On Thursday, Feb. 27, all were invited to gather in South City’s Center for Arts and Media to celebrate Mexican culture and the colorful life of artist Frida Kahlo. The event, sponsored by Utah Arts of Mexico in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate, was free of charge and open to the public.
Traditional Mexican food was served for all to enjoy. A professional Spanish guitarist, Gabino Flores, provided ambience. Viva Frida gave exhibit-goers a chance to learn about Kahlo and her life as a Latina artist.
“I thought I knew a lot about Frida Kahlo. I’ve learned so many things I didn’t know before,” said Melodee Lambert, Salt Lake Community College business professor.
Renowned paintings such as “Dos Fridas,” “The Broken Column,” “The wounded Deer” and Kahlo’s first self-portrait are all on display. Not only her work, but rare photos of Kahlo and her Husband Diego Rivera were shown in the exhibit exclusively during the opening reception.
“My favorite piece is ‘Dos Fridas.’ [Kahlo] displays herself as a formal person and as an authentic person. As a woman, I can identify with her feelings,” said event director Mequette Sorensen. “There is also another one of my favorites. It is of the Frida that is in between Mexico and the United States. She represents our indigenous roots, but she also represents social justice and equality, and advocacy for those without power.”
Along with the paintings, there were written interpretations from Mexican art historians about what message they believe Frida is conveying through her art.
Viva Frida emulated Mexican pride and cultural acceptance.
Exhibit-goers had the opportunity to hear a speech about Mexican culture from Sorenson, as well as a Mexican Consulate member.
“I’m most proud of creating something like this for our students who are Latin. I hope this gives them an understanding of how much we [SLCC] appreciate their heritage and their culture,” said Sorensen.
Viva Frida not only revolves around Mexican culture, but it invites SLCC students and exhibit-goers to celebrate their own unique culture too.
“We [SLCC] welcome culture not only for ethnicity but disability, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic levels. This is an opportunity not only just for Latinos, but for all of us to learn, and I look forward to an exhibit like this of many different cultures,” said Sorensen.
The Viva Frida gallery will be available to view in South City’s George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Art Gallery until March 27 during regular school hours.