New art exhibit celebrates Chicana feminity

Anna Agundez

Sacramento State’s R.W. Witt Gallery hosted a reception to showcase the new art exhibit “Liberation En Nuestra Resistencia,” on Wednesday, April 27.

“Liberation En Nuestra Resistencia,” which translates to “liberation in our resistance” in English, is a collaborated exhibit by senior art history major Brittni Plavala and Araceli Espinoza, who graduated from San Francisco Art Institution with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and painting.

Plavala and Espinoza met years ago in Fullerton College in a class that taught how to curate art exhibits and came together to put on Espinoza’s first solo show.

“I want to bring women to the forefront,” Plavala said.

Plavala also said women have less representation in the art scene and this exhibit was a great opportunity to be proactive about changing that. Plavala saw Espinoza’s work grow to embody a Chicana identity and wanted to celebrate that as well.

“[I’m] extremely humbled to be given this space,” Espinoza said.

Espinoza said some of her paintings, which contained women standing in natural poses with weapons, were inspired by the ‘autodefensas’ which are community self-defense groups in Michoacan, Mexico. Espinoza said she is personally connected to that situation because she has family that lives in that area.

Espinoza also said that in times of war, women are most often victimized and used for their bodies so she painted images of women standing in aggressive posses holding guns with cool colors to show they are collected and empowered. Women wearing traditional Mexican attire and contemporary clothing from different generations holding weapons were the subjects of some of the paintings as well.

“This is me giving homage to them,” said Espinoza. “They are embracing their femininity in a masculine space.”

Ricardo Frias, a senior studying art studio with an emphasis in electronic art, visited the gallery and said he liked the exhibit because it showed women empowerment in a different way, by taking guns.