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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

4 Exhibits of Mexican Art @ Artes de Mexico en Utah & Utah Valley University (Provo: October 18 - April 27, 2014)


Contact: Renato Olmedo-González FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


August 28, 2013 (Salt Lake City)—Utah Valley University’s Center for Global and Intercultural Engagement is dedicating its 2013-14 academic year to Mexico, offering events relating to Mexico in the areas of the arts, sciences, economics, business and humanities, via a program called Global Spotlight: Mexico. UVU has the highest percentage of Latino students of four-year universities in the state. 

As part of Global Spotlight: Mexico, and in collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Salt Lake City, Artes de México en Utah will present, over the course of the school year, exhibits about four of Mexico’s most well-known and influential artists: Frida Kahlo, José Guadalupe Posada, Agustín Víctor Casasola and José María Velasco.

All exhibits are free, open to the public and in the library of UVU. These are educational displays created by top museums and galleries in Mexico that include information about the artists and high quality reproductions of their art.

UVU Library is located at 800 W. University Parkway in Orem, Utah and is open from 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. (It is closed Sundays.)

1. ¡Viva Frida! An exhibit about the art and life of Frida Kahlo

The exhibit ¡Viva Frida! includes images, photographs, and text reflecting the life, work and legend of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-54). This exhibit will be on display September 4 to October 17 on the 5th Floor of the UVU Library. 

The work of Frida Kahlo consists, for the most part, of small self-portraits in which Kahlo explores her Mexican identity and culture. Through allegories, symbolism and iconography, Kahlo shared her life, her suffering, and her many joys in a way that combined her personal life as well as her Mexican identity, an identity she chose to match her sense of belonging in post-Revolutionary Mexico. Through the work of Frida, people of all ages and backgrounds can explore themes that deal with personal and cultural identity. 

2. Homage to José Guadalupe Posada 

One of the most important artists in the development of Mexican art in the 20th Century was printmaker José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913). His iconic images of calaveras, skeletons, are widely known not only in Mexico but in all of Latin America and the U.S. This exhibit celebrates 100 years since the anniversary of his death. 

The exhibit consists of artwork by artists throughout Latin America who have created works in honor of and inspired by this important printmaker, whose satirical illustrations poked fun at Mexico’s last dictator, Porfirio Díaz, and launched a tradition in Mexico of humorous skeletons delivering the often macabre the news of the day. Posada’s image of death dressed as a wide-smiling woman, Catrina, is ubiquitous in popular culture today in the U.S.

Opening in the weeks just prior to the Day of the Dead, this exhibit invites discussions of family history and the honoring of deceased relatives. It will be presented October 18-December 19 at the UVU Library, 3rd Floor, in conjunction with Day of the Dead activities and displays. 

Alongside this exhibit will be My People My Blood (Mi Gente Mi Sangre), an exhibition of original photographs by recent UVU graduate María José Corona, who returned to her homeland in Mexico to explore her family history through photographs of the Otomí people of the highlands of Central Mexico.

3. Agustín Víctor Casasola: Photographs from the Casasola Archive

Agustín Victor Casasola (1874-1928) documented the great changes in Mexico at the beginning of the 20th Century through his photographs and those of other photographers in the photo agency he established, Mexico’s first. Taken between 1900 and 1940, and now contained in Mexico’s legendary Casasola Archive, the images document one of Mexico’s most important events: its 1910-20 Revolution. This conflict catapulted Mexico, then a country of mainly indigenous peoples living lives similar to those of their ancestors and speaking more than 300 different languages, towards modernity. The photographs of Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and Porfirio Díaz, plus bilingual educational material about the Revolution will provide the public a window into this fascinating time in Mexico’s history and invite them to explore their own community identity. 

The famed Casasola Archive, which contains Mexico’s most important photographs, is located in 
Hidalgo, Mexico and is owned by the Mexican government.

Alongside this exhibit will be an exhibit of original photographs by recent UVU graduate 
Yandhi Reynoso called Pieces of Mexico, in which Reynoso explores her connection with Mexico and Utah.

The exhibits, on the 3rd floor of the UVU Library, will be on display from January 10 to March 6.

4. José María Velasco: Visions of Anahuác

Through beautiful and monumental paintings of the Valley of Mexico (now Mexico City), a place very similar geographically to the Wasatch Front, José María Velasco (1840-1912) created a national identity that is uniquely Mexican. The work of this painter of the 19th Century explores a sense of place and of belonging. 

From March 7 to April 27, on the 3rd Floor of UVU Library, the public is invited to see this free educational exhibit about his life and work. Velasco’s pristine landscape paintings show a different side of Mexico, one of tremendous geographic diversity. They also, when seen alongside images of Mexico City today, raise issues of land use, urban planning, environmental issues, and how we connect with and find cultural meaning in urban environments. The exhibit coincides with March’s events focusing on the Earth.

Edgar García, Commercial and Cultural Affairs, Consulate of Mexico in Salt Lake City, says, “Many people in Utah of Mexican descent have not had the opportunity to see the beauty of the history, the art, and the culture of Mexico. These exhibits are a great opportunity to teach and learn about Mexico’s heroes and artists and our beautiful cultural legacies.”

Renato Olmedo-González, Art Projects and Outreach Coordinator for Artes de México en Utah, says, “Thanks to UVU’s Global Spotlight, for a year the community of Utah Valley, and beyond can see four exhibits about important Mexican artists, two of which have not yet been shown in Utah. These educational exhibits provide a great opportunity for the overall community to learn about Mexico and its rich culture and perhaps be inspired to create their own art exploring personal and community identity.”

Additional Events

UVU’s Global Spotlight: Mexico includes, over the course of the 2013-14 academic year, many academic lectures, panel discussions, musical concerts, and other events discussing and celebrating Mexico. 

For details about the art exhibits and other activities and events, please see:
Artes website: www.artesdemexicoenutah.org
Artes Facebook: Artes de Mexico en Utah
UVU’s event calendar: https://www.uvu.edu/international/engage/global_spotlight/mexico_2013-14/. 

About de Artes de México en Utah

Artes de México en Utah is a nonprofit organization formed in 2011 that promotes the appreciation of Mexican art in Utah. Our vision is unity. 

Contact: Renato Olmedo-González, 801-824-9122, Susan Vogel, 415-218-0010

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