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Amalia Mesa-Bains has a new exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum recently opened a new exhibit by a Chicana artist who worked in the Valley with a creative collective in the 1980s.

The exhibit examines the “politics of space,” according to Amalia Mesa-Bains, and “highlights “the complexities of domestic life for immigrant and Mexican American women across different historical periods, elevating Chicana art and making visible the experiences of Mexican American and other marginalized women whose stories are often erased” as stated in a release by the museum.  

“That intersection between my own sort of instincts for making art and the collective movement is what gave me the perspective to look, first at the larger history, and then at my own family. That’s where many of the images in this show come from,” she said in an interview conducted by museum staff prior to the opening.  

Her work also “explores the many ways colonial narratives erase Indigenous identities from mainstream American media and culture,” according to the same release.

In the same pre-opening interview, she spoke about her immigrant story which deeply affected her art. "My mother just sort of meandered across with her mother to clean houses on the American side, so I grew up in an undocumented community. To some degree that influenced a lot of my early life, not being sure where I fit in," said Mesa-Bains.  

Tom Maxedon is the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition on Saturday and Sunday from 6-10 a.m. and All Things Considered on Monday from 3-6 p.m.