Artists Speak On Their Work University
Jennifer Ashley, T¡mes Staff Writer
As the Latin American community grows in Los Angeles, members ho identify
themselves with particular ethnic groups are beginning to merge as leaders
of social adjustment. Visual arts is one of the many fields in which "minorities" are
finally beginning to achieve recognition. To enlighten people of the
Cal State L.A. community, four successful Chicana artists brought slides
their work and spoke about their hosen form of expression. The lecture
was held last Wednesday evening in the University-Student Union.
Moderated by Karen Mary Davalos, a Chicana/o Studies assistant professor
at Loyola Marymount University, the lecture gave each artist about twenty
minutes to show heir pieces and talk about them. Afterward there was
a question and answer session between the audience and the artists.
Eyebrow-ringed Alma Lopez poke first. Her art, which is mainly digital,
has earned her many honors, and has enabled her to found several collections
of art. Her pieces oftentimes consist of various photographs juxtaposed
with one another to create a completely new and unexpected image.
When I was creating these images, I would start cracking up ... they're
serious on a certain level but they're also very funny," she said
of a series of pieces which incorporated the Virgin de Guadalupe.
Many pieces depict the Virgin in an untraditional light, and due to this,
Lopez acknowledged the fact that she has received negative feedback to
her art. In an exhibit for the television show "Vista LA" as
well as on Olvera Street, people criticized per as defacing the Sacred
Lopez offers no apologies, but an explanation, "I wanted to be able
to identify with her ... have her be a full woman, a sexy woman ...."
Yolanda Gonzalez was the second to speak. With dyed red hair, a cow hide
choker, and fur-collared coat, Gonzalez looked the part. Raised in Pasadena,
she has been a recognized artist since the late `80s. Her work has been
exhibited around the L.A. area as well as in Africa, Spain and Japan.
In addition to producing art, she also teaches at Inner City Arts, a
for underprivileged children.
Gonzalez brought in two portraits done by her grandmother (whom she cites
as the reason she started doing art) to show the contrast between the
traditional art forms and her own.
Gonzalez' Picasso-esque paintings employ a lot of black-and-white rather
than color to illustrate the dynamics of the pieces.
A lot of these paintings are records of my past relationships," she
said. "Now that I'm married, I don't know what to do with them!"
Linda Vallejo said that it was her goal as an artist to "share with
you my lessons as a Chicana Indigena. This has been my mission for the
past ''20 years."
Growing up in Germany, Spain, and all over the United States, including
the deep South during the civil rights movement, Vallejo has led a very
traveled life. Her art is influenced by the Chicana Indigena ideals.
I was smitten. I took a dive head-first into Chicana Indigena and never
came back," she recalls of her experiences. Her pieces often depict
nature's metamorphosis with women.
Last to speak was CSLA alumna Anita Miranda. An art collector, Miranda
said that she attends art galleries and receptions as religiously as
one might go to church each week. She showed the audience various pieces
her collection, mostly done bv Chicana women; many friends of hers.
The audience asked questions to the four women, all who were well well-spoken.
They responded thoroughly to the numerous inquiries. Following the two-hour
discussion. the artists attended a reception.
Photo By Andrea Giacomini , University Times
Artists Alma Lopez (left), Linda Vallejo, art collector Anita Miranda,
moderator Karen Mary Davalos and artist
Yolanda Gonzalez speak on Chicana artists in the millennium
at the Alhambra-A room.
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