The Centro Cultural Aztlan in San Antonio, Texas celebrated the 45th Annual Segundo de Febrero Exhibit. This year’s theme, Mapping New Narratives, was curated by Héctor Garza. Below is an interview with Garza about the event and his process for curating the creative works that were displayed.
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what the exhibit is about?
My name is Héctor Garza, and I am an art teacher and working artist based in San Antonio, Texas. I am currently working on my doctoral dissertation with the Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Art with a concentration on Latinx Graphic Novels as Forms of Resistance. The theme for this exhibit is centered around the Signing of the Treaty of Hidalgo and its lasting effects on our history as Latinos/as/xs, Chicanos/as/xs, and indigenous identity, and a reflection of the continuing history of a bicultural people.
How did you get involved in the project?
I have been a participating artist with Centro Cultural Aztlan for over 10 years and in an effort to bring in a new perspective to this cultural center, I was given the opportunity to be the lead artist and curate a show that would highlight the contributions of contemporary Latinx artists who not only speak to the theme of the show but honor the mission to preserve, develop, and promote Chicano/Latino art and culture.
What was the process for curating all the artwork?
In the process of curating this show, I wanted all the works to be different and have their own unique voice but still be cohesive within the theme. The goal is to have the works speak to each other within the space and allow the viewer to make connections. Through various mediums, each artist answers the question: How is identity shaped through the lens of the borderlands?
How many artists were involved? Could you name a few?
Participating artists include Frederick Luis Aldama with Oscar Garza, Fernando Andrade, Terry Blas, Jesse Burciaga, Alexandria Canchola, Isabel Ann Castro, Monica Estrada Saldaña, Kat Fajardo, Hector R. Garza, Omar Gonzalez, Ruth M. Guajardo, Alejandro Macias, Gabi Magaly, Angelica Martinez, Ben Muñoz, Zeke Peña, Alan Serna, Jesus Trevino, and Jose Villalobos.
What do you hope people walk away with after seeing this exhibit?
I hope that people get to learn about the history of the Signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and also engage with new works that allow for a new interpretation of what shapes borderland identities.
What did curating this exhibit mean to you?
Curating this show was a humbling experience and a great opportunity to connect and work with local and regional artists.
What advice do you have for other artists? My advice to other artists is to stay true to your own voice and continue to create work that pushes the boundaries. Make connections with other artists, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Be confident in your pursuit of new possibilities and enjoy the ride.
Until when can people view this amazing exhibit?
The Segundo de Febrero Exhibit: Mapping New Narratives will be open to the public until March 3, 2022 at Centro Cultural Aztlan.
Centro Cultural Aztlan is located at 1800 Fredericksburg Rd #103, San Antonio, TX 78201
For more events, visit their website at centroaztlan.org/