Linda Vallejo is a monumental presence in the local art scene. One of the first art teachers at Self-Help Graphics and the founder of Galería Las Américas, the East L.A. native has long been fascinated by the collision of pop culture with ethnic identity, and in her exhibition of new and recent work, Linda Vallejo: Brown Belongings, the painter/sculptor repopulates an almost exclusively white cultural landscape with brown faces.
In her provocative series, “Make ’Em All Mexican,” for instance, Vallejo recasts such cultural icons as Marilyn Monroe and Mickey Mouse as Latino figures, leavening her pointed imagery with sly wit and rampant style.
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown L.A.; Mon., Aug. 5, 1-5 p.m.; through Jan. 13; free. (213) 542-6259, lapca.org.
ADDITIONAL FREE PUBLIC EVENTS:
On Thursday, August 15, 7-9 p.m., Vallejo hosts a panel with the curators and the writers of the exhibition-catalog essays. Earlier the same day, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., the gallery hosts a free Spotlight Exhibition Tour.
On Thursday, October 17, 7-9 p.m., it’s conversation on the Chicana/o art world with shared stories inspired by culture, identity and community activism. Special guests include artists David Botello, Barbara Carrasco, Herron Will and others. Moderated by Betty Avila, executive director of Self Help Graphics & Art.
On Thursday, November 14, 7-9 p.m., Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, professor of medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the UCLA School of Medicine, challenges narratives about diversity, race and health through rigorous use of quantitative data sets, including population statistics and consumer demographics — statistics that form the basis of some of Vallejo’s most intriguing works.
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