La Mujer: A Tribute to Women
By the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB MACC)
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Caminos Application (Google Form) *deadline to apply is May 15th, 2023!
About the La Mujer Mural
The ESB MACC has officially inaugurated the La Mujer mosaic mural as a permanent outdoor art installation. It was created by participants in the ESB MACC's Caminos teen leadership program under the guidance of local muralist J Muzacz and Caminos coordinator Frederico Geib. This beautiful mosaic mural is truly representative of our MACC community. It has been installed as a permanent outdoor artwork at the Southeast corner of the MACC, at the edge of the property, by the Hike & Bike trail.
The mural was designed and created tile by tile to depict strong Latina leaders; mujeres that have inspired our teens to reach their greatest potential. Some of the iconic role models featured in the mural include Selena Quintanilla, Dolores Huerta, and Emma Barrientos. The mural celebrates their courage and success as trailblazers in art, music, and dance as well as their dual roles of activists, mothers, and community leaders.
Videos of the Mural Presentation, April 2023
Since the ESB MACC is closed to the public, the mural was presented to the public in a small ceremony on April 29th and livestreamed to our community via Facebook.
You can watch the 5-minute documentary about the mural! This video was created by of the artists, Bianca Olivares Reyes, who worked on the mural while she was a teen in the Caminos program and she now works as a graphic designer for the ESB MACC.
You can also watch the full video presentation, which is a recording of the ceremony that took place on April 29th, 2023. That ceremony & presentation includes heartfelt speeches and testimonials from many of the artists and mentors who played a role in the creation of this impressive mural. *Please fast-forward to the 4:49 minute mark to skip the wait screen on the video!
About the Caminos Teen Leaderhip Program
Do you know a teen ages 16-18 who would be interested in doing public artwork like this, while gaining valuable leadership skills and mentorship in the arts? Have them apply before May 15th, 2023 to the Caminos program! Its pays $20 per hour and the teens generally meet for several hours each Saturday for 10 months. This program does not interfere with school- it is designed to give a paid internship opportunity to young artists who have an interest in Latino/a/x/e art & culture.
Caminos Application (Google Form) ***apply before May 15th, 2023!
Artist Statement by the 2018-2019 class of Caminos Teens:
"After a few meetings doing research, brainstorming and discussing among ourselves, the Caminos class of 2018 have collectively decided to create a mosaic as a public artwork that will both honor and showcase the contributions of Latinx Women in both Austin; Texas and the whole United States. We strongly believe that this mosaic should be prominently featured in the ESB-MACC so that Austin citizens may find a moment in their routine to admire artwork that celebrates the beauty, the hardship and the accomplishments of our talented mujeres.
Too often people of color and specially Women have been written out of history as their accomplishments are overlooked and their efforts undermined, even though they have contributed significantly to the great richness of our country. That is why we are passionate about honoring their contributions at our community center.
The mosaic will be double-sided. One of the walls should face out towards the hike and bike trail (NW) and the other towards our building (SE). At first we will work and construct our design on to a special mesh which should later be easily installed onto a metal wall (metal steel sheet panels welded) designed to withstand the outdoors for several decades. The work should be around 24x4 feet.
Mujeres featured in the Mural:
The NW wall of the mosaic mural faces the hike and bike trail. Starting on the left we chose Dolores Huerta to be in the mosaic because we feel that she has not been represented enough for what she did. She worked alongside Cesar Chavez in the civil rights movement, but maybe because she is a woman she
didn’t get the coverage that she deserved and worked hard for. She is also not credited
for the motto “!Si se puede!” (yes we can!)
Next to Dolores Huerta will be a woman dancing baile folklorico, this represents the culture that the Mexican-American community has kept alive and that is very unique and full with life and color. The whole mosaic as a whole will be colorful, thus showcasing the life women bring into our vibrant culture.
Towards the center, there is a member of Flor de Toloache, which is an all woman mariachi band group. This goes against the patriarchal roles of a mariachi band. These women are a representation of the common woman that is breaking gender roles and tradition.
Going further down the mosaic you will see Sonia Sotomayor, who is the only Latina to be in the supreme court of the United States and is also the third woman on the supreme court. Putting her in the mosaic will represent the power that women have as well as the power Latinos/as have as a whole. We are powerful, we just have to get our voice out there, and she is a perfect representation of that.
Lastly, Selena Quintanilla will be at the far right. The reason she is in the mosaic is because Selena represented breaking gender roles in the Tejano Music industry, which is very male dominated; yet she persevered.
While the NW wall features a number of prominent Latinx figures, we decided to focus more on the concept of Women and Community in the wall facing our Zocalo. Women at large keep our families together and are vital for educating our youth and protecting our children. Keeping families strong and educated is something that is important more than ever. Children, specially young girls are prominently figured in this side. The pain of our immigrant families is also portrayed as throughout the last 40
years, a lack of common sense immigration policy has caused much pain and sorrow.
Finally, as we were looking to highlight the importance of education, we decided to included the figure of Emma S. Barrientos in the mosaic since she was a teacher. The center carries her name so we often wondered who she was. Now, visitors to our center will have a chance to glance at her portrait.
This mosaic portrays the spirit, the struggle and the resiliency of our Women to overcome socio-economic challenges both in Austin and throughout the nation. It also represents the change that is happening in our Latino community, which is shifting from a conservative background towards breaking certain traditions based on patriarchal views. Embracing the contributions of our women, our mamas, our abuelas, tias and
hermanas is a great way to celebrate the best in our communities.
Written by Brandon Muniz & the Caminos Class of 2018