Mexic-Arte Museum Highlights San Antonio LGBT Artists

Artist Michael Martinez - Photos by Andrea Rampone
Photos by Andrea Rampone
Artist Michael Martinez
This story originally appeared in our sister paper, Out in SA.

The 22nd installment of the Young Latin@ Artists exhibition at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin brings together eight emerging artists from around the state.

Two of the featured artists, San Antonio residents Michael Martinez and Jose Villalobos, showcase work that deals with LGBT issues and gender restrictions.

Billed as Young Latino@ Artists: ¡Ahora!, this year’s exhibition is guest curated by Alana Coates, associate director at Ruiz-Healy Art. The show set an attendance record when it opened on July 14.

Speaking to the Current, Coates explained that the issues addressed by the featured artists are those “the Trump administration has forced into the national discourse.” Within a context of increased racial tensions under the current administration, the artists here “delve into idiosyncratic negotiations with self, family and society.”

In the installation Courageous, Martinez presents a 30-foot-long hand-woven flag referencing Philadelphia’s controversial LGBT flag that includes black and brown stripes. Born and raised in San Antonio, Martinez is a graduate of the Pacific Northwest College of Art whose work aims to make space for queer themes within the narrative of Chicanismo.
In Sin la S, Villalobos presents a series of hanging chandeliers made from cowboy hats, a common item worn by Mexican-American men along the U.S./Mexico border. Born in El Paso, Texas to a conservative Mexican-American family, Villalobos incorporates found objects into his work “to explore the dichotomy of feminine and masculine materials within cultural symbols.”

The other artists featured in ¡Ahora! are Nansi Guevara (Laredo, Texas), Daniela Cavazos Madrigal (Laredo, Texas), Mark Anthony Martinez (San Antonio, Texas), Paloma Mayorga (Austin, Texas), Ashley Mireles (San Antonio, Texas), and Andrei Rentería (Chihuahua City, Mexico and Presidio, Texas). The exhibition runs through August 27.

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