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Betsabeé Romero’s Art Forges Relationships

Betsabeé Romero’s work represents the transformations, symmetries and contradictions in the modern world. And most recently, Romero herself and the work she exhibited in Denver brought together two Denver art organizations.

In September, Romero’s installation, titled “Cartography of an Identity,” was featured in Redline Denver’s “Latin America: Endless Transformation” exhibit.

Romero, who studied at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and later at the School of Fine Arts in Paris, has exhibited her work all around the world. Despite her international fame, she still made time for locals at a luncheon and discussion co-hosted by the Latino Cultural Arts Center.

“Cartography of an Identity,” consisted of car tires that were carved with Mexican textile patterns, reported The Know. The exhibit utilized reused materials, such as tires.

Tires are a frequent occurrence in Romero’s work and it was sparked on a moment Romero had while looking along the border of Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California.

“I saw these huge junkyards—the biggest I’ve seen in the world…where you can see the symmetries of modernity,” Romero said in a video introducing her work at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The tires were everywhere. “I noticed how this object is a very important icon of contradictions in modernity.”

Louise Martorano, executive director of Redline Denver, said Romero’s work “Honors her history, her culture, and her gender while also making the comment that time continues forward and we need to move forward with it but not lose what’s most important to us in the process.”

Andrea Trujillo Guajardo, operations director for LCAC, noted that depicted by Romero’s work—which was exhibited shortly after the catastrophic earthquakes that hit Mexico in September—were messages about economic disparities prevalent in modern society. She used her art to communicate that as devastating and saddening as the earthquakes were, they brought awareness to this issue.

“She was very animated and very emotional,” Trujillo Guajardo said. “Her work is an expression of how she lives and sees society. She was amazing.”

Trujillo Guajardo said it’s important to connect with artists like Romero when they come to town for several reasons.

One of the visions for the center, which is set to break ground in 2020, is to host more international artists and be a resource for them in terms of housing and exhibits. Plus, it gives the Denver community a chance to get to know and have a dialogue with international artists.

“It’s beneficial for our organization to partner with artists traveling from international destinations so we could have a legitimate exchange of culture,” Trujillo Guajardo said.

It also gives LCAC the chance to partner with organizations like Redline Denver, which is good for both organizations.

“I see us being partners over the long haul,” Redline’s Martorano said. She noted that Redline has previously worked with LCAC Founder and Chair Adrianna Abarca.

“We have always really honored and appreciated Adrianna’s vision in relation to honoring her own cultural heritage and how that has shown up in her community organizing and activities,” Martorano said. “The Latino Cultural Arts Center is an amazing new resource for Denver.”

For more information on how to help the LCAC in its mission, email Trujillo Guajardo.

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