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Exhibit tackles SB 1070 with art

Exhibit tackles SB 1070 with art

  • Updated
In "Maria," Pauline H. Pedregon highlights stereotypes attached to Hispanic women using brown-haired Barbies.

"Got Papers."

"Shades of Brown."

"What Do You Mean You're Mexican?"

"Don Jose Looking for a Better Life."

All of the above are titles attached to artwork at a timely new exhibit at Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery and Workshop.

Issues of racism, stereotyping, sexism, racial profiling, immigration, how we see each other and other socially conscious concerns are addressed in the exhibit in response to the passage of SB 1070, the state's new immigration law.

The Raices Taller exhibit - called "How Brown Am I?" - features about 64 pieces in mediums from photography to mixed media.

The hot-button issue of the Arizona immigration law is glaring in many of the pieces.

Pancho Medina doesn't deviate from SB 1070 in his untitled work, which is mixed media.

The ribs of a standing skeleton are painted green, white and red - the colors of the Mexican flag - and a red, white and blue knife is stabbed into the skeleton's chest.

A framed poster of the Virgen de Guadalupe stands on a square of artificial grass near the skeleton with "SB 1070" written across it.

Artist Cynthia Moreno's "Shades of Brown" piece takes a more simple approach.

Her canvas resembles a paint swatch and presents five shades of brown, with the darkest shade labeled "Joe Arpaio's Dirty Brown."

"It's one of the most simple pieces, but it says it all," said John Salgado, one of the founding members of the Latino-based nonprofit gallery.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is targeted in a separate piece, "Hey Joe," by Tucson muralist David Tineo.

Arpaio's chubby body is outlined in black in harsh brushstrokes, and the sheriff is depicted holding a doughnut in one hand and the American flag in his other hand.

"He's sitting here hiding behind the American flag and eating well," Salgado said.

Artist Cake MacKinnon's take on immigration involves a parasol and photocopies of old passports she has stained with coffee.

Her parasol is covered in passports of immigrants from Austria, Peru, Japan and other countries to show that immigration is an issue that stretches beyond Arizona.

It's titled "Shade."

"We all walk around under the shade of the people before us and their accomplishments," Salgado mused.

Pauline H. Pedregon strays from immigration and instead tackles stereotypes, specifically those attached to Hispanic women, in "Maria."

She used a vintage milk crate and a produce crate to build a shanty dollhouse to house brown-haired Barbie dolls.

The dolls wear black dresses and aprons, which are vintage doilies.

The words "Will cook," "Housekeeper," "Submissive" and "Will babysit" are among those inscribed on the walls of the house.

The exhibit is scheduled to run through July 24.

If you go

• What: "How Brown Am I?" exhibit.

• Where: Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery and Workshop, 218 E. Sixth St.

• Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday or by appointment.

• Cost: Free.

• Information: or 881-5335.

Contact reporter Andrea Rivera at or 807-8430.

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