Internationally and locally acclaimed Mexican artist Cristina Cárdenas, who for years has used her work to vocalize her discomfort with gender and cultural stereotypes, is going to be exhibiting some of her work at the YWCA's Frances McClelland Community Center starting next week.
Cárdenas' exhibit will be the first show under the new-ish curator of the Galleria, Valerie Galloway.
"We are proud and excited to be showing the work of this important artist at the YWCA, an organization that is committed to the empowerment of women and racial justice," she said in a press release.
The pieces at the YW will exhibit the past about 15 years of Cárdenas' work. The painter/sculptor/print maker/activist follows the traditions of other Latin American artists - like muralist Diego Rivera—of using her pieces to protest social and political issues affecting Latinos, women from all over and others. Her work is bi-cultural—an expression of her Mexican roots fused with having lived here for decades.
"I have had the pleasure of knowing Cristina for many years and that I have always loved her weaving of strong women into her visual narratives. She has way of telling these tales of Mexican experience, history and myth through her feminine gaze," said Liane Hernandez with the YW. "Unlike so many images of Mexican history, these women look back you, they confront you with their gaze, fingers, toes, hearts and story; they are beautiful, but self-possessed. Cristina's images are a perfect way to engage viewers and spark conversation."
The Galleria is part of the Francis McClelland Leadership Center, which is a place that's sponsored many chats among community members on "personal growth through journaling, financial literacy workshops, parenting and gender role constructions, sex trafficking, immigration reform and mass incarceration."
Cárdenas was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico but later came to Tucson to attend the UA for a master's in fine arts.
You can actually see one of her art installations at the Avenida del Convento and Congress Street streetcar stop.
An opening reception with Cardenas is happening Jan. 28. So if you go, you'll probably get to meet her. It's from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and free.
The "Los Ojos de Mujer Artista que Emigra"/"The Eyes of the Immigrant Woman Artist" will be open from Jan. 9 to Feb. 19 at the Frances McClelland Community Center, 525 N. Bonita Ave. For more info, visit www.ywcatucson.org.