Gets Real: ‘El Noroeste’ exhibit at Tacoma Art Museum celebrates Latine/Chicano community

TACOMA, Wash. — There was a sold-out crowd at the opening of the “El Noroeste’' exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum last weekend.

Mexican-American actor and comedian, Cheech Marin made a special appearance and even spoke to the crowd, sharing his love for art and Latine/Chicano artists.

As the show heads into its final weekend, KIRO 7 was able to take a look at the art that made up this exhibit.

Food, fashion, and feelings can be seen and felt as you walk around the gallery.

As Director for Arts and Culture at Mi Centro, Maribel Galven is also one of the curators for “El Noroeste.”

Galven told KIRO 7, “Little by little, we’ve found different ways that we can connect with home and build community and really create change within the places that we live…”

Maribel Galvan isn’t just a creator for the exhibit, but she is also a featured artist. Her art tells a powerful story that can resonate with cultures across the world.

“You can find a moment where you connect to the story, you know whether it’s the vibrant celebration or whether it’s those pitiful, tragic moments whether it’s just the connection of textile and connecting with stories of the mothers and work so in that sense, that’s what we wanted to evoke in terms of the guests that will be coming And are looking for that connection,” said Galvan.

With the art depicting moments of celebration and even devastation, some pieces are the product of self-discovery.

“My art is focused on gender identity and the community because a lot of us didn’t have the knowledge that this already existed within the community,” said artist and co-curator of “El Noroeste”, Dali Cortes.

Dali’s sense of pride toward their culture and sense of self inspired her vision of what they envisioned a transgender cowboy to be. Merging culture and identity into clothing, self-portraits, and painting.

Embroidery found on the back of the mannequin is roses and a character. Dali often draws these symbols which have a special meaning to her.

“As a little kid, my abuelita had taught me how to do embroidery, and I remember how much fun that was for me and interesting,” said Dali.

Through education and exposure, artists and activists like Maribel hope to share more moments and memories within the Latine/Chicano community with people every day. Through this process also hope to evoke something deeper

“We’re also empowering others and we’re creating that space for people to see themselves in an image or in an event,” said Dali.

The “El Noroeste” exhibit closes this Sunday.

You can purchase original pieces featured in the exhibit directly from artists or you can support their other works by purchasing additional items at the TAM Store.