Anyone who visits South City Campus will be able to catch a new exhibit called “La Mortalidad: Una cuestión de vida o muerte” (Mortality: A Matter of Life and Death) at the Eccles Art Gallery, located right next to the east lobby entrance.
The new exhibit features works from 25 local artists, reflecting the diversity in Latinx and Hispanic communities across Utah, with contributions from Californian and Arizonan artists. As the exhibit’s name suggests, its themes explore the idea of mortality.
Artists were present to discuss their work during an opening reception for the exhibit on Oct. 12. Alli Arocho, a visual artist from Puerto Rico, presented her piece “Baquine,” which highlights a tradition that she says is almost extinct in her country.
“The baquine is actually a joyful celebration due to the fact that [a] baby has become an angel … People would get together and celebrate after a child or a baby passed away,” Arocho said.
“The day before [a] baby’s burial, the body of the child would be displayed on a table and would be surrounded by flowers,” Arocho continued. “The celebration involves singing and dancing and food, much like a lot of Latin American celebrations.”
Another artist, Kenneth Sanchez, said he found the inspiration to create a wood-burning work called “It’s Thursday” through his trips to Mexico, a country where the concepts of life and death are an important part of local culture.
“They interact a lot with the dead and life, so the whole culture is about what you would do if you were there … what you would do if you were still alive. So, all these things helped me to create [my piece],” Sanchez said.
Works from other artists in the exhibit include paintings, textile engravings and ceramic creations. Arocho encouraged the public to take advantage of the opportunity that the exhibit provides to learn more about Hispanic culture.
“I think students from SLCC should … see this beautiful show,” Arocho said. “[It’s] a taste of the richness of Latin American culture and the fact that [the culture is not] homogeneous. It’s so diverse, just within Latin American culture [itself],” Arocho said.
“La Mortalidad: Una cuestión de vida o muerte” is open to the public until Nov. 17.