Latino Heritage Month recognizes the extensive contributions and varied cultures found in the countries of Latin America. Unique culturalisms birthed by the intermingling of Spanish, African and Indigenous influences flow through each country’s nuanced “usos y costumbres” (customs and traditions) as seen in their music, food, linguistic tones, and ways of life. For this virtual exhibition, we shine the spotlight on four contemporary sculptors from our southern neighbor, Mexico.
Prior to the unjust ending of the Mexican American War in 1848, Mexico comprised California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, the majority of Arizona and Colorado, and sections of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming. In this country’s current socio-political environment, featuring the stunning works of Gloria Corrasco, Isadora Cuéllar, Maribel Portela and Paloma Torres is critical in counteracting antagonistic narratives. Corrasco, Cuellar, Portela and Torres share a passionate love and respect for the land and environment. They hone in on the diversity of Mexico’s landscapes and geography, and also expose man’s intrusions. Each, in her own way, is sensitive to the social spaces that both connect and disconnect people.
The creative visions of these artists who are also designers, researchers, and scholars inspire them to work in a variety of media. They are all internationally known and share a preference for manually shaping clay. However, their individual approaches are grounded in several influences, including architecture, indigenous culture, along with the push-pull found between fine and utilitarian art.
The relevance of their work moves us beyond the idea of taking ferra firma for granted as something we own or simply stand on. Gloria Corrasco, Isadora Cuéllar, Maribel Portela and Paloma Torres honor the earth with their hands as well as honoring Mexico’s strength and beauty.
Cultural Atlas, “Mexican Culture.” Accessed 7/22/2022
Meier, Matt S. and Feliciano Ribera, Mexican Americans/American Mexicans: From Conquistadors to Chicanos. (New York: Hill & Wang 1993) 4.
National Archives, “The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.” Accessed 8/2/2022
Steinberg, Stephen, The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity and Class in America. (Boston, MA: Beacon Press 1989) 21-24, 299-300.