Over the past two years I have been in the Master of Fine Arts program at California College of the Arts and this past week I presented my thesis exhibit at the Galeria de la Raza with some of the work I made during this time. I had a lot of fun during this time and enjoyed pushing myself artistically and working with new materials and moving from making prints to moving off the wall and creating installations. With this new body of work I found new ways of exploring family history, community and cultural issues and am really proud to share this work with my community.
I want to thank every one who helped make this exhibit possible. First off my partner Melanie Cervantes who has supported me through this chapter of my life and always challenged me to make my work to keep pushing my work. The Galeria de la Raza and the director Ani Rivera who opened the Galeria to me when I needed a place for my exhibit. Plus the crew there who worked to make this exhibit possible, Jess Sabogal, Gilda Posada, Elizabeth Blancas, Abby Hernández, Lola Elizabeth Pérez.
Using screen prints, art workshops, installations and gatherings my work deals the contemporary realities of people who are building a transformative social justice movement while recovering from the distress of a large-scale spiritual amnesia. I draw my inspiration from a Xicana Cosmo vision that has faced near destruction but has been persevered in stories and gestures that have been passed down through the generations and in the symbols and images left on codices, stone stamps and temple walls. Looking back to the seven generations of indigenous ancestors, my work honors their struggles and works to create a future in which struggles are continued.
As a detribalized Xicana living in diaspora my history is tied with other Third World and Indigenous People(s) dealing with the effects of colonization, genocide and exploitation on a global level. I believe art can be an empowering reflection of community struggles, dreams and visions and my work aims to translate people’s stories into art that can be put back into the hands of the communities who initially inspire it. Deeply rooted in my community I understand the importance of communal assemblies, gathering together to make art and meditate on pressing issues in order to collectively address our concerns and mobilize to collectively transform our society.