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Sat, Oct 28



Carlos Lecanda “Las Catrinas” at Corky Gonzales Library~Opening

Iconic Mexican paper mache artist at Corky Gonzales Library to celebrate Dia de Muertos

Carlos Lecanda “Las Catrinas”  at Corky Gonzales Library~Opening
Carlos Lecanda “Las Catrinas”  at Corky Gonzales Library~Opening

Time & Location

Oct 28, 2023, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Denver, 1498 Irving St, Denver, CO 80204, USA

About The Event

In celebration of Dia de Muertos Recuerdos 2023 the Chicano Humanities Arts Council( CHAC) is pleased to announce a nine-month exhibition of Mexican artist Carlos Lecanda’s “ Las Catrinas”, at the Corky Gonzales Library, opening!

In collaboration with MSU Denver Chicana/o Studies Journey Through Our Heritage, CHAC, and the Community Library in Ketchum Idaho, six of Lecanda’s masterpieces will grace the Denver Library through April of 2024.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is “La Primas” a piece that was commissioned by the Community Library in Ketchum for their  2023 Winter Read. “Las Primas” is based on award-winning Denver author and MSU Denver alumni, Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s collection of short stories, Sabrina and Corina. A 2019 National Book Award finalist, the p]

namesake of for  book centered on two young cousins whose paths diverge but remain connected even after death. Lecanda’s Las Primas sculpture is based on these two main characters, depicting the primas as Catrinas. There is so much deeply ingrained symbolism throughout the piece that Lecanda prepared an accompanying handout to help viewers understand the complexity of the work.

Brenda Gurule, executive director of CHAC said, “We are so honored to bring this stunning collection to Denver. Carlos Lecanda is a master and this is the first time we have been able to host an international art exhibition in Denver. Each of his Catrinas has its own story, energy, and fashion style that represents different aspects of Mexican traditions.”

Gurule added “We are just thrilled to have “ Las Primas” as the focal point of the exhibition. Kali is a source of great pride for our whole community, not only has she gained international recognition as a writer, she grew up as a CHAC kid and is an MSU Denver alumni.  Imagine when young readers and adults walk into the library and see artwork by this famous Mexican artist depicting characters based on her book.”

Lecanda, a native of Guanajuato, Mexico, has made a name for himself as a master of traditional Mexican paper mache art. Growing up in Mexico City, Lecanda was heavily influenced by his father's artisanal work and honed his craft at art schools throughout the city. Now based in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Lecanda's art is a reflection of the diverse influences and techniques he has learned over the years. He specializes in creating intricate and vibrant catrinas, piñatas, paper flowers, and Quilling Art, a form of paper craft that involves rolling, shaping, and gluing strips He is enthusiastic about sharing and teaching traditional handicrafts from Mexico, as many of these traditions are slowly disappearing.

“I hope that my art can inspire the community to see the world in a new way and to connect with each other on a deeper level,” said Carlos. “I believe that art has the ability to foster empathy, understanding, and connection, and I would love to see my exhibit inspire more conversations and interactions between people of different cultures and backgrounds.”

Lecanda’s other pieces on display at the Corky Gonzales Library include: La Niña Fresa, this Catrina embodies strength and grace, standing tall with her head held high. Her poised posture conveys self-assurance and body positivity, inspiring others to embrace their own unique qualities and individuality; La Guapa Orgullosa, inspired by the voluptuous women of Sinaloa, this Catrina represents the richness and fertility of tropical lands; Flores de Amor, in her vintage evening gown, is a reminder of elegant timelessness; La Mujer Rosa, This exquisite Catrina, based on the traditional Mexican Charro, is a stunning tribute to the evolution of Charro fashion. With its contemporary color scheme, the art piece is a departure from the classic black are associated with Charros; La Chara is the masterpiece of the collection showcasing in minute details  the traditional gala charro suit in all its splendor. From the elegant hat to the sophisticated, crisp button-down jacket, and refined vest Lecanda utilized various techniques to bring this creation to life.

Lecanda’s son Carlos, said “ My father and our whole familia are thrilled to be able to bring his collection of Las Catrinas to Denver. We plan on visiting the mile high city in the spring to connect with the community and host workshops.”

The exhibition is free and open to the public.

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