Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sometimes art makes people uncomfortable

This year the Arkansas Arts Center will be celebrating the 50th year of the Annual Delta Exhibition. This is a regional juried exhibition of all media. The Art Center is organizing a show of as many of the pat 50 winners scheduled for Dec - Jan 2008. As a past winner I am excited to have an opportunity to share once again the story of the missing and murdered women and girls.

When I won this exhibit main stream media did not show pictures of the work as they have for other winners. There was no mention of my name, only the second and third winners with photos. I can only imagine what got in thier way... Was it the fact that it was fabric and not really art? Maybe it was fabric and thats supposed to be soft. One of the many reasons I use textiles is to take a soft approach to tough subjects, the bright colors and images draw in the viewer and then they get hit with the message.

Why was it that only the Latino newspapers covered the fact that a Latina won a juried regional art show?(they even used pictures) Was it because of the topic? Bringing attention to the fact that mostly poor Mexican women and girls have been murdered and missing for years and no one seems to care. Most of them were working in the U.S. owned maquiladoras, factories in poor border towns, when they were abducted.

Or was it the traditional images that my people use to honor and remember the dead that bothered them? Skeletons are symbols that the soul is eternal and the final death takes place when there is no one left to remember you.

What ever thier reason it will be back on exhibit. And for me with or without media coverage once again I will be honored to be able to show the work, stand beside it at the opening, and tell the stories.


  1. Anonymous2:04 PM

    Sabrina, uncomfortable is good. In textile it is even better. Never stop! Keep speaking up and speaking out.

    I've just read Isabel Allende's House of Spirits. I can highly recommend it; it's twentieth century Chile. It is, after twenty five years, an acute insight into the conditions in the US. The last three chapters bring the correlation into clear focus.

    Stand tall, my dear, you are doing your job! t

  2. Wow. What a great piece and what an idiotic newspaper. I can't believe that the coverage is so biased. But I suspect you are just pushing some very traditional arts or feature editor out of denial. Keep up the good work. (I'm a Chicana at heart here near San Antonio -- and married to a feisty Chicana)