September 6, 2008—September 28, 2008
A collection of wall hangings known as cuadros will be on display September 6 through 28 in the Suraci Gallery. Cuadros are hand-sewn cloth pictures showing life in the barrios, or shantytowns, of Lima and depicting memories of harvests and markets in the villages of the AndesMountains. A recent form of popular art, the pictures first appeared in Peru in the 1970s, in a pueblo joven, or young town, called Pamplona Alta. The town makes up part of a vast ring of shantytowns surrounding Lima, where people live in houses made of straw mats, cardboard, wood and scraps of metal. Despite the poor conditions, women artisans have ingeniously transformed scraps of material intolively and heroic narratives. The work allows the women to provide sustenance and support for their families, as well as to document their life conditions and daily struggles. The cuadros continue to reveal, beneath their brilliant colors and playful exterior, the beauty, intensity and darkness of life in Peru; they are texts of courage, solidarity, and survival.
This exhibit is presented inconjunction with the citywide celebration of Interdependence Day and the panel presentation at Marywood University, Imagining an Interdependent World: Art as a Language for Justice. The panel takes place in the Suraci Gallery at 7 PM on September 11th. It is presented by three knowledgeable women: Rebecca Davis, theologian; Roya Fahmy-Swartz, founder of a local foundation for art and teaching tolerance;and Sr. Donna Korba, Immaculate Heart of Mary, artist and director of Justice and Peace for the IHM Congregation. We invite you to attend the panel presentation, and welcome you to the exhibit, that is supplemented extensively with photographs and information about the cuadros and the skilled women who created them.
The Suraci Gallery is located in the Visual Arts Center on the 2nd floor.Admission to the gallery is free and open to the public seven days a week. Gallery hours are Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM; Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 AM to 8 PM; and weekends from 1 to 4 PM. For further information or directions, contact the Marywood University Art Department at (570) 348-6278, or www.marywood.edu/www2/galleries.
Few travelers or tourists will ever visitPamplona Alta, though it lies only a few kilometers south of Lima. A small link in the vast chain of poverty that surrounds the Peruvian capital, this pueblo jovenor young town is home to over three hundred thousand people. The pueblos are collections of the poorest people, often displaced by terrorism and poverty from villages in the Andes. With unemployment near 80%, people have few sources of income.Women often shoulder both the burdens and responsibilities of the society. Their homes are usually without plumbing, water, or electricity and provide little protection against the cold, wind, or damp. Most of the day is spent providing for basic necessities, cooking, washing, child care. Their constant battle against hunger and illness consumes much of life. In this situation of political chaosand economic deprivation women are driven to action and collaboration. They work together because their very survival depends on it, and one example of this has been the making of cuadros.
In the little free time they have, women come together to make these hand sewn pictures that express their lives and the Peruvian reality. The women who make them are drawn by economic need as well as by adesire to show something of their situation. They gather in workshops, ortallers, and in homes. In the tallers the women work together, discuss possible themes, and enjoy and critique each other's work. These places are full of lively conversation; while each woman works on her own piece, ideas and themes are freely shared and borrowed. The workshops, rather than the individuals, develop a style and...