ALBUQUERQUE ― The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) will host a Farewell Party Aug. 4 for its popular exhibition Qué Chola that has tripled attendance to the Art Museum since it opened March 8.
The Farewell Party, held on the first Sunday of the month, which allows free entrance to the Art Museum, will feature food, music, fashion, a car show, and a final chance to view Qué Chola.
The exhibition Qué Chola features cholas and homegirls in art and pop culture and celebrates her as a symbol of strength, power, and resilience in the face of racial, gender, and economic adversity. The exhibition features paintings, photographs, and sculpture by artists from New Mexico, California, Texas, and Colorado. Themes include aesthetics, popular culture, and an investigation of the social structures that uphold and/or respond to challenging racial, gender, and socioeconomic circumstances. In many ways, the exhibition is a tribute to strong women who often go unrecognized.
“I would not be where I’m now if not for all the support from all the strong women in my life starting with my mother,” says Gaspar Enríquez, El Paso, Texas, one of 29 artists featured in the exhibition. “A single parent who raised three children in the barrio of el Chuco (El Paso) working two jobs and raising us with wise judgment and character to be successful in life.”
“We are proud to support the Que Chola art exhibit because it encourages an open dialogue that helps to shape and shift cultural respect and understanding among children, families and communities,” said Frank R. López, director of New Mexico programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“This exhibition is important for a number of reasons,” says the curator of the exhibition, Jadira Gurulé. “Not just because it showcases the important work of artists from across the southwest who provide a different perspective on an often-stigmatized figure, but also because the conversation the exhibit is a part of asks bigger questions about the challenging roles that race, class, and gender play in our social worlds.”
The previous NHCC exhibit, Because It’s Time: Unraveling Race and Place in New Mexico, was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and ran May 4, 2018 through Jan. 28, 2019. This exhibition invited artists of different backgrounds from New Mexico to reflect on the meaning of race and place. With support from the Kellogg Foundation, the NHCC was able to pay for supplies and provide a stipend to each of the artists creating brand new works for the exhibition.
Hear more from Enríquez about why his art is important in this YouTube video. Other videos feature additional artists from Qué Chola and Because It’s Time: Unraveling Race and Place in New Mexico.