|Ana Maria Cobos at the Museum of Latin America. Photo by Gabriel San Roman.|
Gabriel San Román, writing in the Long Beach Post, catches up with Saddleback College's retired librarian Ana Maria Cobos and the exhibit she helped organize titled “Arte, Mujer y Memoria: Arpilleras From Chile 1973-1990” at the Museum of Latin American Art.
Read his article below (click to read it in its entirety) then go see the exhibit in Long Beach. It runs through March 29. Gabriel says that "taking it all in felt like a Stations of the Cross for Chilean democracy." So good to see Ana Maria continuing her good work in the community. So good to see Gabriel, formerly with the OC Weekly, finding new outlets for his important voice.
At first glance, dozens of Chilean arpilleras—patchwork portraits on burlap canvasses—appear hopeful on display at the Museum of Latin American Art. Often depicting a beaming sun emerging from Andean mountaintops, the cheerful colors of stitched cloth sharply contrast with images of life under a brutal dictatorship: a presidential palace engulfed in flames, leftist activists dumped into the Pacific Ocean from military helicopters, book burnings and a boot stamping out press freedom.
“It was dangerous for Chilean women to create arpilleras but they were always working in spaces considered safe havens,” says Ana Maria Cobos, a retired Saddleback College librarian who helped organize the “Arte, Mujer y Memoria: Arpilleras From Chile 1973-1990” exhibit. “It’s a remarkable form that allowed women to express something that, typically, they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to.”