08/16/2019 - 02/09/2020
Some of the earliest accessions of Latino artists into the collection occurred in the early 1990s. The exhibition in the Upper Gallery, Selections from the Collection: Latino and Latina Heart Work depicts the personal, cultural, artistic and political passion by artists whose work depicts some of the most important aspects of living. Shown through the eyes and hearts of these artists we encounter sights and symbols of what is held most dear.
This exhibition includes images delivered boldly, and at times with subtlety in layers, as seen in the work of Kathy Vargas (American, b. 1950). This hand-colored installation, Broken Column, Mother, is composed of 6 separate images, that brought together in a crucifix design, depict her dying mother, whose body image is superimposed with spiky thorns and roses. The artist was given permission to take these images and use them in her most poignant way. Another local artist Ricardo Ruiz, whose painting El Corrida del Mocho Eugenio, Mathis, Texas (The Songs My Father Taught Me, are the Songs I’ll Teach My Son) was purchased with funds provided by the Corpus Christi Art Foundation, (now the South Texas Institute for the Arts dba Art Museum of South Texas) has come to be an important early work that conveys the values and stories of the artist’s youth. Not all the artists adhere to readily available or readable imagery, but the spirit of the materials, their outlay and energy defines and expression of forms and texture that take an immediate nod to other contemporary art using found materials, such as hay cut precisely to fill the forms that detail signs and symbols of personal and cultural significance. Others have used their methods to take recognizable imagery, such as Maricela Sanchez’s Blanco y Negro (Black and White) invokes what we consider clear cut issues, that with the suggested illumination of a candle suggest there may be more nuance.