Mexican Art Brings Families to Campus

"Emiliano Zapata, the Great Leader of the Revolutionary Peasant Movement" by Ignacio Aguirre, 1948. From the collection of Gil Garcia and Marti Correa de Garcia.

"Emiliano Zapata, the Great Leader of the Revolutionary Peasant Movement" by Ignacio Aguirre, 1948. From the collection of Gil Garcia and Marti Correa de Garcia.

Two Mexican-themed exhibitions and a free family festival come to the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art this spring. “Rafael Perea de la Cabada: Alien Heartland” and “Mexican Prints: Selections from the Gil Garcia and Marti Correa de Garcia Collection” go on display Feb. 23 through March 31. The exhibitions open with a free public reception Thursday, Feb. 23, from 4-6 p.m.

“Días de México: A Family Festival” continues this celebration of Mexico’s vibrant culture with a day of fun activities, crafts, music, dance, storytelling, food and more on Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in and around the museum. The event and most of the activities are free and open to families of all ages.

“Alien Heartland” offers a retrospective of Mexican-American artist Rafael Perea de la Cabada. Perea, who was born in Mexico City, spent the first half of his life in his native country before coming to California to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting at UC Santa Barbara. This exhibition includes drawings, prints, paintings and sculptures made in both countries, exploring themes of contemporary Mexican-American culture. Perea’s abstracted, expressive artwork is held in museum and private collections in California, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and several countries in Europe.

“Mexican Prints” showcases the holdings of local collectors Gil and Marti Correa de Garcia. The collection, which focuses on prints from the mid-20th century, emphasizes the vital graphic aesthetic of Mexico with work by artists including Francisco Toledo, Rufino Tamayo, Carlos Merida and others. Mr. Garcia is the lead architect of Garcia Architects and Advisors. He was a Santa Barbara city councilman for 10 years and has served on the boards of 90 non-profit organizations. He is on the board of Southern California Sister Cities International, past president of the United States/Mexico Sister Cities Association, and current president of the Santa Barbara/Puerto Vallarta Sister City Committee.

Mrs. Marti Correa de Garcia is the treasurer of the Santa Barbara/Puerto Vallarta Sister City Committee.

The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (805) 565­6162 or e-mail museum@westmont.edu.