WSU professor curates exhibit featuring Latina artists

An art history professor at Weber State University is amplifying voices that are often forgotten within the art world. 

María del Mar González-González is curating “Beyond the Margins: An Exploration of Latina Art and Identity,” on display now through March 4 at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City. 

González-González and Nancy Rivera, a featured artist and WSU alum, will offer a guided tour and gallery discussion in Spanish on Feb. 25 from 1-2 p.m.

“Beyond the Margins” highlights Latina artists whose history, culture or work has frequently been minimized. The display is designed to break through the confines of silence and marginalization that such artists have experienced, González-González said. 

“I’m always thinking about omissions within history,” she said. “That’s something that guides the way I teach and the way I approach all my work. Oftentimes, artists who don’t fit a specific mold will be excluded, and I feel like it’s important to create a space where they can speak for themselves.”

By highlighting Latina artists, González-González hopes the exhibit will attract Spanish-speaking audiences. Art descriptions and other show materials for the exhibit are bilingual, prioritizing Spanish. 

The museum’s proximity to the west side neighborhoods of Salt Lake City, which have a large Hispanic and Latino population, was also important to González-González.

“I want the community to be able to walk into an exhibition and see themselves represented within those spaces,” she said.

González-González said she’s driven by a desire to strengthen connections between WSU and the surrounding community. Her hope is to spark conversations that invite interaction and dialogue.

“I want my work to be welcoming to others,” she said. “I’m always thinking about the community and thinking about how to make what I’m doing more accessible and engaging to wider communities.”

UMOCA entry is free, and the museum is located within the UTA Free Fare Zone.