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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

Beyond Rivera at San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art

I went recently to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to see the spectacular Diego Rivera Unity mural, an artwork well worth a trip just by itself. But I ended up pleasantly surprised to see quite a bit of art done by currently working Latinx artists.  I don’t trust trendiness, so I wasn’t sure if MOMA would do right by these artists or just turn them into the flavor of the month. But thank goodness, their work stands on its own merit. 

In Drawing the Line, Rael San Fratello at the U.S.-Mexico Border, architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello offer a series that examines the impact of the border wall on families and homes, cultures and communities.

This elegant and insightful 2002 series struck me as alternately clever, beautiful, and sad. The maps chart a scary possible course that we must reject, a future where family separation becomes the new normal.

Liz Hernández’ wall mural, Conjuro para la sanación de nuestra futuro (A spell for the healing of our future), presents a collage of milagros, miracle charms, that symbolize spirituality and community health.

This work calls to the best in us, with images and icons we all can relate to.

And last but not least, the museum’s permanent collection features a piece by José Clemente Orozco, Sleeping (The Family). Orozco (1883-1949), one of the “Big Three” Mexican muralists, could be outspoken with his social critiques, but ever so gentle in his images of poor and working people. I found this piece especially tender.

My short but very sweet trip to this exhibit reminded me of the words of Alberto Rios, the inaugural state poet laureate of Arizona. In his poem Museum Heart, written for the opening of the Scottsdale Museum of Art in 1999, Rios wrote:

We, each of us, keep what we remember in our hearts.

We, all of us, keep what we remember in museums.

In this way, museums beat inside us.

Activist Vicky Hamlin is a retired tradeswoman,
shop steward, and painter. In her painting and
in this column, she shines the light on the lives
of working people and the world they live in.