Art meets identity

Tempe Center for the Arts presents Mixing it Up through Jan 28, 2012

During a recent afternoon at Tempe Center for the Arts, where Childsplay is currently performing “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,” I enjoyed some time in the Gallery at TCA, which currently houses an exhibit titled “Mixing it Up: Building an Identity.”

“Mixing it Up,” which runs through Jan 28, 2012, “celebrates and examines how works created by Mexican American artists are influenced by the cultures of both Mexico and the United States.”

Many of the works — which address “national identity, family and community and labor and border issues” — hail from the collection of the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University.

I was pleased to see that several families were exploring the exhibit, as well as the outdoor sculpture garden adjacent to the gallery. It’s a perfect exhibit space for introducing children and teens to diverse visual arts because of its small size and dedicated area for kid-friendly offerings.

See what you think after checking out the following sample of works currently exhibited at TCA, then head over to experience not only the gallery, but the center’s performing arts offerings and TCArt Shop as well.

The Gallery at TCA lets children see artwork up close in an intimate space…

Visitors discuss “One Little Indian versus the Corporate Trolls” by Laura Molina…

Several children explored the Gallery before seeing a Childsplay performance…

“Bicultural Table Setting” by Rolanda Briseno is on exhibit at the Gallery at TCA…

Every exhibit in the Gallery at TCA features a special area for young visitors…

This tabletop also sports materials for kids who want to make their own cards…

The “Mixing it Up” exhibit includes a collection of works by Vicente Telles…

This seating area includes several art books for those who want to learn more…

“Tribute to Chicago Football Heroes” by Larry Yanez exhibited near the entrance…

Works like “Undocumented” by Malquias Montoya stimulate lots of discussion…

Detail of “The Duck” by Frank Ybarra, one of many works that pop with color…

Admission to this exhibit is free. Click here to learn more.

— Lynn

Note: Join guest artists in the Gallery at TCA Thurs, Oct 13 from 7-8:30pm. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is free — but seating is limited. Call 480-350-5679 to learn more. Learn more about Childsplay at www.childsplayaz.org.

Coming up: Midsummer meets Arabian Nights, I-Spy: Sculpture style

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