Women Artists Represent!

Xochitl Guerrero. Duality of Life and Death. 2011. Acrylic on canvas. Painting at the Forrealism Exhibition, November 2011.

This past weekend was a sweet milestone in terms of developing an art practice and a community here in Oakland, CA. Where to begin, really...

First, I'm proud to say that a dear friend of mine, Lulu, was there to share the experience in displaying work. After a year of taking classes, stressing, and alternately enjoying the art making process, we were invited to submit work for a group show. And, what a group show it was! As a part of a larger art event, Oakland's Art Murmur, the Forrealism Exhibition was a glimpse into a longstanding and thriving community of established Bay Area artists.

Although the exhibition encompassed both men and women from the Latino community, two women stood out among the group of mature artists: Patricia Rodriguez, co-founder of the pivotal group Las Mujeres Muralistas, and Xochitl Guerrero. Guerrero is a noted figure in the Chicano/mural movement in the Bay Area, specifically the Mission District in San Francisco (we discovered her work at the reception and her piece opens this post). Like Guerrero, Rodriguez is also known throughout the Mission. Here's an image I took of Rodriguez's post-Muralistas art work. The boxes exemplify her skillful use of color and symbolism.

Patricia Rodriguez. Multimedia box at the Forrealism Exhibition, November 2011.

At moments, I felt as if we were looking into a privileged yet wholly democratic approach to sharing art work with the public. Independent vendors, students, artists, and others all converged for a night of celebrating. Here's an image of how inspired we were at the opening reception, showing my friend (Lulu), her husband (Kody), and me.

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