As a teenager,
Her striking installation work, now prominently displayed at the
Fresh viewpoints and experimental pieces like Chacon's have made the annual event popular for nearly two decades, and the latest exhibit titled "Y, QuÉ?" or "So, What?" expresses the boldness and unapologetic attitude of guest curators from the MÁs Rudas Chicana Collective of
The MÁs Rudas name has multiple definitions for the collective, including to be tough and defiant, challenging the view of women as subordinate. With this in mind, they selected diverse participants who utilize everything from performance art to illustration to convey themes such as cultural identity, sexuality and U.S.-
Although the artists all share similar cultural and generational experiences, their distinct approaches and voices reflect the tapestry of diversity within contemporary Latina art.
"It's an interesting time for Latino art and YLA captures what's going on with notions of the border, alternative materials, emphasis on technology and how each generation is handling that," says
Senalka McDonald, a Panamanian visual artist, brings a multilayered installation that includes a video of what at first glance appears to be an infomercial for a CD box set of popular songs. But McDonald actually reinterpreted pop-rock songs that the U.S. military played full blast during the day and night to force then-dictator
Other artists examined subjects such as life and death.
YLA's mentorship format, both for artists and the guest curators, has created a supportive learning environment for many artists, especially those who have never had a museum show before. Mexic-Arte works closely with the participants to offer guidance leading up to the show.
"It's one thing to create the artwork and another thing to think about the logistics, such as how you want the lighting to be, height, how to work with a curator and just being a professional," Zapata says.
Throughout the years YLA has served as a launching pad for many artists, and several alumni of the exhibit have gone on to gain wider recognition, such as Rafael Vargas-Suarez Universal, a Mexican-born artist currently living in
Young Latina Artists 19 exhibit "Y, QuÉ?"
When: Now through
YLA 19 artists include:
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