Sunday, December 13, 2015

Extra Credit: Virgen de Guadalupe Celebration in Placita Olvera


I attended the Virgen de Guadalupe Celebration in Placita Olvera on Friday night. As we discussed in class, the 12th of December is the Day of la Virgen and there are processions and celebration around the world in her honor. At around 8pm there was a procession of community members that ended at Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles. There was a vigil overnight where many people gathered to light veladoras and bring her roses and other flowers. In the placita itself there was various vendors, and musical and dance performances throughout the weekend. There was also a life-size nativity scene in the kiosco that many people gathered around to take pictures. At the church there were also vendors and mass to sing her las mañanitas was held at 5am Saturday morning. One thing I noticed and found interesting were the ways in which La Virgen was portrayed and the way she was worn on clothing. Her traditional depiction remained prominent (there was no Virgen in heels or doing karate) but what changed were the colors used in her image for example on printed products or on knitted ponchos made in blue, red, purple, and brown.  It was my first time attending this celebration in Placita Olvera and I enjoyed it very much because as we discussed in class La Virgen is a big part of Mexican culture and traditions. In my own community there was also a procession, and families in my neighborhood rotated the Virgen's image from home to home and prayed the novenario in her honor the week before.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


These past ten weeks have gone by so fast. I came in the class not knowing more than 4 Chicana Artists. When Professor Lopez quized us on how many we knew I knew over 10 Chicana Artists. After the class I thought wow we know more than 50 so I was impressed even though I couldn't recall them during the quiz. What I liked was how someone in class mentioned that we not only know the artists name but we also know the artist background and work. I really enjoyed the presentations! I never thought that I would see a whole new perspective or as Blake calls is a reimagining of La Virgen de Guadalupe or La Malinche. I also never thought that I would grow as an artist and get better. I now know that I can get better by practicing everyday. I really look forward to taking more Chicana classes. I also look forward to drawing more often, because drawing like Pola and Alma said it's like therapy. Overall, I am glad that I took this class! I am even thinking on double majoring or minoring in Chicana Chicano Studies. I will take the knowledge that I gained in this course and apply it to my future Chicana Chicano Studies courses.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 10 Reflection

Looking back at the beginning of the quarter, I can definitely say that I was very ignorant to the world of Chicana art and artists. At the beginning of the quarter, I don't think that I knew any Chicana artists; at the end of the quarter, I knew over 50 artists, not only by name but by their work as well. I also learned a lot through the texts and required reading about many symbols of Chicana/o culture like the Virgen de Guadalupe, La Llorona, and La Malinche, along with Mexica goddesses.

Another huge aspect of the class was the Moleskine book project where we all drew hands in ASL along with self portraits and other memories. I think the hands in ASL were a good exercise, but I think it was a little bit repetitive. I think it was important to do many different hand symbols, but some of them were about the same so I think that 26 was somewhat a stretch. I believe that for a future class, some more different project would be funner and more about telling a story about oneself.

Overall, I believe I came out of the class with some important knowledge about my culture and myself.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Week 9 Blog

In my drawing I decided to depict a moment I had over the holidays. Although this type of moment occurred during the holidays, it s actually an experience that I have every time I'm home. Here I depict my sisters and I sitting on the larger couch and my mother sitting on the other couch. It is in this moment that my family and I catch up on what we have individually been up to. We take this moment to ask each other questions, make decisions like "where should we go out to dinner", complain or compliment, and give each other wanted or unwanted advise. I feel like in my family we all are highly independent, even as a child I was never home and was out with friends exploring, so this moment is a crucial experience of my family life.  This is my family's moment of togetherness. It is odd that I depict my sisters on their phone when people view phones as a distraction from family time, but in this case most of our phone action involves snapchat videos of funny things we are saying during our "real talk". We incorporate our 21st century ways into our home life, but in a positive way including teaching my mother about our fancy phone technology and recording her expression of shock every time Siri responds to us. I can still hear my mother saying, "That's just weird that your phone talks back!" and hearing my sisters laugh at the thought of my mother's awe of our normality. Since this was Thanksgiving holiday, I think I decided to depict this experience from the holiday break because it is moments like these that I am most grateful.

Week 10 Reflection

These past 10 weeks have taught me so much about Chicana artists, their works, and also how to practice my own art making skills. Chicana artists, as discussed in class, are a diverse group of artists that have different backgrounds, lived experiences, and interests that they share through their art. I have also learned about the ways in which Chicana art has been used as a political tool and as a form of empowerment. On the first day of class I was only able to name one Chicana artist which was Judy Baca because I took a class with her last year and in her class we learned about "Los Tres Grandes" but of course none of them were women. Learning about Chicana artists has made me feel empowered and even more knowledgeable about my own culture. This has been the only class I've had where I can learn in detail about La Virgen de Guadalupe, La Llorona and La Malinche. On the last day of class I was able to name 18 Chicana artists and even more than that I know about their works and who they are. I have also enjoyed taking this class because I have been able to share with my family and friends what I've learned and as Professor Lopez said in class the artists we learned about are only a fraction of all the Chicana artists. Through the artist research project we did I was able to learn about an artist that I would now call one of my favorites. Favianna Rodriguez, like many  other Chicana artists, is not only an artist but an activist and I like the way she incorporates powerful messages into beautiful art works that catch viewers' attention. I also really enjoyed working on my sketchbook because I did not think I would ever be able to draw a decent hand and slowly I see improvements in my work. It is fun to be able to express yourself and be creative and then see the finished product.

Final Post

I am happy to come away from this class knowing having learned to sketch objects, and being able to recognize what those objects are. I used to have trouble drawing stick figures, and now I can draw a decent hand. It was a good experience to get into drawing mode and have it be relaxing. Drawing hands without putting too much pressure on myself became a way to cope and deal with small, everyday stresses. This was true especially with having a completed sketch book to show for a sense of accomplishment.

It was an incredibly positive experience to learn about and get to know the art of various "Chicana artists." I was moved by our guest speaker Carissa Garcia and her mother's experiences in creating murals and activist art. It's incredible that people can be so hateful and oppressive that they destroy someone's artwork. Especially when all it is is someone expressing their voice, and what they are experiencing on a daily basis (Las Mujeres Muralistas del Valle/the vandalism of their mural on farmland).

I enjoyed the student presentations and the different styles of art work by various Chicana artists. My favorites were Camille Rose Garcia and Jeaneen Carlino. Garcia interested me because of her pop surrealism style, and her attention to issues that plague the entire planet (such as our complacency and vanity). Carlino's art work are pieces that were fun (aesthetically pleasing) to look at, and she included more blatant messages in hers such as the word "Resist." When a culture that is looked at as a minority makes their voices heard, I now see a tendency to view those voices as controversial. It is important to resist attempts to silence our experiences, and to claim our rightful place as Americans.

Week 10

There is much to reflect as this class comes to an end. I would never have thought that I would be able to draw hands and actually have them look like hands. I was also surprised on how proud and influential some of the Chicana artist mentioned in the class were for me. Carmen Lomas Garza was by far my favorite Chicana artist and it was very interesting reading a book over her life and artwork. At the beginning of the quarter, I could not name one Chicana artist. Frida Kahlo was the first artist that popped into my mind during the activity and I learned that day that Frida was not considered a Chicana artist, but she was a Mexican artist. Now, some of the artist that I can recall that have been most interesting to me are Yolanda Lopez, Judy Baca, Sonya Fe, Camille Rose Garcia, Isis Rodriguez, Laura Alvarez, Annie Lopez, Margarate Garcia, Alma Gomez, Laura Aguilar, Favianna Rodriguez,  and, of course, our instructor Alma Lopez. It was definitely amazing having this subject taught to us by a Chicana artist, which I would never have the chance to have had this experience in my old community college. Chicana art can not be specifically classified to be recognizable to one thing but is comprised of many things and aspects. There is no “norm” when it comes to Chicana art.

W10-Final Post-Review

      Before this class i didn't have any knowledge of what chicano art was and the many many artist that are behind some amazing murals and paintings. Not only that but the history behind the Virgen de Guadalupe.. I think it hope my eyes to new ways of seeing the culture and to embracing it with a new perspective. I took this painting that shows that we aren't a minority and as a Latina born in the U.S i think is important to not feel under represented when theres is so much pride and values in our culture.
    I really want to thank this class to help me realize the we have so much to offer and that many are fighting to keep our culture alive. I really enjoy the passion each and one of the guess speakers have towards painting and just being chicano artist in our communities. I mean they have to go through great lengths to have their work presented and recognize. it truly remarkable and very motivating. I now know more artist and now i can appreciate more paintings,stencils, photographs and murals ...THANKS FOR AND AMAZING CLASS MS.LOPEZ GASPAR.

Week 10: Final Post

Chicana Art and Artists with Lopez-Gaspar exposed me to a variety of different concepts that I was not familiar with before. I learned about how many Chicana artists reveal the struggle of oppressed women living in a patriarchal, heterosexist and discriminatory, racist society through their art. Many of the artists we explored reclaimed Mexicana cultural figures to end entrenched ideologies of gender roles and unjust power dynamics. I enjoyed learning about the investigation around the reconstructions of La Virgen de Guadalupe, La Llorona and La Malinche. My favorite part of the class, however, was when we had the opportunity to draw in our sketchbooks. Growing up, I always believed that I was never going to learn how to draw or paint. In this class, I was able to call myself an artist after long hours of practice and drawing hands. I thought it was very impressive how we were all able to name various Chicana artists in our last class meting in comparison to the first day of class. I really enjoyed the student presentations because we all were able to learn about more talented artists. Overall, I felt many that the experiences that Chicana artists experienced were similar to many of our experiences as students of color. 

Reflecting Post

In the beginning of the quarter, I went into class not knowing anything about Chicana artists and even less about the subjects of their art. I remember sitting in class having to write artist, and all of the ones I could think of were male artists, with the exception of Frida Kahlo. It was then when I realized how limited by knowledge was about the art field. However, as the weeks went by I was more exposed to different Chicana artists and their artwork. I learned what made their art unique not only as Chicana artists but from one another. Each one's artwork is an expression towards social and political justices. It is a way of speaking against the racism and stereotypes that have oppressed them historically. It is their way of defining who they are in a dominant discourse where they are usually ignored. All of the Chicana artists we studied in class were influenced by their culture, their families, and their personal experiences to a certain extent and use all of these to create unique artistic pieces that embraces who they are as Chicana woman. Slowly I learned more and more about Chicana artwork and their dedication to identifying themselves as Chicana woman. Learning about them and their art inspired me when creating by art book because similar to them I was able to express my personal life through the different drawings and sketches. However, in the beginning it was little difficult creating some of these images, but I saw them improve as the weeks progressed. Finally, on the last day of class I realized that I learned so much about Chicana artists and their unique artistic interpretation. Not only was I able to list more Chicana artists than I did in the beginning of the quarter, but I also had a better understanding of each one of their arts and what they represented.

Week 10: Final Post

When signing up for courses, I found the course name interesting which led me to enroll. However, once I saw the syllabus, I almost dropped the class. I was afraid of having to draw since I have never been very good at drawing nor had I really drawn anything for school since middle school, over ten years ago. 

I found the beginning of class very interesting, especially when discussing La Virgen de Guadalupe. Aside from a brief lesson during my Mexican history class, I had never really learned about her as I did not grow up in a religious environment. From the images we saw of hers in class, my favorites are “Our Lady” and “Lupe y Sirena.” When we saw them in class, I immediately became fascinated with them and showed a few friends, although to my naïve surprise, not all of them found them very tasteful. I went on google and searched for more Virgen de Guadalupe art and ended up finding some I really liked. Some that stood out to me from my google search were “Goddess” by Alfred J. Quiroz and “Pray for our Sinners” by Elrod among others. I also enjoyed learning about La Malinche and La Llorona through a different perspective. Normally, they are made out to be villains, but there's a lot more to them than the myths and folk stories our friends and family members told us growing up. 

Once we began using our sketchbooks, the fear of drawing left me. Although life outside of class is hectic, drawing in class became a stress-reliever. It really helped me clear my mind. Surprisingly, my drawing skills improved, I learned new techniques, and learned a lot about the artists presented in class. I plan on doing some sort of artwork during winter break. I can't wait. These artists not only influenced me in the “art” section of class, but their ideas have also impacted me such as those of Delilah Montoya, Isis Rodriguez, and others. I’m really going to miss this class.  

Week 10: Final Post

Final Blog Post:

Throughout these ten weeks, i was able to acquire a lot of information about various Chicana Artists and what has inspired them to express themselves through their art. On the first day of class I didn't even know the name of a single Chicana artist but throughout this course and listening to various presentations I was able to learn about several different artists. I also noticed that La Virgen de Guadalupe is a reoccurring character that plays a role in the majority of Chicana Art. It was very enjoyable and interesting to be able to learn about a symbol that is very important and essential in the Chicana/o community. I also enjoyed being able to incorporate our artistic ability by drawing several images in our art-book throughout the week. Also, learning about Chicana cultural symbols: La Malinche, La Llorona, and Mother Mexica was a very interesting experience. I especially love the story or myth behind La Llorona.

I learned a lot of intersting techniques as we were supposed to draw four hands a week. I had never done anything so repetitive before, so it really allowed me to grasp the ability of drawing hands in different variations of the alphabet.

Last Blog Post

Reflecting back on the beginning of the quarter I can truly say that I did not know much about Feminism. More so I was more interested in learning more about the Art that came out during the Chicana/o Movement. There is so much art in L.A. and I wanted to take it all in as part of the L.A. culture that I have become to love. Little did I know that this course would open the door to women political, feminist visions. A gateway to understanding the history of sexism in our religion, culture and society. I now feel more inspired to communicate to others how I see myself as a Chicana woman  and how I want to be treated. (In other words to be recognized for who I am and who I want to be, not to be constrained by the societal forces that limit women's opportunities.) I am taking a lot from this class as I am now understanding a lot more the icons that I see ubiquitously in the work of Latinas/os. I can now draw from the emotions that the artists needed to go through to create such work and I now know how to appreciated the personal work of others.

The highlights of the class in my opinion were presentations of the artists from the students and the actual artists such as Laura Alvarez. It was a treat to be able to hear the personal struggles and personalities that the artists' also come with. It is wonderful to see the art all by itself but much more enjoyable when we can hear the artist talk about their work personally and how they got the ideas to create visual political statements. All in all I really enjoyed the class and have been recommending it to my friends. In addition I plan to continue drawing as this class has proven that having a sketch book provides me the outlet to draw and release the tension that tends to build up from long arduous days of studying.

Final Blog

Interestingly, I decided to take this class on a whim super last minute and I am glad that I did. Going into the quarter, I had no idea what to expect, considering that this happened to be one of my first art classes I have ever taken in my life. I have had friends who have warned me about taking any art classes at the university level. They would tell me they were extremely boring art history classes and that there is no element of actually learning how to create art. It was such a lovely surprise when I found out that we were going to get to draw as a part of the class element!

Taking away from this class, I was not only able to improve my hand sketching skills, but also was able to learn about some extremely important women who are detrimental to the representation of Latinas and are phenomenal artists. I learned about their versions of history through their unconventional art work and I am grateful to have learned about them. I am not an artist and I know seldom about other artists but thanks to this class, I can name at least ten Chicana artists off the top of my head. Some of my favorite artists were Yolanda Lopez, Laura Alvarez, and Carmen Lomas Garza. These women revealed to me a whole new side of understanding art. I indulged in the idea that an illustration is not always what it seems to be blatantly depicting. There is always a hidden meaning behind most art works and I’ve learned to find the fun in looking for it. I had such a great time in this class, thank you!

Final Blog Post

Prior to taking this course, I had no knowledge on Chicana Art and Chicana Artists. So, when we were asked to name artists we knew, I could only name the well-known American and European artists; however, now I am proud to say that I can name several artists and even explain their art works to others. Through our art presentations, I even found my favorite Chicana artist, Liliana Wilson, who I presented on. Over the 10 weeks, I have learned a lot about Chicana Art. I have learned that Chicana Art is not only an art, but also a form of art that tells a story. That has meanings, especially personal stories of artists’ themselves and their family, which I found very interesting. Throughout taking this course, I am glad that I also got to learn about Chicana culture and the important figures in their lives, such as La Virgen de Guadalupe. Living in Los Angeles, I have seen La Virgen several times, but did not really know who she was and what she meant to people, but learning about her in class got me to understand the meaning of La Virgen and I learned to appreciate such figure living among us. Overall, I really enjoyed taking this course and I believe this is my favorite course at UCLA so far! I loved learning about Chicana Artists and their art works and I especially enjoyed creating our art project books. Drawing and painting really did take my mind off the stressfulness in my life, and I learned I am actually not that bad in drawing! Thank you for a great quarter Professor Lopez J

Week 10 Reflection

Before enrolling in this class I knew I loved art. I had taken several art history classes in community college and visited a couple of museums here in LA. I was always fond of Renaissance art and never appreciated modern art, especially Chicana art. Every time I would see work done by a Chicana/o artist I felt that they were nowhere near as good as the likes of Caravaggio or Jan Van Eyck. I mainly looked at the content on the surface, never once thinking about the meaning. When I enrolled I thought I would not like learning about art I felt wasn't good. However, as the weeks progressed and as we learned about each artist, their work, and their motivation, I had grown to appreciate that art. I eventually stopped comparing these artists to the artists of the Renaissance because I learned that art I like should not be the standard at which I judge all other works. Some of the styles and art in this class I didn't find aesthetically pleasing, but I appreciated the meaning and the dedication that artist had. Chicana art is special because it can be used as a protest, a lesson, a sharing of a memory, and a variety of other things. 
The artist I presented on, Sandra de La Loza, had some pretty interesting works. If I had never researched her I wouldn't know about the history, specifically queer history, my hometown holds. Now when I pass by those buildings like Klub Fantasy, I imagine what one night was like. I also learned about the history behind La Virgen de Guadalupe who has been a prominent figure in my neighborhood and the beginning of my life. I truly am grateful for having learned such amazing things in this class and I thank professor Lopez Gaspar De Alba for having taught us.

Final Blog Post

This quarter, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a history and art form that I was not aware of previously. Before this class, I was unfamiliar with La Virgen de Guadalupe, and all of the work she influences in Chicana Art. Like most people, 10 weeks ago, most of the artists I was familiar with were white, European males. However, the majority of artists I know now are from Chicanas. I have always been intrigued with Latin culture, and this class taught me the significant meaning behind social and political art, behind different perspectives of Chicanas. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world, and I am happy that I had the honor to be taught by Professor Lopez.

In addition, before this class drawing terrified me and I did not know what I was getting myself into by enrolling in this class. Drawing hands might have been one of the most difficult things I endured in this class. However, with thy help of Professor Lopez and my will power, I conquered my fear of drawing hands, and I feel that I made tremendous improvement through out the quarter, look at my sketchbook for proof.  I actually want to get a second sketchbook and draw for fun to aid in relieving my stress next quarter. I truly enjoyed this class and I am so upset is has to come to an end.