“Sopa de Gabi” on view through September 26th

8 Sep

Title Wall at Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana

If you’ve not yet checked it out, please visit my exhibition at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana–on view through September 26th.

Curated by Jillian Nakornthap, Sopa de Gabi features over 15 linocut prints ranging in size from 4″x2″ to 30″x22″.  Created between 2005 and 2010, they detail the story of my mother’s immigration to the U.S. via Mexico from Lima, Peru in 1963; run through mine and my partner’s childhoods in Los Angeles and Munich, respectively; and conclude with a 2009 “portrait” of my y0unger sister and Lulu, our strange little cat.  Jillian had initially hoped to curate the exhibition chronologically, but decided to go with a thematic layout.  I am very happy with the results!  I couldn’t have done a better job myself!

On Saturday, September 4th, we enjoyed a tremendous turnout  at an opening that included my family (the characters featured in all of the prints), work colleagues, friends and visitors that generally crowd the Artist’s Village in Santa Ana during a typical 1st Saturday Art Walk. 

This has been one the least stressful exhibitions that I have participated in to date! Not only were Jillian and the GCAC staff super patient and helpful, but the space is amazing and (lucky for me) the sales gallery gets a nice amount of traffic due to its location. 

...and if you don't know, now you know...

I was able to meet new patrons, chat with people about the process of printmaking and tell the stories behind all of my little images. I am definitely, seriously thinking about self-publishing a little book of stories and images, since they seem to resonate with viewers for a variety of different reasons. Some enjoy the personal vignettes and experiences that they can relate to because we share a similar history.  Other viewers are reminded of their own cultural traditions, or of fond memories associated with traditions in which they have participated as travelers or educators. Finally, some viewers see past the “childhood memories” and nostalgic images to see the real history of my family: the migrations, intercultural partnerships and other socio-political factors that have impacted who I am.

I am grateful for each of the above reactions to my work. As an artist educator, it thrills me to see the emotional connections/understanding derived from viewing artwork. We are communicating, my audience and I, and that is, in all honesty, the BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD.

The lovely curator (holding the tulips) and myself (my wardrobe courtesy of the Goodwill)

And now, “thank yous” (because we work together at all times to ensure each other’s successes):

The curator did an amazing job presenting the work and very thoughtfully selected not only the prints, but also the little details that brought everything together.  She also mounted the exhibit herself!

My parents are the most supportive parents ever.  They bought me endless amounts of paper as a child, allowed me to play with fingerpaint and playdough(supervised, of course) and always encouraged me to use my imagination, express myself and present these “expressions” in public.

My younger sister has been subject to my “imagination”, games, songs, inventions and cooking from the day she was born (after I requested she be sent back to her own family).  Her patience is limitless.  As the print reads, “Sisters are Forever.”

My extended family (particularly my cousins) have unwittingly become the main characters in my prints and have allowed themselved to be portrayed again and again graciously and with good humor.  And they always show up to my art shows.

My work colleagues make it a pleasure to suffer along with them in the day to day “drudgery” that is running a museum.  And, to top it off, they even buy my work and attend my art shows.  How awesome are they?

My friends are generous, supportive and they equally laugh at my jokes and my tirades. 🙂

I have the most patient partner in the world.  And he’s a good cook, to boot.

Much love to everyone.

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