Migrating across a country’s border requires
courage. While this journey inspires hope for an improved future, it also
necessitates perseverance. Expressing these themes visually and creatively, the
exhibition “Caras Vemos, Corazones no Sabemos: Faces Seen, Hearts Unknown, The
Human Landscape of Mexican Migration” documents the fluidity between the
Mexican-American border as well as the intermingling of both cultures.
This impressive exhibit opens April 24 at the Haggerty
Museum of Art, with a portion of the work also exhibited at the LatinoArtsCenter. Featuring 100
multimedia artworks from the private collection of Gilberto Cardenas, assistant
provost and director of Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, the two
venues display only a small part of the 1000 pieces that originally premiered
at the University of Notre Dame’s SniteMuseum.
collection showcases Mexican and Chicano artists and divides the experiences of
immigration into five thematic categories: the journey, boundaries and
barriers, human geographies, negotiating Latino identity and constructing the
imaginary. A variety of media, including photography, printmaking, painting,
sculpture and video, is used to provide insight into the legacy and impact of
Mexican-Americans in the United
Examples include the silkscreen Bicultural Table Setting (1998)
depicting Rolando Briseno’s picnic-like convergence of ethnic cuisines. With
wood, paper and mixed medias, Esperanza Gama’s Grandfather (1996) displays Latino ancestry with striking
imagination and emotion. Another contemporary acrylic, Coming Home (2006) by Ramon Ramirez, is bathed in strokes of
sapphire blues and brings to mind the work of David Hockney with a cultural
An accompanying catalogue examines how the identity
of Mexican immigrants, their hopes and dreams of living in American society,
changes their perception of their homeland as well as their host country. New York City alone claims a population of Puerto Ricans
as large as the city of San Juan,
and this exhibit offers an opportunity to contemplate the provocative issue of
immigration with imagination and sensitivity.
Wally Mason, director of the HaggertyMuseum,
believes “The subject is so timely; immigration is on everyone’s lips. Artists
have humanized this polarized and political topic, but an exhibition flushes
these issues with a human face, a visual image.” The Haggerty welcomes curator
Amelia Malagamba-Ansotegui to deliver a lecture titled “Immigration through the
Eyes of Latino Artists” at 6 p.m. on April 24, followed by a reception.
of Wauwatosa offers
another art experience this weekend with the Westside Artwalk on April 25, 5-9
p.m., and April 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. On Saturday Ristorante Bartolotta, located
on State Street,
hosts a Village Runway Fashion Show from 11a.m.-2 p.m., presenting
award-winning and up-and- coming fashion designs that usher in the new season.