New gallery exhibit at Northern Colorado tells the story of an immigrant through thread and fabric
The agriculture and other symbols of the immigrant experience are braided together through colorful representation. Samantha Valenzuela | The Mirror
The Los Hilos de la Vida, or "The Threads of Life," art exhibit can be viewed in Crabbe's Oak Room and Guggenheim in the Mariana Exhibit Room until March 13.
Describing the show as a display of quilts does no justice to what has been created out of a hodgepodge of fabrics and abstract material.
The true power of this gallery emerges with an attentive look, for each quilt is attached with a real story of an American immigrant. Themes run through the narrative quilts like threads, giving the viewer a chance to perceive the stories through the artist's eyes.
Molly Johnson Martinez, a UNC graduate and the creator of the project, told the story of one quilt, El Rancho que Nunca Tuve, or "The Ranch I Never Had."
"She was kidnapped from her home when she was 12, she was forced to stay in a cave and climb mountains," Martinez said. "Later, she was despoiled by her kidnapper and bore him children. Unable to return home, she later made it to America."
The quilt showed an idyllic farm and viscerally illustrated the author's dream.
The exhibit began in January 2005 when Martinez received a grant for the purpose of creating a literacy program for immigrant workers. She quickly realized it was important to give the students a project that they could proudly display to their families. After several failed attempts, she had the idea to make quilts. The amateur artists in her program have successfully sold hundreds of quilts as the exhibit has traveled all over the country.
"I wasn't going to be a teacher, I was going to be an artist," Martinez said. "But when you are part of something like this, it changes how you think."
Joan Shannon-Miller, director of UNC's art galleries, said the decision to bring the exhibit here was a result of the artist's talents and accomplishments.
"We were looking for UNC grads who had made a big impact in the world through art," she said.
The exhibit's impact has extended well beyond its original audience and has inspired start-ups all over the country.
Women2Women, a Greeley based program, is now using a similar approach to appeal to immigrant workers.
"We are looking for volunteers, especially Spanish-speaking people, who can interpret for us so we can broaden our reach," said Marlene Monson, the director of the program.
More information is available for interested volunteers at www.greeleyw2w.org or Monson can be contacted at 970-396-7298.
The Lydia Rule Room of the Women's Art Speaker Series will continue in October when Heide GÃ¶ttner-Abendroth, a world-renowned expert on matriarchal societies, will present.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More The Mirror News Articles
Recent The Mirror News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR THE MIRROR NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST THE MIRROR NEWS
- Born to Wander find their path
- Northern Colorado women's soccer wins against Nebraska-Omaha
- Local band spotlight: Silver and Gold
- Northern Colorado volleyball wins one in weekend tournament
- Northern Colorado defense holds off Huskies at home football opener
- Bears learn how to broaden their horizons
- BBC show features UNC professor’s research
RECENT THE MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- 4 Tips to Start Your Day a Little Earlier
- Join the Force to Fight Lung Cancer in Women
- If You Want to Help Avoid Back Problems, Stop Slouching
- Common-Sense Strategies From a Natural Marketing Guru
- 10 Steps to Help Older Adults Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls
- Stay Cool for Next to Nothing: Power Down the AC on...
- Family-Friendly Programming Storms The Weather Channel
- Carrageenan: Sustainability From Farm to Table
- Every Room Tells a Story if You Set the Stage
- Guiding Treatment of Advanced Breast Cancer Using Subtypes
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Latino Groups Launch National Campaign to Deliver Record Latino Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections
- The Power of Peer Support: Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" Hits Campuses
- Cengage Learning and Flashnotes.com Form Strategic Partnership
- PAOLO NUTINI CELEBRATES U.S. RELEASE OF “CAUSTIC LOVE”
- CDA Launches New Digital Copper Learning Center