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Maricela Sanchez Faces Tough Issues with Beauty and Bling

By Kristina Ruiz-Healy

Backlash

Driving a cargo van loaded with her artwork, contemporary artist Maricela Sanchez drove up to San Antonio from Corpus Christi, Texas to install the display for an exhibit featuring her work until November 7 at AnArte Gallery.

“I love San Antonio, it’s my home away from home.” Because of my culture and history living in this city, it is very significant that my exhibit kicks off in San Antonio before going to New York.”

“Reflections” is the exhibits title signifying life and the primary materials she uses: resin, glitter and mirrors. “They represent reflections of the present, immediately becoming the past,” says Maricela. As an artist, she explores current events, utilizing news articles, documenting history, allowing us to reflect on the past.

“My work interprets global issues and documents the times we live in,” says Maricela.

“Political Theater” for example, documents the dialogue of the arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. by Sgt. James Crowley, meeting with President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden for a casual beer discussion.

“Once Mighty: Sit Tight” - refers to 401k plans and investors being less risky.

“Modern Crisis” - points out the global economy showing signs of depression, regardless of socio-economic levels.

“Purpurina, 2008” - a glitter collage includes 18 pieces Maricela created documenting 2008 current events. These include subjects such as scandals, the war in Iraq, gas prices, immigration, the Bush Administration, Carlos Slim, Oscar Wyatt, Bill Clinton, Senator Ted Kennedy and President Obama to name a few.

"The issues are not pretty, we live in challenging times, but the work is beautiful," states Maricela.

According to Cynthia Rice, Administrative Manager of the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta Georgia, Maricela is the only Hispanic Artist to be awarded Best of Show in the last ten years.

“One Out of Many," is the piece that won the award. It was inspired by a news headline printed during the presidential campaign. “It helped me realize that we have the power to make choices to achieve our dreams.”

Maricela’s charitable side can be seen in the glittered sculpted bras and bustiers she will have on exhibit. At the request of art patrons she was asked to produce a sculpted bra (BRAvo) to increase awareness in breast cancer, which would raise funds to provide free mammograms for uninsured women. “When I visited Maricela’s studio to select the work, I thought they were fabulous! I insisted the bras become a part of the exhibit,” said Anna Montoya, owner of AnArte Gallery.

As Maricela laid out the work for the exhibit, two patrons walked into the gallery. Browsing and stepping through the art-carpeted floor, one visitor looked up with a smile and said “Outrageous!”

“Did you say Art-Rageous?” asked Maricela.

“Its both” said the patron.

Image Credits: Backlash, Mixed Media on Wood, 42.5" x 19.5"

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