The awareness of her own mortality motivates Luz to find a deeper perspective to fully and introspectively appreciate the gift of life.
Her life began in Michoacan, Mexico. Later her family moved to the United States where she developed as an artist, as well as, an educator. She graduated from the University of the Pacific with Master’s Degrees in Education and later in Fine Arts from the Institute Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. She has exhibited her art in Mexico and throughout California for over 25 years.
Both Mexico and the United States have provided her an awareness of the Mexican and American cultures. She feels engaged within two countries which she loves and respects. Mexico is her birthplace. It has provided her with a rich culture, her primary language, and an extended family. The United States has provided her with an environment that she appreciates as a diverse collective society.
Both countries provide her with the intimacy of home. Unfortunately, sometimes she feels that she is not completely Mexican, nor entirely American. The following "dicho" can best define this stage: “Ni de aqui, Ni de alla.” (Nor from here, nor from there). Although, there is a sense of displacement, she has realized that we all share an identical need for love. It is foolish to dwell on external differences, because our basic natures are the same.
In her work, she seeks to find the truth about herself, others and her surroundings. Art is the place of intuitive understanding and deeper, perhaps even, spiritual realizations. To Luz, art has the capacity to give people insight into the value and meaning of life. As an educator for Delta College and SUSD, she has learned to continuously keep an open-mind and become a lifelong learner. She hopes to instill into her students that creating art and learning go hand in hand.
A lot has changed in our society and worldwide. We have learned to be alone in a world of six feet apart. We are now under a different administration in the United States, which gives us hope. Before the pandemic we were going through a multitude of turmoil in our country. “America, wake up!” is about that turmoil - homelessness, fires in California, racial tension, police brutality, etc. It is havoc, a chaotic world of unbelievable events. It is a web of uncertainty and disbelief.
In March 2020 we were told to stay home and begin Long Distance Learning because of Covid-19. Our children were ecstatic and happy to stay home and have more time with family and not feel the daily constraints of getting dressed, making lunch, and driving to and from school or work. Honestly, we were happy and optimistic. We thought it would be over soon. There was a sense of relief to change the monotony in our daily life of constantly going from one place to another. My sons were happy to stay at home and continue school through a different platform of education. I too, felt relief with the change of pace. “Beginning of Pandemic” is an oil painting of my sons enjoying time at home. No matter the ignorance of what was to come, we rejoice being at home and enjoy each other’s company. Schools posted videos of optimism for students staying at home. We even produced signs for our lawns advertising that we will continue through Long Distance Learning. My students rejoiced in having time at home and to have a change of pace. This painting represents that optimism and ignorance of what was to happen.
Who knew that along with the pandemic, we would still have to endure the social issues boiling over in the United States. “We are still on Recovery Mode” is a mixed media piece about the pandemic and our previous problems. It is in black and white because we are yet to see the light. “One day at a time,” my mother would say to me as a child when I wasn’t happy about things not going my way. I am optimistic again, but my doubts and fears remain. I feel our country is still fearful and tearful.
“Rags” is a large mixed media piece with ads, newspaper clippings, voting ballots, and left-over remnants of last year (2020). It represents the excessive bombardment of media in our lives. Creating a delicate dance between distinguishing truth from ambiguity.
Issues of prejudice and humanity abuse are depicted in the earlier pieces, “Basta!” and “Life within the Vine” series. They portray issues of children incarcerated at the border and farmworkers taken advantage of by corporations and farmland owners.
We might be fighting our own individual causes, but we cannot survive without each other. We can fight them alone but are stronger when we are unified. Together is the way we will survive this pandemic, racism, injustice, and poverty. “Voices” was formed because of the need to advance and promote the art of local women. It is a diverse group that has individual voices working alone, but when we exhibit as a group, we are reminded of the strength and possibilities in working together.
As an adjunct art professor and artist, I am thankful to Delta College for this opportunity to share this exhibit with the community and students. Regardless of what is happening around us, we can and should continue to find creative outlets to collaborate with others.