On Saturday, May 23, from 4 – 8 p.m., at 685 Venice Blvd., (Old Venice Police Station – SPARC’s historic headquarters), The Duron Gallery at SPARC will present “New Codex: Oaxaca – Immigration and Cultural Memory.” A touring exhibit curated by Marietta Bernstorff, it illuminates the contemporary visual discourse of Oaxaca and explores the impact of immigration to the United States. This exhibit is currently on display at the Museum of Popular Art in Mexico City though the end of April 2015. The opening exhibition at SPARC will also include a mural painting by La Piztola Collective, a contemporary mural collective from Oaxaca.

Artists along with the village of Tanivet and other communities affected by immigration have generated artworks through deep research and intense dialogue. Key questions ranged from: What are the implications for the state of Oaxaca, which has seen over one million inhabitants immigrate to the United States? What is happening to their land in Mexico and the family they left behind? Are we the Mexicans/ Oaxacans able to keep traditions alive within another culture? Has immigration changed the way we see ourselves as a culture?

In conjunction with the exhibition, the participating artist collective known as “The Embroidery Ants of Tanivet” along with numerous Tanivet villagers are creating art-objects to promote a sustainable source of income for the women and men of their village.

The community of San Francisco Tanivet, Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oaxaca, located about 20 miles east of the state capital, is a rural community primarily devoted to agricultural production. Due to the lack of income because they cannot sell their native products, and lack of financial support from the state for farming, more than half of the population has largely immigrated to the United States, with a large concentration in Los Angeles, California, specifically Venice and Santa Monica.

Partners for this exhibit include: Western Union Foundation, Secretary of Culture in Oaxaca, Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, Frente Indi_gena de Organizaciones Binacionales (FIOB), Regional Organization of Oaxaca (ORO) and The Guelaguetza Restaurant.

SPARC is a community-based non-profit arts organization founded in 1976 by Distinguished UCLA professor and artist Judy Baca, filmmaker Donna Deitch, and artist Christina Schlesinger. SPARC is rooted in Art, Community, Education and Social Justice. For more info, visit http://www.SPARCinLA.org.

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