7 May-15 October 2011
Sangre de Cristo Arts Center: King Gallery

In memory of Ana Mendieta

Guest Artists: Senga Nengudi-Fittz, Margaret Kasahara, Carol Dass and Melanie Yazzie and other participating artists

Guest poets: Lourdes Gil and Iraida Iturralde

Curator: Andrea O'Reilly Herrera

Guerra, Camelia
**The closing of woman.embodied will be marked by a poetry reading with the participating poets Lourdes Gil and Iraida Iturralde at 7:00 p.m. at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in the Magic Carpet Theatre on Friday 30 September, and a discussion by several of the participating artists.
        Inspired by the ongoing reality that women remain largely absent from officially sanctioned art spaces and marginalized in the grand narrative of art history, woman.embodied explores the realities of women's everyday lives, their social and political roles in contemporary society, and the intersectional relationship among race/ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality from a range of creative approaches and theoretical or political positions.

Flores, Black Madonna
       This exhibition highlights primarily the work of contemporary female Cuban poets and visual artists who work from various geographical sites and cultural vantage points. It also includes the artwork of several non-Cuban, local guest artists, suggesting the manner in which the Cuban artist roots herself wherever she is located, as well as the way in which Cuban art resonates with other artistic traditions and with the work of artists from other cultures and backgrounds. The participating artists utilize a broad range of media including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance.
        In addition to contemplating the relationships among written, spoken, and visual expression, woman.embodied features a series of works that reveal the artists' feminist concerns and political activism. In addition to critiquing the traditional patriarchal construction of gender and sexuality, many examine the role of various institutions in oppressing the individual, the relationship between power and oppression, and the consequences of physical and psychological entrapment and emotional isolation. Others envision the female body as the site at which the cultural past and present converge--a place where memory, imagination, and desire intersect, and woman acts as creator, progenitor, and guardian of culture. Several pay homage to the domestic and exalt woman's complex and multivalent role as source of creativity and energy.

Delgado, The Beauty Dancer
        Exploring more aesthetic concerns, a number of the artists dispute the boundaries between high and low art by evaluating the meaning of folktales and popular traditions. Many emphasize the symbolic value attached to ordinary objects and the activities of everyday life. Presenting an anthropological approach to cultural expression, other artists pursue an interest in their multi-layered heritage by infusing their work with indigenous and Creole cultural forms and specific references to Taino, African, and Asian spiritual practices. By drawing on these fundamental sources of iconography, they forge a symbolic vocabulary that reflects their interest in religion, nature, and women's spirituality. Others reinterpret and transform archetypal Western and Eastern religious symbols, thereby linking their art to other cultural signifying systems. 

Although the art presented in this exhibition does not represent a unified or single aesthetic, collectively--and at some fundamental level--it treats the themes of loss, displacement, cultural continuity, transformation, and survival.

**Special thanks go to UCCS Radio, Marge Mistry, and David Baay for editing the poetry recording with Lourdes Gil and Iraida Iturralde.