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de la mano: traditions and innovations in los angeles printmaking

23 Aug

I’m super excited to announce an upcoming exhibition about La Mano Press at the Bakersfield Museum of Art opening December 8th.

It’s my first independent curatorial project and features the work of some of the l.a. based artists who have collaborated with Artemio Rodriguez and Silvia Capistran, co-founders of LMP, for the last 9 years.

As most of you know, Artemio and Silvia relocated to Michoacan Mexico a few years ago, leaving behind years of working with the L.A. community in order to promote the art of printmaking.

The exhibition includes woodcuts, intaglio prints and serigraphs on paper, gesso transfers on wood, installation work, sculptures and video.

Artists are: Silvia Capistran, Dolores Carlos, Miles Grobman, Maria Guadalupe, Diego Guerrero, Rogelio Gutierrez, Jose Hernandez, Gabriela Martinez, Stephanie Mercado, John E. Miner, Laura E. Nieto, Artemio Rodriguez, Sonia Romero and Ernesto Vazquez.

More info as the show approaches.

In the meantime, check out the exhibition I curated using the Permanent Collection at the Museum of Latin American Art titled “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly?: Selections from MOLAA’s Permanent Collection” Info at



“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.

Sopa de Gabi @ Grand Central Art in Santa Ana

11 Aug

Please join us on September 4th for the opening of the exhibition Sopa de Gabi, presented by Six Pack Projects at Grand Central Art in Santa Ana.  My friend, Jillian Nakornthap,  curated the exhibition, which will feature some of  the prints that outline my family’s story.

I have to admit, I really dig the title.  Anyone who knows anything about my family knows that my great grandmother was a soup whiz–concocting dishes out of leftover anything.

I like making soups, but I’ve never made anything remotely like what my grandmother made–due mostly in part to the fact that I don’t cook meat.  But I like to compare my process of making prints to her process for making soup.

I make prints from the leftover scraps of stories that I can get ahold of.  I’m told that as a child, I was (in my tio Edward’s words) annoyingly cute.  When I pressed him about what this meant, he just laughed and informed me that I would ask questions and not let the subject drop until I’d gotten a complete and satisfactory answer.  I like to believe I was always just collecting information.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve obviously been made aware of the nuances in everyone’s relationships with each other (as a child, I could really only guess), so I’m trying to re-learn a lot of the stories–gathering the complexities of the “flavor”.  With my grandmother’s dementia worsening everyday, that means that when I’m with grandma, I’m digging for stories and digging fast.

I like to think that my stories “feed” my family in some way.  I’ve enjoyed recounting stories with my aunts, uncles and cousins.  Re-remembering stuff one of them may have forgotten.  It also encourages them to tell me stories I may not remember, for whatever reason, and so the list of stories grow.

As Jillian states in the description of the exhibition, soups usually have a long history and are terribly complex.  My stories, while they are fairly universal stories of a kid growing up in L.A., have a beginning in Latin America with families made of mixed races, developing in both North and South America and coming together in California.  The way I make my prints has an even more complex background, developing forever ago and making its way across the ocean and establishing itself as forever relevant.

So yeah, the prints are like soup and I really dig the title.

The link to the exhibition can be found at the Six Pack Website.

Hope to see you there!

UPDATE on the July Print Sale

12 Jul

After a successful open studio at my studio space last night, I’ve decided to incorporate printing demos into the print sale this week at MOLAA.

So, stop by if you want to see some printing demonstrations and maybe pick up some original art and handprinted stationary!


Thursday, July 15, 2010:  11 a.m.-5 p.m., and 6 p.m.-10 p.m.  –Demos throughout the day and at 7 p.m.

Friday, July 16, 2010 11 a.m.-5 p.m.–NO DEMOS

Saturday, July 17, 2010 11 a.m.-5 p.m.–Demos throughout the day!

Sunday, July 18, 2010 11 a.m.- 5p.m.–NO DEMOS.

I’ll post up some samples soon.

One new addition is the edition of the prints, “La Muerte de Momo” which are printed on watercolor paper, Rives BFK tan and a nice mulberry.

I’ll also have cards for sale, labels, etc.

See you there!


Stamp Project: Creating Cultural Currency

25 Mar

This Sunday, I have the honor of participating with a number of amazing artists in an exhibition curated by spirited Chicana painter, Margaret Garcia.

Margaret is currently organizing a National Women’s Exhibition, through which she hopes to provide a platform for otherwise unknown female artists to share their talent and passion for art with viewers from all over the United States.

In order to fund this huge project, Margaret has created the “Circle of Women” (which also includes men!) and called on her friends to submit an image to be reproduced and sold through gallery exhibitions and sales, with proceeds going to fund the National Exhibition.

The first of these exhibits takes place on Sunday, Mrach 28, 2010 at ChimMaya Gallery in East Los Angeles.  Participating artists inlude:

Grace Barraza-Vega, Jose Lozano, Raoul de la Sota, Magu, Ofelia Esparza, Sonya Fe, Margaret Garcia, Rosie Garcia, Michael Rascon and many more!

ChimMaya is located at:

5283 E. Beverely Blvd.  Los Angeles CA 90022

Group Exhibition at SPACE in South Pasadena

5 Feb

Last-minute heads up!  In all the hectic day-to-day, I forgot to post that I will be in a group show beginning Saturday, February 6th.  It includes work by Jennifer D. Anderson, Scott Gandell, Peter Garnica, Susanne Mitchell, Carmen Daniel Schilaci, Ray Shui, Daniel Valdes, Katie VinZant and Tony Wong.

Opening Reception is Saturday, February 6 from 7-9 p.m. with a preview from 5-9 p.m.

Space is located at :  1506 Mission Street (West of Fair Oaks) South Pasadena, CA 91030


Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

SPACE’s 1st Print Annual was curated by Scott Gandell and organized by Katya Shaposhnik and Hope Perello.

See you there!


15 Jan

I know, I know.  I promised the print of La Muerte de Momo.  But, between the last post and today, I have been swamped with work and am participating in a number of outreach projects for the museum.

Currently, I’m designing the educational component for our exhibition brochures (the first of their kind!) and I will be attending the local art fairs as well as some good old community outreach festivals in the area.

I will have a print by next weekend–I promise.  In the meantime, I highly recommend the Robert Hughes’ bio on Goya, simply titled “GOYA.”  Who knew Robert Hughes was capable of such passion?!   I also recommend any type of California mystery novel (specifically Chandler or Hammett).  They make the long sleepless nights go by faster.

Cheers to all.  Come visit me at Photo LA and LA Art Fair.  I go back to brochure writing now….