|About the Book|
This dissertation explores the creation and exhibition of art created by the Chicana author about her aunt, Lisa Ann Rodriguez, who was murdered by her husband in 1979 in Robstown, Texas. Conversations with family members, diaries, letters,MoreThis dissertation explores the creation and exhibition of art created by the Chicana author about her aunt, Lisa Ann Rodriguez, who was murdered by her husband in 1979 in Robstown, Texas. Conversations with family members, diaries, letters, photographs, as well as documents such as the autopsy and police reports, provided the inspiration for the art. Ten pieces of art were created: 1 postcard, 4 paintings, 4 installations and 1 digital film. The exhibit first took place in New York City at the 2/20 Gallery in Chelsea in the fall of 2007, and later at the Guadalupe Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas, in early 2008. This project is grounded in women of color feminist theory, specifically the work of Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga in texts such as Borderlands (1987), This Bridge Called My Back (1981) and This Bridge We Call Home (2002). Gutierrez discusses how this project emerged as a result of the author/artist developing a woman of color consciousness while it also contributes to the continuing development of that consciousness. She uses this project as an example of how the life experiences of women of color inform not only their own survival strategies when facing racism, classism or sexism, but the survival strategies of other women who are able to relate to their stories. She points to the visual arts as an effective means for accessing, preserving and transmitting the memories, and ultimately worldviews, of those who are underrepresented in the dominant culture. Gutierrez also reflects on the issues of Chicana authenticity that arose when the exhibit moved from New York to Texas. The author/artist ultimately explores how the visual and written forms of this dissertation contributed to her own, her familys and her communitys healing. She advocates for the inclusion of this type of creative and critical work inside and outside the academy as a means for making connections across that divide to link diverse communities.