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Institute of Texan Cultures hosts oral history, Dia de los Muertos exhibits

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Photo courtesy of Otis Aultman Collection, El Paso Public Library, "A mother and her child flee the Mexican Revolution," circa 1910-1920

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(Nov. 3, 2010)--The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will present the exhibit, "Leaving Home, Finding Home: Texas Families Remember the Mexican Revolution." Driven by powerful oral histories, it's an exhibit with no artifacts because the families that escaped the Mexican Revolution often fled with only the clothes on their backs. On display from Nov. 6 to May 1, the exhibit looks at family triumphs, challenges and achievements.

In honor of Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) commemorations, there will be an accompanying exhibit, "Soldadera: Mociuaquetzque de la Revolucion Mexicana (Valiant Women of the Mexican Revolution)," featuring an altar created by San Antonio artist Frances Marie Herrera.

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 set in motion dramatic changes for many families, both in Mexico and Texas. "Leaving Home, Finding Home" explores the turmoil and social upheaval that caused thousands of Mexicans to flee their homeland and seek a new life in Texas.

Coordinated by Lupita Barrera, ITC director of education and interpretation, the exhibit includes seven video screens featuring interviews. Texans whose families immigrated during the revolution and through its aftermath share stories passed down via photos, objects and oral histories. Family members explain in their own words the difficulties and achievements as they blended their Mexican heritage into their new Texas home.

"Several generations have passed since the revolution," said Rhett Rushing, ITC oral history program coordinator. "The memories may have faded, but these stories that latch on to our emotions are the ones we can't forget."

Over the summer, Rushing and UTSA faculty and graduate students identified families across the state whose ancestors fled the revolution. Some descendants are prominent government officials, business professionals and philanthropists, and others come from everyday families -- but all are united by the events of the revolution.

"Soldadera: Mociuaquetzque de la Revolucion Mexicana (Valiant Women of the Mexican Revolution)" features an altar with photographs and three-dimensional objects selected by the artist and curated by Arturo Almeida, art specialist and curator of the UTSA Art Collection.

According to Almeida, the Dia de los Muertos commemorations Nov. 1-2 honor the memory of revered ancestors and are rooted in ancient traditions. Among some Mesoamerica cultures, life and death were each viewed as one aspect of a sacred duality that structured the universe. Modern celebrations coincide with the Roman Catholic Church feasts of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Altars built in memory of the dead often are adorned with food, flowers and candles and perfumed with incense.

"The ancestral thread connecting us to our past continues to be spun in the present," said artist Herrera. "By acknowledging who we have been, we pay homage to these venerated ancestors. The altar honors the brave women of the Mexican Revolution and the goddess mythology of our pre-conquest roots. The seeds sown by these valiant women emboldened a generation of political and social activism enabling our women to became leaders and agents of change for peace and justice.

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The Institute of Texan Cultures is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. Durango Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.

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Frances Marie Herrera was born and raised in San Antonio and is a mixed-media artist who specializes in Day of the Dead altars (altares). Venues for her work include Galeria de La Raza, San Francisco, and these venues in San Antonio: Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, Upstart Gallery (Jump-Start Theatre), Centro Cultural Aztlan, Frida Kahlo Gallery (Instituto de Mexico) and Casa Margarita.

Herrera has been a member of several Aztec dance groups: Grupo Xitlalli, resident company, Mission Cultural Center; Grupo Xipe Totec, San Francisco; Grupo Huehuecoyotl, San Antonio. She has collaborated with artist Diana Rodriguez-Gil on performance pieces for Jump-Start Theatre and author Sandra Cisneros at Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.

Herrera has been a licensed attorney and counselor at law for 27 years and recently was appointed county magistrate judge.

 

 

Events
Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning 2015-16 Speaker Series

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016  Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium.  The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 16, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

S.T.E.M. Career Fair

Are you looking for career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math? Come to the SPRING 2015 STEM Career Fair. Recruiters from across the STEM fields will be present with full-time, part-time and/or internship opportunities. Professional dress is required. Bring plenty of resumes! Download the UTSA Career Fair Plus App on iOS and Android.
Convocation Center, Main Campus

Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m.

CACP Speaker Series continueswith Cesar Pelli

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning (CACP) welcomes renowned architect Cesar Pelli as part of the CACP’s 2015-16 Speaker Series. Pelli is founder and Senior Principal of the New Haven, Conn. firm Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. In his talk, “Becoming an Architect,” Pelli will present and discuss projects that were critical steps in his career.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Carlton-LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)


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