Nepantla: Spaces of Transformation

Nepantla: Spaces of Transformation art exhibition takes place in tandem with El Mundo Zurdo 2016: Nepantla—Theories and Practices, International Conference on the Life and Work of Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Nepantla: Spaces of Transformation on view at Galeria EVA 3412 S Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78204.

Opening Reception – Friday, November 4, 2016 from 6p-10p

Exhibition on view from Friday, Nov. 4th, 2016 – Sunday, Dec. 18th, 2016

Exhibit Curators: Anel I. Flores and Sarah Castillo



Sydney Acosta

Diana Alvarez

Jessica Arana

Jacqueline Herranz Brooks

Audrya Flores

Ruby De La Fuente

Teresita de la Torre

Celeste De Luna

Anel I. Flores

J. Lupe Galván

Ramona Garcia

Suzy Gonzalez

joey lopez

Jason Eric Gonzales Martinez

Yvette Mayorga

Josie Méndez-Negrete

Ashley Mireles

Andra Ramirez

Veronica Anne Salinas

Cynthia Velásquez

Sarita Westrup

Liliana Wilson

David Zamora Casas

Nepantla: Spaces of Transformation| Opening Reception Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 6-10 pm | Exhibit Dates Friday, November 4, 2016— Sunday, December 18, 2016 | @ Galeria E.V.A. | 3412 S Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78204


Sarah Castillo, Lady Base Gallery | |

Anel I. Flores | 210.316.7029 | |

Changing Perspectives

Disabled or specially-abled? Improvements in quality of life and support for children with disabilities allow families to aim higher and attain more for their children who are flourishing in ways never seen before. In Changing Perspectives, occupational therapist Lydia Hernandez works to provide a platform for parents to present a diversified frame of reference that counteracts society’s limiting perspective of raising children with disabilities. Through visual art, parents and their children provide an insight into what truly matters in their life: love, appreciation, and a dedication that is shared amongst their support network.

Opening reception, Sat. October 8, 2016 from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
AP Art Lab 1906 S. Flores San Antonio

Tianguis Nepantla: mordidas, mercado, y musica. Celebrating the life of Gloria E. Anzaldúa.


Tianguis Nepantla: mordidas, mercado, y musica celebrates the life of Gloria E. Anzaldúa – poet, writer, and cultural theorist from Texas’ Rio Grande Valley  (September 26, 1942 – May 15, 2004) with a silent auction, a mercado, spoken word, and a performance with Lourdes Pérez and Azul Barrientos. This is a fundraising event with proceeds going to the UTSA Women’s Studies Institute for support of El Mundo Zurdo 2016: NEPANTLA—Theories and Practices International Conference on the Life and Work of Gloria E. Anzaldúa. This conference works to provide a space to continue Anzaldúa’s vision and passion.

Conference registration will be available too.

More Conference Information Here: UTSA Women’s Institute

Tianguis Nepantla: mordidas, mercado, y musica

$10 at the door  (Cash or Credit)

Saturday, September 24, 2016


La Botanica

2726 N St Mary’s St

San Antonio, TX 78212

Coordinated by Anel I. Flores, Cristina Martinez of Very That,

and Sarah Castillo of Lady Base Gallery.


Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In


Arlene Mejorado
Soft Opening: Friday, Sept. 9th. 6:30p. Artist Talk at 7pm.
Second Saturday: Saturday, Sept. 10th. 7pm
Closing: Saturday, Sept 24. 2-4pm
Exhibition Dates: September 9 – September 24
C0-curated by r. l. rodriguez and Lady Base Gallery
Hosted by R Space and Alex Rubio
110 E. Lachapelle, San Antonio, Texas 78204

A Fotoseptiembre event, Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In presents an ongoing photographic documentation project by photographer, Arlene Mejorado. This visual series centers working class communities of color in San Antonio, Texas. The exhibition captures people that exist outside of pop culture and defy the discriminating visual consumption. Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In articulates the connection Mejorado has to California; which informs her observations in San Antonio. With this exhibit, she works to bring visibility to the daily resiliency, thriving communities, and vibrant beauty that Mejorado believes is the true beating heart of San Antonio. As a self-trained photographer with an urban style developed in the streets of Los Angeles, Guest Curator r.l. rodriguez and Lady Base Gallery are proud to present Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In, an ongoing ethnographic project.

Pulga Portraits reflects the visitors of the Poteet Flea Mart, located in the southwest side of San Antonio. This series documents the people that partake in the outdoor market culture, visually rich scenes intertwined with labor and social engagement. The outdoor market, in any society, is an energetic vortex of bursting life; serving as the beating heart of both social order and chaos. Pulga Portraits works to bring together the fragments of pulga moments, people, and the significance of these spaces in our lives.

 Visit Fotoseptiembre USA Website

According to Mejorado, “As a transplant in San Antonio I feel culturally tied to the pulga and its people. I feel connected to the children that sit on the sidelines waiting for their parents to finish making their last deal. The pulga is a representation of home and sparks a connection to my mother. My mother’s weekend trips to swap meets were always an opportunity for me to have her by my side while consuming energetic social spaces with my observant eye as a child. Growing up I associate the flea market with quality time spent with my mother. Before I ever held a camera, my eyes were the camera; talking visual memories. My mother had a puesto (flea market booth) that was small and very busy during the holidays. I never wanted to leave. I always wanted to hang out with her and watch her interact with the senoras from the neighboring puestos. When I walk through outdoor markets in San Antonio, Mexico City, Nicaragua, El Salvador, or anywhere else in the world; I feel at home. The pulga is a rhythm of life that I understand. I am in my element and I feel accepted. I feel safe with the old men that drink beer and people watch. I feel encouraged by the moms that are there to relax and let their children play.”

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Artist Biography:
Born and raised in northern Los Angeles, Arlene Mejorado is a photographer, filmmaker and multi-media artist currently working out of San Antonio, Texas. Growing up as a millennial with a transnational, diasporical, and multi-ethnic experience, she came to understand her existence through the local punk scene, Latin American regional music, and hip hop social & cultural spaces. At the age of 21, she discovered her love of photography while travelling. She received a degree in Latin American Studies / Communications from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently pursuing new academic and creative endeavors. Her research interests are diasporic communities in the U.S., racial experiences in society, gender, migration, and hybrid cultural & musical formations.

In 2013, Arlene co-founded Mujeres en Medio, a women-of-color-centered media platform for stories and visual expression. She is the editor and curator of Óptica, a women-based photography zine. She has worked on special digital media archival projects at the Human Rights Documentation Initiative, El Salvador’s Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen, Self Help Graphics & Art, and San Anto Cultural Arts. Her documentary film was featured in Germany’s 2015 Filminitiativ festival within the African Diaspora category. Currently, Arlene is preparing for her first solo exhibit in collaboration with Lady Base Gallery at R Space in San Antonio. Website

Curator Biography:
r. l. rodriguez has been active in the performance and visual art world in tejas, Califas and Mexico for over 15 years such as curating and leading The Rubber Rose Gallery in San Diego,California. r. l. rodriguez is the guest curator for Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In.
Lady Base Gallery.
An initiative to support the creative practices of Women and the LGBTQIA artistic community since 2012.
Lady Base Gallery would like to thank to thank Alex Rubio for hosting Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In, at his gallery – R Space. 
FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA International Photography Festival.
Every year during September, in the San Antonio/Hill Country Metro Area.

Frida Siempre: Presenté

Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter, continues to be admired by so many people around the world. Born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacán, Mexico her life was a unique self-creation. To this day, many of us continue to be mesmerized and inspired by her paintings, her poetry, and her fashion.  To honor her spirit, the Frida Festival Committee will host Frida Siempre: Presenté Saturday, July 9th, 2016, from 6pm-11pm. This is the first annual Frida Festival is a free- family-friendly, indoor event that will take place at the Brick Marketplace located at 108 Blue Star, in San Antonio, Texas to celebrate Frida’s ongoing legacy and presence in our lives and in our art. Attendees can expect to experience a salon-style art gallery, handmade mercado, fashion, DJ, performances, a photo booth, & culinary traditions to honor the legacy of Frida Kahlo; with talents such as El Tallercito de Son SATX, Grupo Folklorico de Bendiciones, designers Agosto Cuellar and Gennifer Erika Velasquez and more!

The following artists will be exhibiting their work in a salon style gallery show in conjunction with the Frida festival happening Saturday, July 9, 2016.

Vivian R Quevedo of Estudio Morado

Olivia Luna

Giovanna Diz Zurita of Giovanna Diz Zurita Gallery

Maria Duran

Nell Rice

Audrey Ballinger

Jessica Taylor Sepulveda

Monica Delacruz-Walker of Viva

Sofia Dabalsa of Sofia Dabalsa Studios

Jeannine Leal

Liliana Ramirez

Olivia Perillo of OliviaLight creations

Masi of Kitty Masi – Murals and Original Art


Fernanda Quezada of The Colors of Me

Yolanda Rios Wurgler of Yolanda’s Studio

Alejandra Garza of Le Vent Arts

Elvia Franco

Carole Som of Catrina Dolls

Fernanda Balandra

Natalie Alvarez

Michelle Pauken

Karen Faye Alvarez

Rebecca Marie Gonzalez

Alison Sagebiel

Kayla Matta

Marisa Palacios of Marisa Palacios Art

Ashley Mireles

Leticia Tovar Onofre

Lizbeth Ortiz of East End Studio Gallery

Pat Jimenez of Mi Corazôn Artwerx

Kristel Puente of Kristel A Puente Photography

Janie McClinchie of Que Retro Arts

Mariza Gaona of Don Quixote Cafe & Press/2Funkychix

Isabel Ann Castro



Women Who Dare



Exhibition Dates: November 5 – November 27, 2015

The Carver Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry

Co-Curated by Anel I. Flores and Sarah Castillo

There is art in everything. Our home, our phone, our car, and even something as complex as our physical body. And, in the rat race that is life, there tends to be very little art that causes us to stop and implore the lines, functions, and story that lie within it. How Dare You? will exhibit works of art by San Antonio women artists who stimulate, provoke, and capture her viewers; allowing space for the movement and speed of the competing world to fall away.

Fourteen women photographers will be featured in the show: Claudia Zapata, Leticia Rocha Živadinović, Audrya Flores, Tk Tunchez, Raquel Zawrotny, Linda Arredondo, Kristel Puente, Kat Shevchenko, Stephanie Torres, Adriana Garcia, Maria Vasconcellos, Amanda Bartlett and Ashley Mireles.

Stephanie Torres. Take One. Just Begin. 2015.

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Take One. Just Begin. is an interactive art project that was inspired by my own creative struggles and the idea of waiting for the “perfect” moment to begin something new. In one of those moments, I read a quote by the Abstract Expressionist painter, Mary Abbott, describing what it was like for her as an art student in late 1940s New York: “First you had to learn to take a chance, a line, a brushstroke, or some dabs – and then keep pushing it so you’d know it was real.”

By letting go of the fear of the blank page and pushing through the paralysis of perfectionism, I created a series of abstract mixed media paintings. I then cut them down to create dozens of mini journals, each one representing my own willingness to take a risk.

With this project, I encourage the viewer to pause, take one of the journals, and immediately use it to make a mark, draw a line, write one word, a song lyric, a memory, a plan. Whatever it is they have been waiting for the perfect moment to start, I dare them to take one of these books and just begin.

Stephanie Torres is San Antonio, Texas based artist. Torres earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from Our Lady of the Lake University, where she specialized in painting and mixed media, She later studied Art History and Criticism at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Torres has been involved in the local art community for over 12 years as an artist, educator, and curator.

Kat Shevchenko. La Mystica. 2015.

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Old Masters mixed technique: oil paint over egg tempera/pigment/self made emulsion. 18” x 14”.

Being inspired by tragic personal losses I have started to meditate more fully on the fleeting essence of life in a way to accept its transitory nature and to celebrate the beauty of all its paradoxes.  My current body of work consists of narratives that are my own interpretation of the theme: memento mori (remember you will die).  My paintings feature symbolism from the natural world to in an effort to communicate the urgency of embracing the ephemeral moment.

Kat Shevchenko was born in San Antonio, Texas.  She studied Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA and painting at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  In 2006, she ventured to Austria to study the Old Master’s/mixed technique of painting with oils over egg tempera underpaintings.  She continues to explore this technique, driven by inspiration from the natural world, dreams and life experiences which are interwoven into a personal mythology that has influences ranging from surrealism to symbolism and at times infuses a delicate touch of dark humor.

Maria Luisa Carvajal de Vasconcellos. Tequila.

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In every one of my paintings, each woman is saying something. Behind everything I paints there is a reason, a story, a story of the woman, the hurt woman, the passionate woman. You will always find my brushes and my canvas slick and wet to the touch.  

I am a self-taught artist from San Anto’s West and South side, who used art as part of my healing process. After my 9-year depression that involved food deprivation, isolation, much silence and extreme pain, I was lifted by the story telling power of the paintbrush.  What began with a pencil and paper, during the second half of my life, has exploded into pulsating visions on canvas. Weaving settings such as San Antonio, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and Portugal together, I tells the tales of the Mujer, the woman – sometimes sweet, sometimes tragic and sometimes seductive.  

91 year old, Maria Luisa Carvajal de Vasconcellos was born in San Antonio Feb 11, 1924 on the South Side’s then Simpson Street, more commonly know today as Lone Star Street.  She spent 14 years on Simpson before the Great Depression hit and her mother, Reinalda Linares Leal Carvajal, and father, Athos Perez Carvajal, relocated the family to the West Side’s Alazan Courts. Vasconcellos attended Brackenridge High School until her senior year when she was awarded a vocal scholarship to attend the Incarnate Word College music school, but denied the opportunity upon realizing times at home were difficult. Instead, Vasconcellos dropped out of school and joined a government work program for students, where she soon after met her husband, Carlos Manuel Vasconcellos, a foreign student from Portugal.  After being married by the Justice of the Peace in 1955, the couple traveled throughout Latin America before calling Portugal their home. At the young age of 39, on October 1, 1964, she received tragic news that her beloved husband died in a car accident.  Immediately after his death, she returned to the United States only to fall into a deep depression. After being repeatedly admitted and discharged from the Santa Rosa psychiatric ward many times for 9 years her psychiatrist gave her only two choices for survival.  First, Vasconcellos would have to admit herself into the State Hospital and second, she would need to practice a hobby.  Her eldest brother refused the first order and instead took Vasconcellos to an art store where he would purchase her a few painting supplies. After their shopping her brother Joe went to her apartment and left her alone for the first time.  This day was the beginning of her art career.

Adriana M Garcia. Self Portrait. 2015.

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I create as a way to document the lives I’ve shared in, it provides a way to honor a person’s existence and make visible the marks they have imprinted upon me and the environment- a legacy left as well as those still to come. Intimacy abounds in lives encountered. I aim to extract the inherent liminality of a moment before action as a way to articulate our stories.

Adriana M Garcia, an award winning artist, muralist, and scenic designer. She has been invited to present and speak of her work at national conferences such as 2013 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS), the Roots and Remedies conference and el Mundo Zurdo. She has created community murals with SouthWest Workers Union, Bill Haus Arts, San Anto Cultural Arts Center and Casa de la Cultura in Del Rio, Texas, so as to give voice to mental health and immigrations issues. She has exhibited work in San Antonio, Austin and Houston Texas, California and Phoenix, Arizona. Garcia has also created scenic work with el Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista California as well as organizations in San Antonio such as the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Claudia Zapata. Dedicated to Hazel Scott. 2015.Digital video with original score by artist. Framed digital print, 18×24. Zine handouts.

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As an academically-trained art historian specializing in U.S. Latino and Chicano art work, the focus of my investigations include revisionist art histories and the reimagination of the art canon. My newly-created artist-role has extended my reclamation-based inquiries and created an alternative visual dialogic to discuss issues of race, political space, and experiential memory in the context of Texas. The Dedicated to Hazel Scott project is a dedicatory multimedia installation related to the jazz pianist Hazel Scott. This media undertaking is a result of independent research found in the Austin History Center detailing Hazel Scott’s cancellation of a live concert at the University of Texas in 1948 as a result of the segregation of the audience.

Claudia Zapata is a queer Chicana artist currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Southern Methodist University in Art History. She received her B.A. and M.A. from University of Texas in art history, specializing in Pre-Columbian and U.S. Latino/Chicano art. In 2012, Zapata co-created the Puro Chingón Collective, a Latino arts collective focusing on zines, designer toys, prints, and design.

Audrya Flores. Seer. 2015. Fabric, Lace, Ribbon, Pins, Wire, Seedpod. 45” x 20”. (Below)

I find the dream world liberating. Free from my physical body, I am able to navigate my own fear, shame, bliss, sadness, and pleasure without witnesses.  Without time. Without weight. These feelings present themselves as images: vivid and haunting. I can see them. I can name them. And they are me.

This self-portrait is part of a series of assemblage work that seeks to explain my artistic process. I create tactile representations of my dream symbols as a way to decode their meanings and resolve the conflicts they represent.

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Audrya Flores. Hand Talker. 2015.Fabric, Leather, Lace, Yarn, Pins, Cactus. 28” x 40”. (Below)

Years of battling anxiety have taught me this truth: I possess the ability to harm or heal myself. The choice is mine. Often, my anxiety manifests itself in my hands through fist clenching, fidgeting or sweating. And still, I choose to purpose these nervous hands for cultivating, for mothering, for making.

This self-portrait is part of a series of assemblage work that seeks to explain my artistic process. I create tactile representations of my dream symbols as a way to decode their meanings and resolve the conflicts they represent.

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Audrya Flores is a Tejana artist, educator, and mother living in San Antonio, Texas. Her work is a means for intrapersonal exploration and is influenced by dreams, visions, the occult, and her roots in the bordertown of Brownsville, Texas. Flores repurposes discarded materials and found objects for her collage and assemblage work.

Leticia R-Z. Psychopomp Altar I. 2015.Wool, Bone, Fabric, Human Hair.

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The Psychopomps series is an exploration of a mythical creature from a made-up world; a female-sexed animus that guides souls from and into the beyond. Something between a specimen and a worship totem, thread-bound to circular canvases, these figures sit at the beginning and end of life, but not in between. Wool, bone and traditional female crafts go into their construction. Their poses, both inviting and defiant, evoke familiar religions while rejecting the prevailing use of the female divinity as a fertile, nurturing entity. Like with the milagritos of Mexican Catholic tradition, these figures take offerings of hair in exchange for blessings or favors.

Leticia R-Z is a transplant from Mexico that took root in San Antonio. She has a BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, which she has mostly used to make wool sculptures. She has had pieces in various shows in NY, Seattle, and locally, and has taught several needle felting workshops across Texas.

Linda Arredondo. Medusa Series. 2015.

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“When you ask Johns why he did this or that in a painting, he answers so as to clear himself of responsibility.”– ­ Leo Steinberg on Jasper Johns

I have been interested in watercolors ever since I had read that watercolor was a ‘ladies’ hobby’ and that real “painter’s” i.e. men, used real paint like acrylics or oils, or perhaps the distinction was more about the seriousness of the painter? or the assumption that women could not commit to being “real” painters? That of course is a discussion that has been held by better people than myself, but my interest in watercolor and other water­-based media has some to do with the way it is described and understood: feminine, loose, delicate, light, etc. It’s not a material that is controlled or dominated but one where some of its best parts are fueled by serendipity and compromise. I find the unpredictability of water-­based media attractive, along with its unforgivingness. Watercolor is kind of the cat in the (mostly) dog world of painting.

In terms of subject matter I often go with flowers, monsters and portraits especially of women with children. They are soft vehicles that carry ideas I have about unease and uncertainty, loneliness and vulnerability minus the relentless pride or promise of solution. I’m not comfortable with giving a specific orientation to the viewer to a painting and truthfully most artists should be considered unreliable compasses, especially with their own work but I can say sincerely that it is the hope that you will look and find a private atlas and take some comfort in it.

Linda Arredondo was born in Taegu, South Korea in 1975 and currently lives San Antonio, Texas.  Being very adorable, she was kidnapped as a baby and was almost taken to a remote mountain village by her new ‘mother’. Luckily the police recovered her and she left Korea to live her life as an American. During her early years, Arredondo gained some recognition for drawing unicorns and dragons, to which her Mexican father was known to remark, “Not bad for a hobby but there’s no money in that”. On the other hand her Korean mother was more encouraging because being artistically inclined was considered “high class”. Sadly, Linda Arredondo no longer draws publicly, unicorns or dragons. She is also no longer adorable, kidnapable and is usually broke in an unclassy way, even if she did go to a classy school.

2008 BFA University of Texas at San Antonio. 2010 MFA YALE University.

Raquel Zawrotny. Melanin in Gold, Series 1. 2015. Acrylic, Ink Collage, Gold Leaf, and Handmade Paper on Canvas.

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This series is a social commentary inspired by  the racially driven treatment of current Miss Japan. Her multi-ethnic background opened up a conversation of hatred and compassion from people all over the world. I started to investigate the concepts of primitiveness and prestige in the strata of ethnic world cultures and found various stigmas, oppressive practices and systemic oppressions in our global community.  I started to ask myself, why is it that communities/cultures who are “technologically advanced” or “financially wealthy” assume they are the dominant culture and believe that the community/culture living in the “old, traditional” ways is behind and therefor less than. The goal of this series is to first, provide the viewer an opportunity to question  society’s views of women, particularly black women; and second, to celebrate black women, their heritage and their lives.

Raquel Zawrotny is a fine artist who obtained her BFA from UTSA and studied Fashion at University of Incarnate Word.  She teaches at Southwest School of Art (SA,TX).  Arty Valentine is a persona that Raquel Zawrotny uses because her works are inspired by sociology and psychology.


Ashley Mireles …..And To All Those Who Died, Scrubbed Floors, Wept, And Fought For Us. 2015.


My abstracted portraits are representations of myself and my culture and the organic pieces found from outside my home and the lines given by the people around me are used to wholly form this composition.  The paper is made by hand using common materials found in my environment: Texas soil, debris, and fallen pecan trees.  The drawings are derived from portraits of significant figures as relayed to me through stories told by friends and family; memories of extraordinary people who have come ahead of us and without whom, others and myself would not exist.

Ashley Mireles has exhibited in national group and juried shows at the San Antonio Art League Museum, the Appalachian Center for Craft, Blue Star Arts Complex and various colleges and universities. Ashley has also led creative art workshops and generated murals and exclusive print designs for local organizations. Presently, Ashley focuses her time on producing community-based art for local non-profit organizations exploring the connection between the creative process and community concerns.


Kristel A. Puente. Disambiguation of the Introverted Megalomanic. 2015.


This work is a continuation of an earlier series of self-portraits. It is inspired by “Frida This”, a painting by Ismael Salinas. Each element is purposefully symbolic and is blending juxtapositions of cultures. As often is the case for Mexican Americans, I stand on a line I did not draw. Neither side of the proverbial fence fully accepts the validity of our journey – we are either too much, or not enough. Frida was defiant, strange, purposeful, militant, intelligent, sexual, strong, flawed, unafraid and vulnerable. Her image is now iconic and is easily being stolen from us and sold on t-shirts and canvas bags. I am taking her back, MY WAY, with all my strangeness and messiness and confusion about who you think I am or should be as a Mexican American woman.

Kristel Puentes’ work draws from history, civil rights issues, San Antonio culture, gender studies, feminism and cultural appropriation. She has a been a professional photographer for seven years and specializes in commercial, fashion, runway, and artistic photography. Her photography work has naturally overflowed into conceptual and installation art. She uses her work to dissect herself, and her place in the world which has led to many new unexpected challenges. She currently sells her  Alamo Series at the Alamo gift shop.

Amanda Bartlett.  2015.


  “The only one I cared for was the one who made me cum.”  – GG Allin

Amanda Bartlett is a metalsmith studying and working out of San Marcos, Texas. She investigates the uncomfortable and the odd. Bartlett draws from themes of the Cult of Domesticity, B-rated amateur pornography, and the place of women in our society.





Women of San Antonio: A Tribute Show

Women of San Antonio: A Tribute Show

Women of San Antonio

The Women of San Antonio​ are healers, artists, revolutionaries, mothers, politicians, teachers, philanthropists, health care professionals, athletes, entrepreneurs, and forward-­thinkers. Each of these women represent the most powerful narratives and most riveting movements in San Antonio. Anel I. Flores of ARTery Studios and Sarah Castillo of Lady Base Gallery have collaborated to give you a peek through the lens of San Antonio’s best women photographers at the Women of San Antonio​: A Tribute Show​​exhibition. Nine women photographers will be featured in the show: Katherine Brown, Sarah Castillo, Lauryn Farris, Anel I. Flores, Mari Hernandez, Destiny Mata, Kristel Puente, Daniela Riojas, Tk Karakshian Tunchez, Laura Varela and Magdalena Yznaga.

Each portrait explores the Women of San Antonio in unconventional and conventional styles and techniques, as their energy is the driving force behind each photo. “San Antonio was and still is being built by the hands of women. I dreamt up the vision for this show because of a longing I have for these women to be honored and showcased in the elegance and rawness of photography.” Co­Curator Anel I. Flores of ARTery studio states. “And, who better to take the pictures then the women photographers who are also building this city with every snap of their lens.” Flores and Castillo have teamed up to curate an intimate spectacle of striking images that will evoke emotional connections, nostalgic memories, and enlightening experiences. “This exhibit represents the strength, mentorship, and bond women of varying generations cultivate and these relationships can be observed between the photographer and the sitter.” Castillo believes. “I chose to be a part of this exhibition because it’s important to actively participate in reframing the strength women convey within their community. Also, this show is part visual storytelling and documentation which are important cultural platforms.”



Below is a list of all the woman, these photographers have chosen to photograph.

Graciela I. Sánchez, director of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center is a native of San Antonio and a dedicated activista and cultural worker. After graduating from Yale University in 1982, Sánchez returned to her childhood neighborhood on the near west side of San Antonio, where she remains a dedicated community organizer. In the 1980s, Sánchez worked with the Southwest Voter Registration Project, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), and Chicana Health Policy Development. As an organizer in the queer community, she became a founding board member of the San Antonio Lesbian Gay assembly, the San Antonio Lesbian/Gay Media Project, and ELLAS, a state and local Latina lesbian organization. In 1987 Sánchez joined other women in founding the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, which she still directs.


Michelle Claire Myers was president of Texas Association for Transsexual Support for many years, a retired chemical engineer who spoke three languages, knew several computer languages, served on the boards of several organizations and mentored, guided and advised many people who were embarking on their gender journey. The Trailblazing San Antonio Trans-leader passed away on June 17, 2013.  

Rev. Naomi Brown, LMSW is a Licensed Masters-level Social worker with over 20 years of experience in Social Services. Naomi organizes and delivers LGBTQIA Safe Zone Training throughout the San Antonio Community and works as a Trauma Therapist. Her clinical hours are spent seeing many gender-queer individuals who live with PTSD and other traumatic experiences.

Ruby Mae Krebs is the first transgender candidate to seek office in San Antonio for city council served many years as the president of the San Antonio Gender Association.  Krebs political career started when she was volunteering for the Hillary Clinton campaign and while serving as Chair for Precinct 4001.

Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez is a multimedia artist and educator from San Antonio who reimagines archetypal myths from a Xicana feminist lens. Her work in painting, ceramics, collage, installation, and film have been shown in over 100 exhibitions worldwide, and include cartoon character Citlali, La Chicana Super Hero.

Mary Agnes Rodriguez, born and raised in San Antonio’s Westside, is recognized throughout the community for her beautiful and iconic artwork. Her murals and canvases are known locally and nationally for the deep ways they reflect the artist’s personal, historical and cultural connections to the Westside community. She has exhibited her work in numerous museums and cultural centers. Through her organizing work, personal engagement with community, and most of all through her arte, Mary Agnes has worked tirelessly and unselfishly for her community over the years.

Carmen Tafolla is a poet, author, teacher, educational consultant, and sought-after speaker and performer. A native of the West-Side barrios of San Antonio, Texas, Tafolla earned a BA, MA, a PhD from the University of Texas, Austin.  Tafolla has published five books of poetry, eight children’s picture books, seven television screenplays, one non-fiction volume, and a collection of short stories. She also co-authored with filmographer Sylvia Morales a feature-length film comedy entitled REAL MEN… and other miracles. Her works are archived at the University of Texas Benson Latin American Collection. The recipient of many honors, she  served as the Inaugural Poet Laureate of San Antonio in 2014 and currently serves as the Texas State Poet Laureate for 2015.

Veronica Castillo-Salas, the 2013 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow,  is a  third-generation clay artist, born in Izucar de Matamoros in the Mexican state of Puebla. Castillo’s family is known for their creation of Arbol de la Vida (Tree of Life) and candelabra sculptures, an art form which originated in Mexico’s Puebla area. Ceramicist and Clay Sculptor, Veronica follows in her family’s artistic footsteps while redefining the tradition and making it her own.  She is owner and founder of Galeria E.V.A.: Echos Y Voces de Arte.

Norma Cantú, Professor, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&I at Laredo and Kingsville, respectively, and her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She was a senior arts administrator with the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC and was Acting Chair of the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Dr. Cantú has published articles on a number or academic subjects as well as poetry and fiction. Her publications on border literature, the teaching of English, quinceañera celebration and the matachines, a religious dance tradition have earned her an international reputation as a scholar and folklorist. She has co-edited four books and edited a collection of testimonios by Chicana scientists, mathematicians and engineers. Her award winning Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera chronicles her childhood experiences on the border. She edits the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Culture and Traditions book series at The Texas A&M University Press.

Elaine Ayala is a prominent figure in the newspaper industry. Over the past 33 years, she has been a reporter, an editor, a blogger, and a columnist. Over the course of her career, she has worked for 6 different metropolitan dailies. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, the Arizona Daily Star, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, the Austin American-Statesman, the El Paso Times, and most recently, the San Antonio Express-News, where she has been for the last 16 years. In 2009, Ayala was the winner for the Philip True Award for Reporter of the Year, which was given by her peers at the Express-News. Also in 2009, she was honored as a role model by the Martinez Street Women’s Center. Ayala has also received the IMAGE of San Antonio Award, the Governor’s Yellow Rose of Texas Award was also presented to Ayala. In 2005, Ayala was inducted into the Edgewood Independent School District’s Hall of Fame

Dolores Zapata Murff and Magdalena Alvarado are a feminista power in San Antonio. Dolores, or Dee, is a Feminist Licensed Professional Counselor Intern. A graduate of Our Lady of the Lake and Texas A&M Universities, she has achieved her lifetime dream to help wymin heal from domestic violence and rape using Expressive Arts with an emphasis in Journaling and visual arts. Dolores is currently working at Enlightened Behavioral Services, where she shares her passion for art with patients who suffer from severe mental illness and chemical addiction. She is a visual artist, sculptor, poet, and activist. In the 1960’s Magdalena called herself a “wild-haired activist” as she block-walked to encourage her latino community to vote. Soon after, in college, she began her journalism career with an opinion column titled Juana Gallo. “I thought I could change the world. But then I realized in Journalism you report events you don’t change events, and I wanted to be a change agent.” From that day forward, Magdalena plunged herself into careers with over 30 non-profits, making change.

Patricia Castillo leads the P.E.A.C.E Initiative (Putting an End to Abuse through Community Efforts) as executive director with the goal of eliminating domestic violence. She has worked more than two decades to end violence against women and children. As the Executive Director of the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative, she continues to do this work as well as serve as an advocate, educator and technical assistance resource to many sectors of the community, including civic, legal, medical, religious, educational, human resource and media groups; and directs citizen coalitions and networks. Ms. Castillo has also done casework with inmate women and their children through the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, and with crime victims and their families at the San Antonio Police Department, where she was the first social worker ever assigned to the Sex Crimes Unit of the Homicide Bureau. Nationally, she has trained and educated at numerous domestic violence conferences in the past 13 years. Internationally, she has trained in Honduras, Brazil, China, Russia, Guatemala, and Mexico. In Mexico, she has worked with the National Network of Shelters, Alternativas Pacificas, a battered womens’ shelter in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, and done trainings in Mexico City, Cancun, and Monterrey.

María Antonietta Berriozábal was born in Laredo, Texas, in 1941 just one block north of the Rio Grande. She writes that this “sealed [her] fate as a proud woman of the borderlands.” In 1981 she became the first Latina to be elected to the City Council of San Antonio, where she served for a decade. In 1991 she narrowly lost a race for Mayor of San Antonio. In 1994 she received a presidential appointment as the U.S. Representative to the Inter-American Commission on Women of the Organization of American States (OAS). She represented her country at United Nations Conferences and at the Fourth World Conference of Women in Beijing, China in 1995. For most of her adult years María Berriozábal has been committed to the empowerment of Latinas and she founded several Latina organizations. Today, María continues her community activism on issues of social justice, peace and the environment. She continues to work on behalf of the immigrant community and remains committed to the work of mentoring the young.

Eva Ybarra, the “Queen of the Accordion,” is one of a few women accordionists who have become professionals in a style that has traditionally been dominated by men. When she was 4, her father presented her with a small accordion. Migrant laborers, but also musicians, her parents were thrilled that Eva took interest in the accordion and now had an alternative to working in the fields. At age 6, she began performing with her parents around town, helping them earn extra money. By her late teens, she had mastered the instrument and was proving many wrong about the capabilities of a woman accordionist. She recorded two CDs on Rounder Records A Mi San Antonio (1994) and Romance Inolvidable (1996). Most of the songs are written by Eva and demonstrate her virtuosity and creativity. In 1997 she went to the University of Washington as a visiting artist in the Ethnomusicology Department. Currently, she teaches at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio and works on various projects with Smithsonian Folklife.

Antonia Castañeda, Tejana born feminist historian received her Ph.D. in U.S. History at Stanford University. Now retired, she taught in Chicana/o and Women’s Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and in the Departments of History at UT Austin and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Castañeda’s scholarly publications include the prizing winning “Women of Color and the Re-Writing of Western History.” She is co-editor of the Chicana Matters Series, University of Texas Press; is a founding member of MALCS (Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social); is a member of the Scholars Advisory Board of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project; serves on the Board of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center; and is former Chair of the San Antonio Commission on Literacy. Castañeda received the 2007 National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Scholar of the Year Award.

Petra Mata, Viola Cazares and Ernestina Mendoza were three of the many women that mobilized the women to form the non-profit cooperative Fuerza Unida. For 25 years their community center  at 710 New Laredo Hwy has spent its days empowering women through their women’s leadership center, their  sewing cooperative, a catering business, their teen leadership summer program and with their community food bank- just to name a few. I have seen them for 20+ years marching proud in numerous marches and protest through the streets of San Antonio, cheering and chanting, “Mujeres unidas, jamás serán vencidas,” and waving signs demanding justice and equality for all women. Viola is a recipient of the prestigious Ohtli award given by the Mexican government for her dedication in helping organize local, national and international communities for the past 20 years. Petra Mata is the recipient of the Alston/Bannerman Fellowship for longtime activists. Ernestina Mendoza passed away at the age of 62 after working tirelessly with Fuerza Unida.

Deborah Myers & Nickie Valdez, on June 26, at 10:41 a.m., after a 30 year relationship, were a few of the first LGBTQ couples in the United States to receive their marriage license at the San Antonio Bexar County Courthouse.They are Co-Founders of Dignity San Antonio, Long TIme LGBTQ Activists, Stonewall Democrats, Organizers of First Gay Pride Parade in San Antonio, among many other events.

La Cleopatra – Cleopatra has had so many cancer procedures and never complains. I admire her for her uniquely positive endurance and strength as a Survivor.

Melinda Brown – I chose my mother as she has always been an inspiration to me even through my rough ‘cancer’ years.