vibrant and subdued colors, undulating lines, and intrusive beams of light to capture the majesty and spirit of “Kawellu”. Entitled “Kawellu/Horses” by Argentine painter Marcos, the exhibit will be on display until April 10 in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The gallery is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“Kawellu” means “horses” in the language of the Mapuche people indigenous to the Andes.

The underlying theme of Esperanza’s artistic career has been the animal kingdom: aquatic life, tropical birds, and wild horses. Her artwork reflects on issues threatening our planet such as endangered species and environmental degradation.

Esperanza’s vision is for spectators to view her artwork and feel at one with nature’s message of harmony and peace.

“The ‘Kawellu/Horses’ exhibit is especially fine,” Carla Lee Verderame, Professor in the English Department, said.

“Esperanza captures both the grace and majesty of her subject.”

An opening reception of the exhibit took place on Wednesday, March 11 from noon to 2 p.m. West Chester faculty, staff, students, and members of the community including students from Merion Middle School, were able to “meet and greet” with Esperanza. She discussed her experience as a university professor of art and director of her own art gallery and institute.

Esperanza’s inspiration for the “Kawellu/Horses” exhibit, the music of the Maori people of New Zealand, filled the air as spectators viewed her artwork. Esperanza spoke to spectators about her creative techniques in producing her artwork.

“I realized, with great satisfaction, that the WCU audience understood very well the message of my artwork: peace, harmony and love for nature,” Esperanza said, when reflecting on her visit to West Chester.

“I believe that we need a peaceful environment to think, grow, and be happy.”

Esperanza is a graduate from the Department of Fine Arts

at the University of Rosario, Argentina. Through her extensive career, she has participated in many solo and group exhibits in Argentina, Uruguay, Honduras, France, Spain and Italy.

Today Esperanza has a permanent collection of her artwork in Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico and the United States. She has received numerous prizes in Argentina and abroad for her remarkable artistic talent.

In 2004, the international literary journal “College Literature” featured Esperanza’s painting “Unicorn” on their cover. Then in 2006, her artwork was displayed at WCU art gallery, a group exhibit sponsored by the 2006 International Festival.

The “Kawellu/Horses” exhibit works to support WCU’s mission of enhancing university globalization efforts. In the past, the gallery has featured highly recognized international artists from countries including Costa Rica and China.

The exhibit was made possible by WCU Art Department, which attended to the logistics of the show; the Academic Affairs Council, which funded the Esperanza’s trip from Argentina; and the Department of Languages and Culture and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, that helped to defray publicity and other pertinent expenses.The artwork featured in the “Kawellu/Horses” exhibit is available for sale. For more information please contact John Baker of the Art Department.

Melissa Stack is a third-year student majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Journalism. She can be reached at

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