CHECK OUT THIS ART CENSORSHIP STRUGGLE IN NEW MEXICO
AND VISIT ALMA LOPEZ'S SITE BELOW
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 23:03:55 EST
Subject: CHICANA ARTIST ALMA LOPEZ PUBLICLY DECRIED BY RELIGIOUS
For Immediate Release
CHICANA ARTIST ALMA LOPEZ PUBLICLY DECRIED BY RELIGIOUS LEADERS
IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO OVER CONTROVERSIAL DEPICTION OF CULTURAL ICON.
ARTIST COMMUNITY RESPONDS IN DEFENSE.
LOS ANGELES (March 28, 2001) - Acclaimed Los Angeles-based
visual artist Alma Lopez plans to be in Santa Fe April 4th when the Museum
of New Mexico Board of Regents meets to decide whether Lopez' piece, "Our
Lady," will be removed from the Cyber Arte exhibit at the International
Museum of Folk Art.
"Our Lady" portrays the Virgen of Guadalupe as
a strong woman dressed in roses and held by a nude female butterfly angel.
The models in the image are performance artist Raquel Salinas and cultural
activist Raquel Gutierrez. The image has created an uproar within Latino communities,
church parishes and religious leaders. Archbishop of Santa Fe Michael J. Sheehan
has called for removal of Lopez' piece from the Cyber Arte exhibit, and wishes
controversial artists "would find their own symbols to trash and leave
the Catholic ones alone."
Renowned artists, academics and activists have responded
in defense of Lopez' creative freedom. Chicana writer and MacArthur Genius
Award recipient Sandra Cisneros, whose essay "Guadalupe, the Sex Goddess"
inspired the controversial piece, has written a letter of support for Lopez
to the exhibit curator and director of the International Museum of Folk Art.
This is not the first time Alma Lopez' work has elicited
In November of 2000, Lopez displayed the digital mural "Heaven,"
sponsored by Galeria De La Raza, a San Francisco Latino arts gallery, which
The San Francisco Police Department and the community consider
this act of vandalism a hate crime.
Lopez was born in Sinaloa, Mexico and grew up in East Los
Angeles. She is the recipient of a COLA (City of Los Angeles) Individual Artist
Grant and a California Community Foundation Brody Fellowship for Visual Artists.
She is a digital and public artist who has exhibited and lectured on her work
all over the Southwest, including Plaza de la Raza/Los Angeles, Mexican Heritage
Plaza/San Jose, and Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art/Austin, TX. Currently, she
has work on exhibit at the University of California Museum of Art in Santa
Barbara, the De Anza College Euphrat Museum in Cupertino, and Arte Americas
in Fresno. Her work is about imagining an inclusive reality of the multiplicity
of Latina identities.
For further information regarding publication or to set up interviews, please contact Raquel Gutierrez at (323) 868-5117 or RaGu76@aol.com.