The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California, celebrated Immigrant Heritage Month with “Immi’Art,” an annual art exhibition that affirms the diverse contributions that immigrants make. This exhibit is currently on display at the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles and runs through July 26.
The exhibition features the work of emerging and veteran visual artists who are immigrant or of immigrant heritage.
During a time when immigrants, particularly those from Mexico, Central and South America, are vilified, this show positively spotlights women, DACAmented youth, LGBTQ, blue-collar workers, students, teachers, and self-made crafts makers of Mexican, Belizean, Chilean, Guatemalan, indigenous Hawaiian, Irish, Salvadoran, and South African origin.
Through paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, mosaics, photography, film, design, crafts, and new media, all of the artwork tells a story connected to the artists’ life experience.
Lalo Garcia, a reknown artist based in Mission Hills, originally from Michoacán, México chose two of his paintings for the exhibit. One titled, “Musicos Tarahumaras” mixed media on canvas, conveyed “his respect and admiration” for the Tarahumara people and their resistance to assimilate.
“This painting pays homage to all of our indigenous communities of our beloved Mexico. It is an acknowledgement to their traditions, to their music, their dances and songs that speak to nature, to the cosmos and the communion they have with the environment,” said Garcia.
The other, titled “Cihualpilli Tonantzin,” is from his private collection and one of many tributes Garcia — a religious painter — has created in honor of Mexico's patron saint La Virgen De Guadalupe .
Other featured artists in the exhibit include: Mike Alfaro-interactive print, Guatemala, Billy Burgos-illustrator, Belize Ernesto de la Loza-muralist, Chicano, USA, Gloria Carolina Felix-illustrator, Mexico, Josefina Canete-painter, Chile Kevin Cruz-silk-screen, El Salvador, Shepard Fairey-muralist, USA, Luis-Genaro Garcia-painter, Mexico/USA, Ralph Lazar-mixed media, South Africa, Ashley Lukashevsky-painter, Hawaiian native Heriberto Luna-painter, Mexico, Kiara Machao, Guatemala/El Salvador, Marisol-pottery, Diego Mendoza-grafitti artist Jose Morales-mosaic, Mexico, Pato-photographer, Ireland, Rosaura Pilar-painter, Mexico, Claudia N Torres-Ambriz-sculptor, Mexico, Sara Sandoval-graphic artist, Mexico, Hector Silva-painter, Mexico, Curly Velazquez-fashion designer, El Salvador.
Some of the artwork is donated to CHIRLA by the participating artists and is for sale. Proceeds from the exhibit help to support the organization's “Know-Your-Rights” curriculum.
The Immi’Art exhibition runs through July 26 at the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, located at 2401 W. 6th St, Los Angeles.