La Raza culture embraced in art


Denis Perez / The Advocate

La Raza studies professor Augustine Palacios paints a butterfly during the “Exist to Resist” art show in Fireside Hall on May 2.

By Xavier Johnson, Scene Editor

Local artists were invited to showcase and sell their art in Fireside Hall on May 2 for the “Resist to Exist: Art Show to Document the Undocumented.”

Alongside a silent auction was a competition where patrons would fill out a ballot listing their favorite pieces on display.

Oakland artist Jose Lopez took first place and was awarded a $100 gift card. Second place went to Richmond’s Eddie Chacon winning a $75 gift card and a $50 gift card went to David Casaneva for his third place finish.

The theme of the art show was immigration. La Raza Student Union Vice President Ricardo Sanchez said each artist was asked to bring a piece relating to the topic of immigration but they were free to bring any other pieces they desired.

The event sponsored by the LRSU is the first art show they’ve done.

“We do a lot of poetry already but we never had an art show and a lot of people in the community are artistic and express their culture through their art,” Sanchez said.

Before the show got underway a striking Aztec dance performance took place in the Campus Center Plaza.

La Raza studies major Alexis Garcia said while putting together the art show she thought it’d be a good idea as a way to share their ancestors’ traditions. She, along with several others ranging from children to adults, performed three traditional Aztec dances.

Garcia said she performed Huitzilopochtli, which translates to hummingbird. The other two dances were Danza de Meztli, which translates to Luna, and Apache, which represented the Apache people.

Sanchez said the dances are often used as a way to open a ceremony and the performance is a way to bring themselves closer to their ancestors.

As the art show began and patrons were given their ballots local rock band First Contact played several songs.

Associated Student Union Senator Christopher Miller plays bass guitar for the band.

Undecided major Ashley Santos said all the pieces in the show held significant meaning for her and her favorite was “El Coyote y sus Pollitos.” El Coyote is the name for individuals that assist Mexican immigrants in crossing the border. The pollitos represent the immigrants that the coyote is guiding.

All pieces from the art show are being displayed in the Library until May 21. The art that was sold will be given to the buyers after that date.

Sanchez said he received a positive reception from the artists and hopes to have another event for the fall 2018 or spring 2019 semesters.