Five modern Latinx artists visually narrate intimate memories of home through featured art.
The exhibit, “Aún Recordamos Aquel Hogar,” or “We Still Remember What Was Once Home,” is located at the Wright Gallery of the Langford Architecture Center on the Texas A&M campus. “Aún Recordamos Aquel Hogar” will be available for viewing until Feb. 28 and is free for all audiences.
According to curator Sean FitzGibbons, “Aún Recordamos Aquel Hogar” tells a story using location as one of the characters, similar to a metaphor. The five artists are from South Texas, and vary in style and execution. Featured in the exhibit are Albert Alvarez, Fernando Andrade, Ruth Buentello, Joe De La Cruz and Jenelle Esparza. Although sharing cultural experiences, their individual stories vary in distinction.
“I [have] put together a show of artists that I have worked with before,” FitzGibbons said. “Looking at their artwork, I drew a thesis statement together based on the similarities between their artwork. As a whole, the exhibit is captivating in that these artists have such specific backgrounds as shown, but as a group show [there are] a universality of common shared experiences that weren't expected when you first walk into the show.”
Seeing a suitable place for the artwork in College Station, A&M visualization lecturer Nathan Madrid worked with FitzGibbons to open an exhibit on campus and aided in the brainstorming of ideas for the show. Both Madrid and FitzGibbons said they are hopeful this is relatable to every cultural background.
“I have worked with all of the artists before in different shows and have known these artists for quite some time,” Madrid said. “ For the college, this fits right in with the gallery’s mission statement: diversity and social inclusion. This show directly talks about that. I think it's important for students to be exposed to this and to look at the work and try to ask a couple of tough questions that they wouldn't get otherwise.”
Buentello, painter and San Antonio high school teacher, has worked with FitzGibbons in past exhibitions. Of all of the artwork involved, Buentello created four of them: The Last Supper, Nah, Ama! and two pieces entitled Hiding en mis Colchas.
“I am inspired by family experiences and interior Latino intimate spaces, whether it’s inside the home or whether it is a psychological space,” Buentello said. “All of the paintings are photo references of my family, and I was very inspired to document the different interactions that I have with them—good or bad.”
Buentello said she wants her artwork to connect viewers, and to provide a lens through which people can further understand her life. According to Buentello, despite people’s dissimilar backgrounds, her artwork can illuminate the ways in which commonality is still present.
“I just want to present these images so that other people can have a more intimate view of Latino/Latina experiences,” Buentello said. “I hope that this exhibit conveys a sense of home and that it creates a broader sense of home for people that do or do not identify with the work and that it expands people’s ideas of what a Latina and Chicana home could be like.”
Fernando Andrade, fascinated by Buentello’s Last Supper, drew nine of the pieces shown in the exhibit. Andrade has been featured in a show that FitzGibbons curated in San Antonio in 2017. He said that he brought a variety of contextually accurate pieces to this show.
“Most of my work deals with social and political events,” Andrade said. “Some deal with border/cartel violence and other drawings deal with the gun culture here in the United States. I think that this will hopefully motivate people to continue to have their own voice. I think it’s important for students to realize that there's not a linear path and that there's not one way to get a point across. We all have a different perspective and our own experiences in life.”