Event Reflection


For this reflection, I will be talking about the Histories We Carry exhibit. It was an

amazing experience, and I was able to relate to many of the art works there. For the first part of

the exhibit, the artwork that stood out to me was A Mi Vida, created by Kukuli Velarde. The

significance behind this piece has to do with her daughter and the separation of immigrant

children from their families. Though we did not really touch upon this topic much in this course,

that is not to say that it is not a problem that still occurs today. I feel that this topic is not really

touched upon, even within the media, so I thought it was amazing to see this artwork being

displayed in this exhibit. The artwork is displayed with a stroller and two babies, with their own

details to symbolize the message it is sending to the audience. One baby has the face of the fish

like a mask over its face, along with a fish tail. The second baby is holding a heart and there

seems to be mosquitoes on its face. In my opinion, the way I would interpret this symbolization,

I would say it has to do with the struggles of the Latinx community during COVID-19 and the

importance of being a mother. I also thought it was interesting to mention that the babies seem to

be made from clay and were handmade.

For the second portion of the Histories We Carry exhibit, we were able to see many of

Estelle Maisonett’s artworks. There were two that stood out to me. The first one was called

Tracing Roots, the description of this artwork is the following: parents sitting on a couch in their

Bronx apartment, a shelf with three books about the Bronx burning era, Puerto Rican liberation

and Mexican American history. There are many other important details to note as well. What

really stood out to me was the detail of clothing because my parents seem to depict the same

‘style’. The random mix of brands like Nike, COVID masks with designs, school merchandise,

and many other random articles of clothing. Something else that also stood out to me was the

burnt American flag under Maisonett’s mother’s foot, a sign of symbolism. In my opinion, I

think that it symbolizes how the United States of America has not done much to help the Latinx

community or the feeling of betrayal. The use of personal objects and archival materials really

adds to the symbolism too, with dense details and giving it life. The second one was called

Ventana de Luz, which was a commemorative portrait of Maisonett’s grandmother Luz who sold

pasteles, coquito, limbe, and icy’s from her window in Hunt’s Point, Bronx, NY. Something

interesting to mention as well, is that during the exhibition, viewers would toss money into the

pull up bucket displayed on the artwork piece. The bucket read, “Dinero Aqui.” This connects to

now in days too. I remember when I was young, I would get waken up by the elotero man

announcing that he was selling tamales. Even in my neighborhood, there are many eloteros

selling elotes, esquites, tamales, champurados, horchata and many other varieties of foods.

Overall, attending this exhibition was an interesting and fun experience. I was able to

connect with many of the artworks there and see the message that was being sent out to the

viewers.

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