Arte para la gente, The Collected Works of Margaret Garcia, a retrospective exhibition with more than 75 colorful artworks by pre-eminent Chicana artist Margaret Garcia, opens July 22 on the first-floor gallery at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, where it will be on display for almost a year, through June 11, 2023.
Organized by the Museum of Ventura County; curated by Anna Bermudez, their Curator of Inclusion and Cultural Initiatives; and presented by LA Plaza, this traveling exhibition features Garcia’s vast body of work capturing and encapsulating her culture, family, community, and urban life in Los Angeles and beyond.
First solo in Los Angeles
This is her first solo exhibition in her Los Angeles hometown and includes pieces created during a period of 37 years, between 1985 and 2022. Many of the artworks that will be on display are from the original exhibition along with new work created specifically for LA Plaza.
Born in Boyle Heights, Garcia is the fifth of seven generations of Americans whose Mexican, Indigenous, and Chicana/o roots and culture are deeply embedded within her. Her discipline and artistic practice are profoundly reciprocal, and her art is a vehicle that brings people together.
As a leader in the Los Angeles Chicana/o Art Movement for the past five decades, she has championed and advocated for women, community, and individuals who are marginalized by society.
By revering the people, neighborhoods, and local landmarks of her pueblo through her colorful portraits and landscapes, Garcia celebrates the subjects that have inspired her art and the creation of its ever-evolving community.
As a renowned mentor and teacher, she encourages other artists to reach into their souls and challenges their talents to create art that is authentic to them and reflects their passion for the subjects they are painting.
Arte para la gente, The Collected Works of Margaret Garcia invites the public to do the same, to see through the artist’s lens, see themselves, and see how daily life can be activated with a cultural currency that defines a place and its people.
Margaret in her own voice
“I am a Chicana Artist and I define Chicana art by producing it. In my life I would like to leave a body of work that would reflect the individual within my culture. To unmask the cliché and expose what is human so that we are not judged as stereotypes and yet maintain the richness of our heritage.” – Margaret Garcia
“This retrospective of the work of Margaret Garcia truly epitomizes the title, Arte para la gente. The objective was to create a space that reflected the artist’s love for color, love for her community. I believe we achieved that. It is an honor to be asked by LA Plaza to bring it home to Los Angeles. For Margaret, it is a dream come true.” – Anna Bermudez, curator
“It brings me pride that LA Plaza is presenting the artwork from this significant and influential Chicana artist in her own hometown. As the first women CEO of this cultural institution, I feel that is important to showcase the work of Margaret Garcia, along with that of other creative mujeres, including the curators and designers who are mounting this momentous exhibition.” – Leticia Rhi Buckley, CEO, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
“The Museum of Ventura County is proud to have been the first site for the retrospective of Margaret Garcia’s astounding and exciting work. We are gratified beyond measure that this collection will have the opportunity to be seen by thousands more.” -Elena Brokaw, The Barbara Barnard Smith Executive Director, Museum of Ventura County
Promotional support for Arte Para la Gente generously provided by Lazer Broadcasting KXLM 102.9 • KLJR 96.7 • KOXR 102.1
Arte para la gente, The Collected Works of Margaret Garcia is made possible in part by the support of The Port of Hueneme.
Image: Margaret Garcia, Night on Figueroa Street, 2022. Oil on wood panel. 48.25” x 60” inches. Courtesy of the artist.