Kudos logo


¡Qué Hermoso! Special Exhibition at Sedona Arts Center

Celebrating Latinx cultural identity and traditions

Ballet Folklorico by Emily Costello (Courtesy/SAC)

Ballet Folklorico by Emily Costello (Courtesy/SAC)

Originally Published: May 10, 2023 11:30 a.m.

Sedona Arts Center presents, ¡Qué Hermoso! a special exhibition showing from May 3 to 26 in the Special Exhibitions Gallery at the Arts Center. This unique exhibit features deeply moving imagery that celebrates Latinx cultural identity and traditions. Encompassing painting, drawing, printmaking, mixed-media, and photography, this vibrant exhibition highlights histories, familism, forgotten stories, and rich personal and collective experiences.

The exhibit features art by Marco Albarrán, Emily Costello, José Andres Giron, Noemí Alejandra Gonzalez, Gretchen Lopez, Gabriela Muñoz, Alejandro Soria, and Teresa Villegas and is sponsored by Isabel & David Simmer and AZ Humanities Council.

Marco Albarran is a Phoenix area based conceptual-multimedia artist whom interpretations highlight’s thematic-symbolic representations of pre- & post-Colombian cultures, life and histories.

“In my work, I seek to tell a story, to broaden on the knowledge of traditional-symbolic imageries, to reach for the uncharted contemporary interpretations, and to set some limits on the overextended narratives and inter-cultural manipulations,” he says. “Various types of influences within current historical narratives, provides me with a base for creative thought and intuitive re-construction.”

Emily Costello is a self-taught painter, printer and mixed media artist. Her art is inspired by her Mexican heritage, its cultural icons, imagery, and by the events that have shaped her life. Inspired by Mexican folk artists who make art from the heart and with whatever materials they have at hand, her mixed media and assemblages are created with found objects that are reassembled, reimagined and recreated into a new life and new meaning.

José Andrés Girón has been dedicated to art his entire life. Family and culture have influenced his choice of subject matter in deciding what is important to express in his art. His work almost always depicts the positive and the beautiful things of the Hispanic/Latino cultura.

In 2015, he was honored by the Victoria Foundation as a recipient of the “Arizona Higher Education Award” for his contribution to the community in Art and Culture.

Noemí Alejandra Gonzalez is a first-generation Xicanita storyteller. She works in Mexico and the US southwest focusing on personal identity narratives and social justice storytelling. She really likes clouds and finding faces in the mountains. Noemí is a member of Juntos Photo Coop, a contributing author to the Photo Bill of Rights, a 2022 Phoenix Art Museum featured artist, a 2022 Phoenix + Culture and National Endowment for the Arts grantee, and a 2020 grantee of Art d'Core Gala.

Gretchen Lopez is inspired not only by her love of painting, but from her ethnic heritage, teaching, and the world around her. After majoring in advertising and design, she went on to study fashion illustration at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, then finished out her studies at The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. As a tenth generation Native of California, Gretchen is a descendant of the First Spanish Settlers and the California Rancheros, with roots stemming from the Chumash and Apache, her work is inspired by this rich Ethnic Heritage.

Gabriela Muñoz is an artist whose work is rooted in her experiences as a migrant who lived in Arizona, undocumented, for more than a decade. A Latinx woman living in the Southwest, her practice is concerned with movements of social justice and racial equality. Her installations, printed works and collaborations function as a growing archive that documents stories and histories of individuals from communities that are under resourced and underestimated. An artist in service of other artists, Muñoz’s work as an arts administrator supports the development of BIPOC artists and culture bearers in the Southwest region through the development of artist-centric programs, grantmaking, and creative partnerships.

Alejandro Soria, a visual artist born in Mexico, studied graphic design and graduated from Universidad de Monterrey before earning a master’s degree at the Savannah College of art and Design in Georgia. In 2001, a successful brain surgery gave Alejandro a second shot at life, which ultimately led to the pursuit of painting.

Teresa Villegas is a visual artist, painter, printmaker, illustrator and graphic UI/UX designer, who’s skills are multi–disciplinary. Her work has been seen in galleries and museums throughout Mexico and the U.S.. Best known publicly for her paintings – such as her installation called "La Loteria: An Exploration of Mexico" and her public art terrazzo oor design "Light, Love, Life" at the Terminal 3 Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Villegas nevertheless feels: "The world is what you make it, it's about creating and connecting, it's about the natural world and people, intentions and actions founded in well-being and universal love."