Centro Cultural Aztlan is pleased to present its annual Segundo de Febrero exhibition, Mujeres de Aztlan y El Segundo de Febrero. Centro annually celebrates this anniversary to ensure that the history of the Mexican-American people is not forgotten and this year, the exhibit will be focusing on women artists and the contributions of women. In the past, the contributions of women were often not recorded but it can be assumed that they are the ones who kept the culture alive through wars and hardships connected to violent cultural change. February 2, 1848 is the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and this date can be seen as the beginning of the Mexican-American people as a cultural and political entity. As you may know, the signing of this treaty transferred a huge swath of land from Mexican to US control. This is why it is said that the border crossed the Mexican people, the Mexican people did not cross the border. We are asking women artists to wrestle with these issues to create innovative works that comment upon this unique Mexican-American experience. Artists will look at women’s roles in this period and consider how they were responsible for the very survival of the family using grit and ingenuity to create among other things a new cuisine and innovative medicinal practices. We will also be examining how land was taken away from Mexicans creating displacement and confusion but eventually a beautiful new culture that is evolving even today.
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 2, 2017, 6-9 p.m.
Exhibition runs from February 2-March 15, 2017, Monday-Friday, 9-5 p.m.
Some highlights of the exhibit are:
Mujeres de Aztlan: The Courage of Estefana G. de la Garza
Cultural Anthropologist Dr. Citlali Maria Zentella will present a dramatic performance entitled Mujeres de Aztlan: The Courage of Estefana G. de la Garza. Folklorist Binisa Zentella musicalizes the dramatic narrative with the rendition of her original corridor, Estefana de la Garza, and with excerpts of historic songs and corridos, including the Corrido of Juan Nepomuceno Cortina. The Zentellas’ Historic-Musical narrative talks about Estefana Goseascochea de la Garza, grand daughter of Gertrudis de la Garza Falcon, original owner of Potrero de la Bahia, a Spanish grant land of about 284,416 acres in present South Texas. Also, Estefana was the mother of the so-called Robin Hood of Texas, General Juan Nepomuceno Cortinas. Estefana fought in American Courts her legal rights to her lands after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2nd, 1848. Both presenters are active founding members of Los Inocentes’ Cultural Historic-Musical Projects. Los Inocentes have been dedicated to the research and preservation of Mexican-American musical tradition, through the performing of historical songs and the compositions of corridos that recognize the valor and struggle of the Mexican-American people.
Mujer Enterrada: Something Happened Here
Laurie Dietrich, Amber Ortega Perez and Doerte Weber present a multi-media collaborative installation featuring textiles created by Weber originally installed along the Texas-Mexico border. Dancer, Amber Ortega Perez has created original choreography that has been filmed by Laurie Dietrch and Erik Bosse exploring how borders move and what happens when they do. While the names of men in power are written in ink and change the shape of nations, the names of women, written in water and blood sink back into the earth and are forgotten. And yet the earth itself is a woman and these lines we draw upon her are arbitrary at best. In this piece, the artists are calling for both a new way to look at the history of women and a new way to look at borders – as pliable things, places of connection rather than separation-lines that we can shake hands across and dance with.
Canta y No LLores (Sing, Don’t Cry)
In this installation, Gloria Sanchez Hart moves beyond traditional approaches to printmaking. Rather that exhibit a print individually, she has used a more contemporary format known as site-specific installation. Working improvisationally, Sanchez-Hart has used each print as a building block of a large and complex visual statement, where symbols, text, and expressive colors combine to tell the story of the heroic Mexican women who frequently broke out in song to offer comfort and strength to soldiers in combat. Like an observant journalist presenting historical facts, Sanchez-Hart creates a visual gumbo of words and images for viewers to navigate as they enjoy the aesthetic pleasures than only an artist can offer.
1/2 Kilo – Hecho a Mano
Enjoy Guadalupe Marmolejo’s suite of 21 prints superimposing images of tortillas over antique European photogravures found within the public domain.
Photographer and humanitarian, Melanie M. Lira creates an installation about the life of many border crossers. The artist spent many months walking the trails between Mexico and the United States collecting items that represent the reality of border culture such as crosses, rosaries, plastic water bottles and pieces of clothing. The items collected have been placed on large panels of wood in order to bring the reality of the trails to the viewing audience. Through each item a story is told.
Other artists featured in the exhibition are Elva Salinas, Mari Hernandez, Griselda Nill, Alejandra Gomez, Patricia Ruiz Bayon, Carla Veliz, Maria Jessica Alvarado, Liliana Wilson, Kim Bishop, Loretta Young Medellin, Mimi Duvall, Maria Isabel Aguilar, Rita Marie Avery, Joan Frederick, Maria Vasquez, Fadela Castro, Maria Alvarado, Alicia Galvan, Adriana Rodriquez, Suzanne Armstrong and Margarita Benavides.
Please join us for this innovative and inspiring exhibit.