Three exhibits showcase art and artifacts of Mexico

January 10, 2013 11:00 AM

Teresa Parker Farris

A trio of exhibits celebrating the art and artifacts of Mexico opens on Jan. 17 at the Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University, featuring “De Ser Árbol,” the drawings of acclaimed Mexican artist Sandra Pani, who will lead a gallery walk-through on Jan. 18.

Silver item from the Colonial Period in Mexico.

This silver plaque for a tabernacle door is from Mexico's colonial period. (From the collection of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane)

Two companion shows, “Las Delicias: The Drawings of William Spratling, Artist and Entrepreneur” and “Treasures of Darkness: Spanish Colonial Silver from the Middle American Research Institute” showcase works from the university’s distinguished Latin American collections. The three shows will be on view through March 3 at the Woldenberg Art Center.

Sponsored in part by the Consulate General of Mexico in New Orleans, “De Ser Árbol,” is translated as “of being a tree.” To create her works, Pani lies on paper to leave an imprint. Over the course of the series of works, the image of the body transforms into a tree, thus inspiring the title of the show.

Pani explains that although the drawings trace a personal map expressing her identity, “They are not only about me, nor for me. They are at once profoundly personal and archetypal.”

Accompanying that exhibition will be a selection of design sketches by silver artist William Spratling (1900-1967), curated by Newcomb College alumna and jewelry designer Mignon Faget. These works from the Latin American Library at Tulane underscore the entrepreneurial legacy of Spratling, who taught at Tulane in the 1920s, and the artisans involved in the Taxco silver industry.

Finally, the exhibit of Spanish colonial silver from the collection of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane presents a selection of mixed-media objects, both sacred and profane.

The exhibition opening from 6–8 p.m. on Jan. 17 will feature the music of El Mariachi Jalisco and Latin-inspired food and drink.  The event is free and open to the public.

Teresa Parker Farris is the marketing coordinator for the Newcomb Art Gallery in the Woldenberg Art Center.

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