Video: Mexican-born artist uses traditional cloths as canvasses to show resilience of female spirit



LatinaLista — Mexican-born artist Andrea Arroyo is known for celebrating the resilience of the human spirit in her distinctive works and so it made perfect sense that her latest exhibit, “Memories Interlaced,” which closed on January 31, 2014, would be held in a place with such historical significance.

The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Center in New York City was the site of Arroyo’s mixed media exhibit that featured Arroyo’s well-known figures drawn on distinct traditional cloths.

Arroyo used garments collected from women in the community, such as a Mexican huipil, an Indonesian silk wrap, and an Indian prayer shawl, repurposed evocative personal items… to examine notions of memory, belonging, and body image together set to honor the resilience of the female spirit. The exhibit included a painting of the Aztec goddess Coatlicue integrated with a hand-woven Mexican huipil; Ixchel, which depicts the Mayan Jaguar goddess integrated with a Guatemalan hand-woven skirt; and Sarasvati, a work integrating the Hindu deity of the rivers and the arts with a silk wrap.

In the featured video by Awaken Inspire Create, Arroyo shares her reasons for wanting to use the Shabazz Center to showcase the exhibit and how she hoped to connect not only the historical to the contemporary but tap into the male and female energy to present an exhibit that was meant to be enjoyed on many different levels.