Building Bridges explores approximately 40 years of work by Southern California-based Chicano and Latino artists who use their art to not only acknowledge complex politics but also to celebrate the history behind a warm and vibrant community. Concentrating on various themes and ideas, the exhibition highlights a range of diverse approaches to illustrate the sum of Mexican heritage and American experience. From Carlos Almaraz’s support of the United Farm Workers to Frank Romero’s tongue-in-cheek narrative about what it is to be Mexican-American in Los Angeles, each artist conveys—through his or her own perspective—the hopes, dreams, and fears experienced yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And while many artists have produced artwork in direct reaction to the social and racial inequities surrounding them, other artists, such as Carmen Lomas Garza, Wayne Healy, and Patssi Valdez have chosen to offer portrayals of Mexican-American, Chicano, and Latino life that celebrate their respect for music, nature, family, color and tradition.
Comprised of artworks from the AltaMed Art Collection, Building Bridges illustrates how decade after decade—from progression to recession—these themes remain relevant. Beginning as early as the 1970s, artworks from each decade will demonstrate the ongoing dialogue developed by the Chicano vanguard and carried on by their successors, all of whom continue to share a connection and resonance with their Mexican ancestry, as is seen with the re-imagining of La Virgin (the Virgin Mary).