Since 2006, curator, artist and researcher Rebecca Berru-Davis has been engaged in an art exhibition project with Peruvian women artists who live in the shanty towns outside Lima, Peru. The exhibition titled “Picturing Paradise,” which kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month at Northwest College, emphasizes the beauty the women create through their fabric pictures, despite challenging circumstances in their lives.
The exhibition gets underway with a reception Monday, Sept. 17, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the SinClair Gallery with a presentation by Berru-Davis.
“Picturing Paradise” features cuadros, embroidered and appliquéd fabric pictures created by women of Compacto Humano and Manos Ancashinas, two art cooperatives in Pamplona Alta, located on the outskirts of Lima, Peru.
Consisting of approximately 30 pieces, the exhibition resulted from three research trips that include three different commissioned art projects, according to Berru-Davis.
“Hopes and Dreams” (January 2006) depicts each woman’s personal aspirations for herself, for her family or for the world.
The second, “Inspirations and Motivations,” (January 2007) illustrates narratives about each woman’s life, as well as the individuals and the communities that sustain her.
Most recently, “¿Quien soy yo?” (July 2008), brings to light each woman as an individual and at the same time, the interconnectedness of her life in relationship to others.
Through the fabric pictures, the women’s past and present experiences are visually expressed and highlighted. Together, they create a message of hope and vision of a world they would choose to shape.
The exhibition aims to raise awareness of the beauty and creativity that persists, even in challenging circumstances that exist for these women.
“Picturing Paradise” has been exhibited in California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wyoming, Peru and Spain.
Additional cuadros will be available for sale during the evening reception. All proceeds support the women artists and their families.
The SinClair Gallery, located in the Orendorff Building at 231 W. Sixth Street, is open weekdays from 8a.m.-5p.m. and most evenings. This event is free and open to the public.
The exhibition hangs in the gallery through Monday, Oct. 15.
To learn more about upcoming events at Northwest College, visit https://nwc.edu/events/.