Voices in Concert: In the Spirit of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Edited by Mark Cervenka and Grace Zuñiga
Publication Date: September 30, 2015
This catalog spotlights the work of three Chicana artists whose work deals with issues of gender and racial inequality. All three—Tina Fuentes, Delilah Montoya and Kathy Vargas—are Texas natives, and their pieces included in this volume were recently featured in an exhibition in Houston at the Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA) and the O’Kane Gallery at the University of Houston-Downtown.
Themes of identity, freedom, transformation and exploration appear in the artists’ work. It is the freedom to create—combined with cultural and historical contexts—that suggests a connection with the seventeenth-century Mexican writer, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Though they share a commitment to social justice, their art is very different. Tina Fuentes is a painter who uses the human figure as the central mode of inquiry in her work; sometimes it is recognizable and other times it’s very abstract. Delilah Montoya documents Chicano communities through photographs. And Kathy Vargas’s work is made up of multiple layered images and hand-colored pigments applied directly to the surface of the photographic print.
With statements by the curators, Mark Cervenka and Grace Zuñiga, and the artists, Voices in Concert: In the Spirit of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz also contains an essay by Ann Marie Leimer about the work and its relation to the seventeenth-century Mexican nun and poet. This slim but impactful art book provides general audiences with an introduction to three important Mexican-American women artists.