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Gallery exhibition explores maternal relationships

One of the marionettes created by Christine Saldana for the exhibit. Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

One of the marionettes created by Christine Saldana for the exhibit. Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

One of the marionettes created by Christine Saldana for the exhibit. Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

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The Mother and Child exhibition in the Art Gallery showcases pieces that explore the concept of maternal relationships.

“There’s nothing more fundamental than one’s relationship with their mother,” Susanna Meiers, director and curator of the Art Gallery, said.

The collection contains works from 27 different artists, and includes multimedia work, sculpture, painting, drawing and photography.

Not all of the artists in the show are female, nor are they all themselves mothers.


An art piece that encouraged visitors to write their earliest memory from childhood on a piece of colored construction paper. Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

While some artists focused on their personal relationships with their mothers, others explored the concept of motherhood as a whole.

People’s relationships with their mothers can, as Meiers said, go either way, “(They) can be great, be difficult, be both.”

Yvette Mangual’s pieces, which are a combination of acyrllic and ink work, include images of primates, which are meant to represent a pure form of motherhood.

The pieces are “her perception of what mother and child is, or of what mother and child should be,” her husband, Rudolph Mangual said at the gallery reception. “The primates are very good mothers to their children. That’s why she incorporates them into the figure of the woman and the child.”


Visitors of the Mother and Child exhibit on the night of the reception. Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

Scott Feingerts, a friend of the Yvettes’, believes that her pieces also show evidence of her Hispanic background.

Another featured artist, Brenda Henriques, created multiple mixed-media mannequin-sized figures that stood on the southernmost side of the gallery. One donned a huge billowing red gown and was covered with red and blue veins.

According to Meiers, Henriques is mostly grounded in jewelry and fashion, though this is not her first time participating in an exhibition at El Camino.

“I thought (the figurines) were so fabulous that I asked her if she’d do it again,” Meiers said. “They’re a completely new body of work.”


One of Brenda Henriques' multiple mixed-media mannequin-sized figures. Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

There were multiple sculptural pieces in the show, including Christine Saldana’s marionettes.

“(Saldana) worked in the foundation area of El Camino for years. She’d always been an artist, but she began taking Pam Huth’s 3D class,” Meiers said. “That’s how she began doing these fantastic marionettes. They’re absolutely incredible.”

Mother and Child was the first of six exhibits of the school year. The next show is Centrifugal Force, a series of new work by Tom Jenkins. It will be on display in the Art Gallery from Monday, Oct. 9 to Thursday, Nov. 2.

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Gallery exhibition explores maternal relationships