Tuesday, April 19, 2016
By: Hailey Tankersley It was very exciting to have over one hundred people come out to the Miracles of Mexican Folk Art: Retablos and Ex-votos exhibit at the Museum of Culture and Environment last Thursday. With the exhibit being focused on religious painting from Mexican communities it was nice to see the display attract a prominently Hispanic and Latino crowd. The exhibit includes religious Christian painting also known as “retablos” and “ex votos” made in Mexico between the late 18th century and early 20th century. Members of the Allied People Offering Year-round Outreach (APOYO) and Movimiento Estudiantil Chinana/ o de Aztlan (MECHA) communities had some great things to say during the opening comments. One APOYO member said that it was nice to see this exhibit in the museum and that he was not aware of this part of his history before. Students from the on-campus MECHA community were also very excited to have their heritage be represented in the exhibit. The MECHA students stated something along the lines of, it’s things like this Miracles of Mexican Folk Art exhibit that are making a difference for the Latino students on campus and that this exhibit is going to bring people together and build relationships in our community. I thought it was great that that every one who spoke saw our exhibit as a positive thing for our community. I hope that Central can continue to host events that make all members of our community feel welcome. It was nice to see that people were speaking both Spanish and English in the gallery while discussing the exhibit with others. People seemed to feel very welcome in the gallery while they walked around. It was also incredible that there were children who came to the opening, they really liked the art station in the back where they got to draw their own personal retablo. The kids (and adults) were able to create their own miracle art work and post it on the wall. I hope we can continue to do community outreach activities to get more families in to see the exhibit.
By: Rachel Gunlogson For the opening of Miracles of Mexican Folk Art: Retablos and Ex-votos, the turn out was great, in my opinion. We had approximately 100 people visit throughout the evening. Before the greetings, the exhibit was packed with people examining the retablos and ex-votos and conversing with each other, in both English and Spanish. This exhibit is completely bi-lingual and to see many individuals from the Spanish community visit was wonderful. A Mariachi Band, consisting of Central students, played throughout the evening. Something I noticed, while taking pictures, was that when they were playing the mood in the room seemed to change. Language is a barrier that can cause people to feel uncomfortable. Even though English speaking people may not have understood the lyrics, music seems to transcend barriers and borders. I noticed almost everyone was engaged in listening to the music and had smiles on their faces. From what I heard, the alter within the exhibit was a huge success, along with the activity to draw a miracle that happened in your life and hang it on the wall. I noticed kids gladly taking part in this activity, but I also saw older individuals take interest as well. It is encouraging to see people interested in an exhibit enough to not only show up to the opening, but to also take part in an activity willingly and in this case, with enthusiasm.