Boom Oaxaca: First-of-its-kind art exhibit opening at Arte Americas

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Boxes used to pack fruit are now transformed into colorful works of art as part of a powerful new exhibition at Arte Americas in downtown Fresno.

It's called Boom Oaxaca, and it aims to shine a light on some of the challenges indigenous people from the Mexican state face.

Tony Carranza, Creative Director of Boom Oaxaca, and part of the curatorial team says, "We are definitely touching on issues of migration, we are speaking on food sovereignty, indigenous sovereignty and the importance of protecting your language."

The exhibit features a wide variety of mediums - from portraits to books to video displays. It took three years to come to life, with research starting even before the pandemic.

The local curatorial team at boom Oaxaca worked with internationally known artists and with Oaxaqueños to portray their culture and community in an authentic and meaningful way.

It is something Executive Director, Ruth Saludes, is proud of.

"It's especially emotional when you meet the indigenous people who come through to see the exhibition, when they tell you their personal stories and they are a reflection of what is here," says Saludes.

Saludes says in the Central Valley, there are over 50,000 Oaxaqueños and more than 150,000 in California. Many of them immigrated from Mexico in recent decades, and are now farm workers.

"These are the people who are bringing food to our tables, so I think it is good for people to come and recognize, to see the artwork here that is so beautifully done," says Saludes.

She shares that Oaxaca has many languages, and Latino culture is full of color. You can see that diversity in the exhibition.

Lilia Gonzalez Chavez, Executive Director of Fresno Arts Council shares, "It will require you to come more than once to fully absorb its magic."

Arte Americas will hold a grand opening for Boom Oaxaca on Saturday, March 5, from 5 PM to 7 PM, admission is free on this day.

If you can't make it this weekend, the Boom Oaxaca Exhibition will be open Friday through Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm for the next six months until August 14th. Tickets are $5 and members get in for free.

Details on Boom Oaxaca can be found here.
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