Join us for a new exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center,501 N. Main St., “Vale la Pena” (It’s Worth It), featuring artwork by Gina Gwen Palacios, a multi-media artist who draws upon her family history and Mexican American identity to create portraits of her and her family’s lived experiences.
The exhibition opens Jan. 14, 2023 and closes March 25.
Gina Gwen Palacios uses traditional and non-traditional materials in her art, including cardboard, cotton, sandpaper, and paint. Her use of materials is purposeful, choosing colors and materials that emphasize the long cultural heritage she and her family have had in the south Texas/Mexico borderland.
Her parents’ stories about migrant farm work, picking cotton, and racial discrimination are reflected in Palacios’ use of cardboard and cotton. She uses cardboard because of its brown color, availability, and strength. However, it is also cheap and disposable.
In using it, Palacios makes it symbolic of the Mexican American labor force and the disposable treatment many workers receive from their employers. Palacios makes powerful statements through her artwork to highlight an underrepresented cultural narrative and geographic area.
Gina Gwen Palacios is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting/Drawing and the Associate Director for the School of Art & Design at The University of Texas, at Rio Grande Valley. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio Art at Brandeis University, a Master of Arts degree from The University of Texas, at Austin in Instructional Technology, a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi in TV/Film and an associate of arts degree from Del Mar College in Radio/Television. She was born in Taft, Texas.
Branigan Cultural Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. There is no admission charge.
Branigan Cultural Center is accessible via RoadRUNNER Transit Route 1, Stop 1. For information, visit the Museum System website at https://www.lascruces.gov/museums or call 575/541-2154.