Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Latinx experiences visualized

Ana Fernandez, “The Party,” on display on the 2nd floor of the UTSA Rec. Photo courtesy of Ana Fernandez

What happens when two women inspired by the strength and complexity of their community’s narrative collide?

An instillation of spirit and untold narratives of truth and complexity through a bicultural lens.

Two local Latino artists, Ana Fernandez and Ruth Buentello, have collaborated on an installation that includes Fernandez’s “Eastside Westside” exhibit, and Buentello’s “Domestic Narratives” exhibit at San Antonio’s Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Both Ana and Ruth are hard-working, sought-after artists with strong voices that come through in their works,” said Cristina Ballí, executive director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Ana Fernandez, “Claudia’s” photo courtesy of Ana Fernandez.

“What we consider mundane, everyday occurrences are brilliantly captured in still life through their Latina perspectives.”

Fernandez was born in Corpus Christi, but grew up in San Antonio where her passion for art started.

Fernandez began her visual studies education at San Antonio College and went on to receive her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the University of California Los Angeles.

After completing her education, Fernandez returned to the Alamo City where her immediate surroundings inspired her to create streetscapes in paintings and works on paper.

Fernandez has been exhibited at the Institute of Texas Cultures, the McNay Art Museum, Women and Their Work Gallery and will also be exhibiting in Los Angeles within the coming months.

Fernandez is also the founder and owner of Chamoy City Limits. One of her pieces can be found on the second floor of UTSA’s Rec Center.

Buentello, a high school art teacher, began her career as an artist at the San Antonio Cultural Arts Center as an apprentice, painting murals with other artists.

Now, she is on the brink of what she calls “one of her first true breakthroughs throughout her art career.”

Buentello received her Bachelors of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008.

Since graduating she has exhibited her work in group exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago; Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas; Museo Alameda in San Antonio, Texas; Self Help Graphics in Los Angeles, Calif.; Slanguage Studio in Los Angeles, Calif.; Unit B Gallery in San Antonio, and University of Texas at San Antonio Fine Arts Gallery.

In 2009, Buentello founded the Más Rudas art collective with like-minded Chicana artists whose work explores the socio-cultural examinations of Chicanx identity and the cultural representations of gender through the creation of installations and murals.

This installation was birthed to give viewers an inside look into the Latino experience on both the East side and the West side of San Antonio.

Both women created their exhibits separately, but their ties to their community are the strings that hold the two exhibits together.

Buentello wanted viewers to see just how complex these communities are from the eyes of a San Antonio native.

In her instillation, Buentello takes you inside a traditional Chicano household.

In her most inspired piece, “The Last Supper,” she illustrates her very own family, whom she feels sometimes don’t understand her art.

Ruth Buentello, “The Last Supper” Photo courtesy of Ruth Buentello.

This piece was first imagined two years ago after the diagnosis of both of her parent’s sickness.

She set out to illustrate the process of coping that her family endured.

The painting depicts a couch, lined with members of her family all strategically facing the right.

She places special emphasis on the foods her family has chosen to indulge in, some of which she feels contributed to her parent’s illness.

Buentello describes it as her own way of critiquing the coping mechanisms of Chicano households.

Looking deeper into the painting, viewers can see the house lined with paintings and candles that one would find in her grandmother’s house in the most spot-on Chicano household that Ruth could’ve dreamed.

In her instillation, she uses both small scale and large-scale scenes to show the tension within these Latino households.

It was an exhibit that took a lot for Buentello to create, however, throughout her career she plans to continue on a path toward unapologetic vulnerability.

Viewers will finally get the chance to view the instillation during its first Friday opening, September 1 until October 6th, 2017 at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center for free admission.

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