Visual

Border Crossing

Images of resilience

Attend

What: Community Art Museum Day

When: 12 pm Sat., Apr. 29

Where: Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St.

Cost: $3

Info: http://www.whatcommuseum.org

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Despite the fact that he’s been pushing for a viewing of Whatcom Museum’s “Images of Resilience: Chicana/o Art and its Mexican Roots,” exhibit for the past month, I had to assure my date I’d treat him to a post-tour lunch to get him out the front door last Sunday.

It turns out I shouldn’t have promised to part with my dineros quite so quickly. After we’d done our first walk-through of the thought-provoking show, my fella informed me that not only did he love everything about the exhibit—the colors, the messages and the artistry itself—but also that he’d be perfectly happy living in the gallery for a while.

I agreed. From the moment I walked into the Lightcatcher and saw Alfredo Arreguin’s “La Alameda,” I was hooked. The giant oil painting of Frida Kahlo flanked by a much-smaller Diego Rivera and a festively festooned skeleton was a riot of color. The underlapping images of flowers and butterflies could’ve made the work cacophonous, but instead had me wondering what the story was behind the subject matter.

In fact, the entire exhibit tells a tale. In exploring the development of Chicana/o art from its beginnings in Mexican art of the early 20th century, to the Chicana/o movement of the 1960s and ’70s, to its current relevance, viewers get a glimpse of how the art form has changed—and also how at least some of it has stayed the same.

For example, a missive next to a party of festive paper mache skeletons made by the late Pedro Linares—including a guitar player, two revelers and a couple of small dogs—pointed out that the artist and his family are considered national treasures in Mexico and beyond. After learning the craft from his own father and becoming known for his skills during the 1950s, Pedro passed on his talents to his sons and grandsons, who continue to create works of art for collectors, museums and more. Nearby, Leonardo Linares’ clever “Skeleton, Newspaper Boy” shows that the familial talent is intact.

At a Community Art Museum Day taking place from 12-4pm Sat., April 29 at the Lightcatcher, visitors can get more details about the Linares family, and about the long history behind the “Images of Resilience.”

In addition to celebrating the variety of identities making up our diverse community, the all-ages event will feature guided tours of the exhibit and various art projects, and provide more of a context of how artists like Diego Rivera influenced those who came after them—including contemporary artists such as Patssi Valdez, Ester Hernandez, Carmen Lomas Garza, Gronk, Enrique Chagoya, Frank Romero, and more.

“Within the context of the Chicana/o movement for social justice, artists took their place in creating images and forms of art that would help enlist others in this movement for human rights,” artist and scholar Amalia Mesa-Bains says.

You’ll see this evolution in pieces like Rupert Garcia’s 1979 painting, “Assassination of a Striking Mexican Worker;” “Sun Mad,” Ester Hernandez’ depiction of a skeletal farm worker affected by pesticides;  and Cecilia Concepsion Alvarez’ “An Offering for Healthy Youth and Culture, or Way of Life,” painted in 2005.

But, as anyone who’s ever crossed the border to Mexico knows, the images of struggle and change are also interspersed with joy and hope—which I guess is where the “resilience” in the title comes from.

My date and I discussed the exhibit at length over a margarita and meal at Jalapenos, and we both agreed we needed to see it again before it leaves town at the end of May to further solidify our findings. Next time, he’s buying lunch.

ICU
More Visual...
Night Moves
Art and action after dark

At last Friday’s Wine Walk in downtown Bellingham, more than 700 humans purchased tickets to sample grape elixirs and explore 20 unique venues in the urban core. While wine tasting was the official reason for the spring soiree, I heard more than one attendee express amazement at discovering…

more »
Journeys
A trio of tales

Sara Siestreem was “thunderstruck” to hear her ancestors speak to her through handmade Indian baskets. A professional painter, trained in modern expressionism, she was visiting a private collection of indigenous artifacts. If DNA persists in whatever we create with our hands, she…

more »
Promising Futures
Fine art at any age

There’s no denying kids view things differently than adults do. This week, opportunities will abound to see through the eyes of area youth as annual events celebrating their burgeoning talents take place in Whatcom and Skagit counties. If, like Whitney Houston, you believe the children are…

more »
Events
Today
All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Downtown Walk with WNPS

6:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Audubon Talk

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

MVHS Jazz

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

University Choir

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Books on Tap

7:00pm|Maggie's Pub

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Tomorrow
Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Spring Tea

2:00pm|Lynden Community Center

Blaine Marina Tour

2:00pm|Blaine Marina

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market Opening

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Brewers Cruise Kickoff

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Just Halibut

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Thomas Marriott Quartet

7:00pm|Unity Spiritual Center

Panty Hoes

9:00pm|Rumors Cabaret

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Thursday
Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

BC Morgan Horse Show

9:00am| Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Parkinson's Dance Class

10:00am|Ballet Bellingham

Whatcom Food Network's Spring Forum

1:00pm|Squalicum Boathouse

Experience Ireland

6:00pm|Whatcom Community College

Elimination Diet Cooking

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Red Light to Starboard

6:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Adventure Awaits!

7:00pm|Village Books

Movie Trivia

7:00pm|Bayou Annex Bar

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

What-A-Sho!

7:00pm|Bellingham High School

Crevasse Rescue Clinic

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials

Twelfth Night

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

Julius Caesar

7:30pm|Miller Hall

Golden Goose Preview

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

see our complete calendar »

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab Lester and Hyldahl Trove Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1