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Materials: Birch wood and Sage ashes
Dimensions: 36” X 48”
Location: Nevada City, Occupied Nisenan Land
Date: October 2014
Four portraits of local Nisenan ancestors were created and placed on the mountain side at the For-Site Foundation in Nevada City. The portraits are facing the buttes in view to the west where the sun sets and the Nisenan creation stories say is where they came from and go to in the afterlife. The four are grandparents and great grandparents of Shelly Covert, the Secretary of the Nisenan Tribe. The Nisenan lived in what became Nevada City when miners showed up to the area during the gold rush in 1849 and they lost most of their land where they held ceremonies, gatherings and lived since time immemorial.
Ancestors Honor Death
Family Carries On
Powerful Heritage Dances
Wind Reclaims Culture
Silent Movement Returns
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.
Galeria de la Raza, 2857 24th St., San Francisco, CA
Opening Reception: Friday., May 15, 6-9 p.m.
Open Saturday, May 16 12pm-6pm and Sunday, May 17 12pm-5pm
Free and open to the public
Mark you calendars for Cinco de Mayo in Oakland. Join us at the 2015 Reclaiming Cinco de Mayo event to celebrate the community victory of Stopping the Gang Injunctions in Oakland, the soft opening of La Cultura Cura Cultural Arts Cafe as well as the art exhibit opening of Dignidad Rebelde'exhibit! Bring family and friends to enjoy an evening of poetry, live music, teatro, food, Native American drum, Danza Azteca and Dignidad Rebelde art exhibit!
What is La Cultura Cura Cultural Arts Cafe?
La Cultura Cura Cultural Arts Cafe is a social enterprise of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice that aims to employ and empower systems impacted youth and young adults. We will be reestablishing old Indigenous trade routes by purchasing organic coffee beans directly from our Mayan relatives in Chiapas. We plan to train and employ formerly incarcerated youth and young adults, and provide a community building space that proudly promotes cultural arts and activism. We envision a community space that contributes to the positive economic development of the Fruitvale district, that benefits the long term residents of Oakland, and responds to gentrification in a meaningful and thoughtful way. Our vision is to build a beautiful and inviting cafe, ice cream parlor, smoothie bar, bookstore, and performance space that will be a vibrant gathering space for our youth and the community.
Our coffee is 100% organic certified in both Mexico and the U.S. We drip brew our coffee by the cup to ensure a rich and extremely fresh tasting cup of coffee for each and every customer.
Native Hawaiians and people of conscience are protecting the sacred site the mountain of Mauna Kea. Please stand with them.
Sign the petition: http://chn.ge/1CpiERl
Sending love, prayers and solidarity to the relatives fighting to protect Mauna Kea in Hawai'i. The struggle is to protect the sacred site, a place of the ancestors, from the intentions to build a "Thirty Meter Telescope" on it's peak. I wanted to create a quick graphic to express my solidarity with the people out there struggle to protect the land. No more desecration of sacred sites.
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