Jul 19, 2009

thank you Seattle

Muchisimas gracias to all who made my trip to Seattle so memorable and fun. Randall, Nina, Linda, Gary, Leslie, Karen, Mary Beth, Jule and Nora. you people are all so dynamic; I look forward to working with you on something in the future. Woven together as we are now, perhaps we can begin weaving together an event: an exhibition of traditional textiles with a lecture about their history, contemporary works of art inspired by huipils, music which weaves together the old and the new, tequila tastings, perhaps all within the context of a Cinco de Mayo celebration or something. From your creative minds and generous hearts, something delicious is bound to happen.

Feb 24, 2009

Women's Blouses, Women's Histories; a huipil project

Sala Quetzal, La Bibilioteca Publica,
San Miguel de Allende
Saturday, March 7, 3pm -5 pm

Myra, a weaver friend in San Antonio Aguascalientes, weaves these beautiful blouses called
huipiles or guipiles, on a backstrap loom.

Myra is part of a women's cooperative just outside
of Antigua, Guatemala.

Activities for San Miguel, 2009 include art exhibitions; screenings; readings, workshops, seminars, and talks; concerts, theatre; street dramas; and whatever YOU can dream up.

Your participation is not only welcome, it is needed. Please join us for this first event, as we commit to making our world a safer place for women.
50 pesos donation at the door provides seed money for the Nov. project.

email me at lenabartula@gmail.com

Feb 13, 2009

Arthaus66 Contemporary Gallery
Albuquerque, April 3, 2009

With recycled bags from corn or beans, market bags, lottery posters, oilcloth, found fabrics and images, bandanas, ribbons, I am creating contemporary huipils that illuminate the lives and stories of women who have been silenced, whether politically, emotionally or physically, women who stood for the right to an education or the right to decide their own fate, and women whose rights are nonexistent, denied by the intolerant culture in which they live. Each huipil or TORSO, as I call this series, represents a woman’s body, and in that, also symbolizes both cover up and uncovering. Through the materials I shine a light on women such as las vendadoras, the women who sell their wares in the mercados, or las frijoleras, women whose labor in the fields puts food on the tables of the world, and the victims of femicide in Juarez, growing in number since 1993. Individual women like Anna Mae Aquash, Minerva Mirabal, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Christine de Pisan, Nadia Anjuman, or Comandante Ramona, recall not only their personal stories, but the epoch and society in which they lived. Mythical women like Corn Mother, Mother Nature and Tibet / Motherland are represented among legends, myths and deities who are also illuminated in this exhibition.

Art has the power to awaken our awareness, shining a light on problems that are otherwise too difficult to look at or talk about, and all too easy to deny. Violence against women is an increasingly major issue in our world, one which not only destroys families and entire communities but threatens the future of the human race. Out of this series, I am preparing a slide presentation to be shown this year, leading up to November 25, International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. My hope is to gather a group of artists here in San Miguel for a benefit exhibition during that week. If you would like to participate in some way, don't hesitate to email me, lenabartula@gmail.com.

ILLUMINE is a two person show which also features the sculpture of Karen Wight, opening at Arthauss66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 3, 2009.

Jan 1, 2009


In an upcoming exhibition at Sol y Luna Contemporary Gallery in Puerto Vallarta, the image of the huipil takes center stage. Opening January 28, 2009, it is titled “Enigmas,” because that is what huipils are for me. 

 They are beauty, they are secrets, they are treasures, they are holy, in that it is said the goddesses reveal the weaving process in dreams, they are mundane in that they are part of the every day existence of a culture. Having gone from an aesthetic appreciation of them to an obsession about their meaning, I know that never in this lifetime will I understand all the designs whispered within their threads. This problem is not mine alone; information originally woven into huipils by indigenous peoples had to be hidden, especially if it related to their religion, agriculture, astronomy, and other sciences. With the Spanish conquest, all knowledge of such things was to be obliterated, and as with all conquests, a cover up had to be devised so that the traditions not be lost. In a patriarchal society that has continued to cover up not only the significance of these magical garments, but also the women who weave them, I strive in my art to shine a light on both.