Latin American Folk Art & TMA Staff
Throughout TMA’s newly reinstalled Latin American Folk Art in the Schmidt Gallery, you can find works selected by TMA’s Latinx staff, accompanied by personal reflections. In this way, we can involve more voices in the galleries, going well beyond a lone curator’s voice. I am excited to include my colleagues’ selections and learn about how the works relate to them.
Dr. Kristopher Driggers, Assistant Curator, Schmidt Curator of Latin American Art
Free First Thursday is presented by an anonymous donor.
Female Figure with Child
When choosing an object for this exhibition, I had one person in mind: my grandmother. Even after her death, she is present in my life in more ways than one. Looking through TMA’s collection was a reminder that while the scope of Latin American art is vast, the focus on family is a common thread through many of these pieces.
Isaí Pacheco, TMA front desk
Heron Martinez, Female Figure with Child, Candle holder, before 1963, clay, black slip. Gift of Will and Pat Daniel. 2015.37.112
LEFT: Nahuala, Guatemala, Tzute (Utility Cloth), 1990, cotton, acrylic. Gift of James Martin, Boulder, Colorado. 2005.26.9. CENTER: Nahuala, Guatemala, Huipil (Blouse), 1995, cotton. Gift of Dr. Isabelle N. Mandell. 2005.24.10. RIGHT: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, Shawl, 1970, cotton. Anonymous gift. 2004.19.9
The first time I ever saw a huipil worn traditionally was when I was about 7 years old. My mom was wearing this white garment with beautiful floral embroidery on the yoke of her dress. It was so vibrant with red, green, and yellow and pops of purple. I remember looking at her thinking, “I want to wear this one day. I don’t know what it means and why she’s wearing it like this, but I know she’ll teach me.”
Leah Majalca, Assistant Admissions and Retail Manager
LEFT: Concepción Aguilar, Ocotlán, Oaxaca, Mexico, Nun with Roses, 1989, clay, pigment. Gift of Shepard Barbash and Vicki Ragan. 2018.22.46. RIGHT: Josefina Aguilar, Ocotlán, Oaxaca, Mexico, Tourist, 1987, clay, pigment. Gift of Shepard Barbash and Vicki Ragan. 2018.22.56
Nun with Roses (left)
Many people, especially in the Mexican culture, see their religion as part of their identity passed down by generations. For me, this is the case; I found it easy to identify with my piece by connecting it to my personal experiences.
Denisse Brito, Assistant Curator of Community Engagement
There are so many ways to be a tourist. As a traveler to foreign lands, sure, but also as a person that doesn’t quite fit in: searching for touchpoints to feel connection and understanding.
My grandmother, Aurora, was the youngest child in a large migrant family from Chihuahua. Born in California in 1917 and encouraged to assimilate, she navigated two cultures in ways that must have taken a toll.
Gramma always seemed like an outsider to me. Not quite comfortable in her own history, but appreciative of her present surroundings. A spectator and observer. A tourist.
Lisa Jensen, Membership Manager
Papel picado is a type of Mexican folk art that can be made by folding a sheet of tissue paper multiple times and cutting shapes. Nowadays, papel picado is used for decorations on numerous occasions and can be seen in Día de los Muertos altars along with tissue paper flowers. Paper flowers are created similarly to papel picado, by accordion folding layers of tissue paper, wrapping them with wire and separating the paper.
What you’ll need:
- Tissue paper
- Wire (for flowers)
- String (optional for papel picado)
- Tape (optional for papel picado)
Try to create papel picado by folding tissue paper and cutting it in different ways. What shapes and patterns can you make? How many different types of flowers can you create? What else can you craft with tissue paper?
Share your creations with us on social media by using #TMAFreeFirstThursday
Wednesday – Sunday,
10 am – 5 pm