The Carolla Arts Exhibition Center opens for the summer with a new exhibition, “Mapping Awareness: Social Objects and Detritus.” Works by multi-disciplinary artists Catherine Reinhart and Giovanni Valderas implement playful use of color and texture to express underlying themes revolving around both the personal and bigger-picture ideas of “home.” The exhibition is on view June 21–August 5 and open for two First Friday Art Walks July 1 and August 5 from 6-8 p.m.
The works by Reinhart and Valderas were co-curated by Director of Exhibitions Jodi McCoy and Graduate Assistant Shauna Smith. Their collaborative effort comes together to create an exhibition focused on social engagement and community activism through the everyday materials that act as a point of connection. These ideas come through in Reinhart’s textile and paper works and bright, piñata-inspired works by Valderas. The colorful and socially-focused nature of the artwork brings together the unique stories and intentions from each artist.
Reinhart’s roles as both artist and mother inspire her use of abandoned and altered textiles to represent the labors and value of caregiving in a domestic space. Whether it is the labors of love involved in raising a child or the responsibilities of caring for an aging parent, Reinhart translates these repetitive acts through the practice of mending.
For Valderas, the process of working through his own complicated relationship with his Guatemalan, Mexican, and American ancestry acts as inspiration behind his culturally-focused messages. Spanglish idioms speak directly to the Latinx community while acting as a deeper form of symbolism. According to Valderas’ artist statement, “The subtext lost through translation becomes a larger metaphor for society’s misunderstanding of cultures deemed as foreign.”
Stay tuned later this summer for a new episode of the Department of Art + Design’s podcast “The Business of Art and Design,” featuring Giovanni Valderas.
Carolla Arts Exhibition Center is located at 326 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Missouri. Gallery hours are Monday–Friday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Call 417-837-2330 for additional details.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.