CARMEN LOMAS GARZA – TEXAS ARTIST
IN HER OWN WORDS:
I grew up with a lot of discrimination and racism though we were in South Texas it was still very prevalent and I had to deal with a lot of it in the public school system. In the elementary school we were punished for speaking Spanish, physically punished for speaking Spanish. So you’re made to feel ashamed. When the farm workers came through Kingsville on their march to Austin, the capital of Texas, we were very excited. The most obvious issues that were being
discussed were the violence against the Mexicans and the farm workers, anybody who wasn’t the right color was subject to being arrested, to being beat up by the Texas Rangers.
It was at that point that I made the decision that no matter what it took from me I was going to be a Chicana artist, no matter what! Because here was this whole population of my people who were being unfairly treated and if I could use my artwork as a vehicle towards bringing a greater understanding as who were as a people: our culture, our language, out customs, our mannerisms. Everything about our lives needed to be brought out in a fine art format.
I remember my mother painting loteria tablas–handpainted, pen and ink. And we played with these loteria tablas. So when I decided to try to figure out what I would do as a Chicana artists, I asked my mother to give me those old loteria tablas, I wanted to make modern versions. As soon as I finished the loteria tablas, I did a scene of my grandfather and myself in the garden. That’s how I got started with these scenes from my memory of my family and my community. So my artwork was not overtly political, but the impact that it was making was on a subtle level, the level that I really wanted to have an impact was on the personal level, the more intimate level, because the imagery is about our personal lives, the home life, the family life.
TO PURCHASE ART WORK BY CARMEN LOMAS GARZA VISIT: http://www.carmenlomasgarza.com