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Two New Exhibits at RAM Explore Ancient History and Contemporary Events

Image used for illustration purposes. – Courtesy photo

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) proudly presents Sandy Rodriguez: Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón and Kathryn Clark: Refugee Stories, running November 4, 2018–January 27, 2019, with a free, open-to-the-public Opening Reception on Sunday, November 4, 2018, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

With the Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain (a 16th-century ethnographic research study in Mesoamerica by the Spanish Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún) at its core, the Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón, is a series of bioregional maps and paintings about the intersections of history, color, medicine, and culture.

Rodriquez spent 2017 in the field researching, testing, cross referencing, and producing artworks with Mexican and Pre-Colombian materials. She has painstakingly recreated colors indigenous to the Americas and painted on amate, a handmade paper made from the bark of wild fig and mulberry trees. Drawing heavily on Book 12 of the Florentine Codex, which documents the Spanish invasion and conquest of Mexico, Rodriguez makes powerful historical and visual linkages to present day ICE agents in helmets and body armor capturing residents and activists in communities and workplaces. She also examines scenes of Spanish vessels and weapons, and presents them as 2018 US Customs Border enforcement vehicles used to capture residents. These include unmanned drones, marine vessels, and land and air vehicles.

Inspired by the historical storyboard of the Bayeux Tapestry, Refugee Stories is a series of embroidery panels and works on paper that follow the journey of the Syrian refugees into Europe. The monumental scale of the crisis, the second largest mass migration in history, is documented in various points along the refugees’ journey out of Syria and into Western Europe. Each point along their journey was affected by geography: whether by sea or land, pastoral farmland or war-torn desert. Using international news stories, Google Earth, and numerical data from the United Nations, each panel pieces together the journey in one schematic map.

Exhibit-related programming

Artists Talk: 4 Threads Artists + Sandy Rodriguez 

Sunday, November 4, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Artist panel moderated by Robb Hernández, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of English, at the University of California, Riverside. Panel participants include 4 Threads artists Jaime Zacarias, Jamie Chavez, Jaime Muñoz, and Gerardo Monterrubio, as well as Sandy Rodriguez, whose exhibition, Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón, opens this evening, and CSUSB Assistant professor, Ed Gomez. This panel is sponsored by Latino Network.

Opening Reception

Sunday, November 4, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.Please join us for the opening reception of Sandy Rodriguez’s Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón and Kathryn Clark’s Refugee Stories, on Sunday, November 4, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Artist bios

Sandy Rodriguez 

A third-generation Chicana painter and educator, Rodriguez’s work investigates the methods and materials of painting across cultures and histories. Raised in San Diego, Tijuana, and Los Angeles, she received her BFA from Cal Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Intersection for the Arts, High Energy Constructs, Tropico de Nopal Gallery, The Avenue 50 Studio, Little Bird Gallery, Plaza de la Raza Boat House Gallery, and Coagula Projects. Rodriguez’s work was also included in the exhibition Chicanitas: ​Small​ ​Paintings​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Cheech​ ​Marin​ ​Collection that toured the U.S.

Kathryn Clark

Clark works in the traditional textile mediums of embroidery and quilting to document global societal issues ranging from the U.S. foreclosure crisis to international border controls. Clark was born and raised in the Deep South before moving to San Francisco in the 1990s. Her passion for the social benefits of urban planning led her to work for Peter Calthorpe, a visionary in the field of urban planning. She left the planning field in 2004 and shifted her passion of geography and mapping into her artwork. Her work has been widely exhibited across the U.S. and has been featured in several publications, including Quilts and Human Rights 2016, and Craft for the Modern World: The Renwick Gallery Collection 2015, as well as American Craft Magazine, Planning Magazine, Uppercase, and New American Paintings. Her work is in permanent collections at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, and the ACLU.




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