Knownforpainting, illustrationNameCarmen GarzaRoleArtistNationalityAmerican
Born1948Kingsville, TexasAwardsPura Belpre Award because that IllustrationBooksFamily Pictures, Scott Foresman arts 2005, A item of mine Heart, Magic Windows

Carmen Lomas Garza (born 1948) is an American artist and illustrator. She is well known for she paintings, ofrendas and also for she papel picado work inspired by she Mexican-American heritage. Her job-related is a component of the permanent collections that the Smithsonian American art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and also Sculpture Garden, the nationwide Museum of mexico Art, the mountain Jose Museum of Art, the mexico Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy the the well Arts, and also the Oakland Museum the California, among other institutions.

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Día de los Muertos Festival 2015 - Artist speak by Carmen Lomas Garza 1



Garza was born in 1948 in Kingsville, Texas. Garza"s mom was a self-taught artist who produced pen and also ink drawings and painted. Garza loved watching her mom paint, and felt prefer what her mother did was magic. Garza likewise helped she grandmother produce embroidery patterns using document cutouts together a young child. The affect of her mother"s and also grandmother"s art-making was very solid and by period thirteen Garza had chose she would be an artist. She parents urged her to pursue her interests in college.


Garza first attended Texas Arts and Industry college (now Texas A&M University, Kingsville). She parents had been involved in political organizing through the American GI Forum, and Garza complied with in your footsteps by arranging a publication store Chicanos on she college campus. In 1972, she got a BS in arts education and a Texas teaching Certificate at Texas Arts and also Industry. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she made decision that that was essential for she to produce art that would be understood by human being of every ages.


Later, Garza received a master of education in 1973 in ~ Juarez-Lincoln/Antioch Graduate School and also a understand of arts in 1981 from san Francisco State University.

Garza right now lives in mountain Francisco, California.


The initial root of Garza"s artwork lay in her family, to whom she is close, and in the Chicano Movement. Garza later wrote that the Chicano motion nourished her goal of gift an artist and also gave her ago her voice. She says that her imaginative creations helped her "heal the wounds inflicted by discrimination and also racism." Garza likewise feels the by creating positive photos of Mexican-American families, her occupational can assist combat racism. Her choice to use personal and household images to combat racism is a departure from much more political functions by numerous Chicano artists. The development of her very own narrative, fairly than one the is required on her, however, speaks against racism top top its own.

Garza incorporates tiny figures (monitos) in she artwork. The figures and also their interactions with the spaces castle inhabit present how Chicano/a identities are connected to the places she paints. Her paintings are additionally idealized and also the figures come to be archetypes. She flattened figures and also sense of an are create "a sense of immediacy," letting the viewer communicate directly with the topic matter.

Garza has made work of the Dead ofrendas, or ritual altars, to honor no just household members, but also people indigenous history. She has actually made ofrendas because that Frida Kahlo, Doña Sebastiana and also Tenochtitlán.

The artist has developed 8 paints for the san Francisco Water Department and a sculpture at the san Francisco global Airport. In Chan Kaajal Park, a park opened up in 2017 in san Francisco"s Mission District, features renderings the a California condor and a an excellent blue heron by Garza, i was delegated by the san Francisco arts Commission.


In 2013, Garza"s Cama para Suenos (1985) and also Loteria-Tabla Llena (1972) were contained in the Smithsonian American arts Museum"s our America: The Latino existence in American Art

Garza was additionally featured in the university of Texas at Austin"s 7th yearly ¡A Viva Voz! wherein she talked and exhibited she work.

Carmen Lomas Garza: A retreat was Garza"s first retrospective and featured work from the mid-1970s to the present. That was arranged by the mountain Jose Museum the Art, whereby it was on view from January to April 2001; it later traveled come the mountain Antonio Museum of Art, southern Texas Institute for the Arts, Ellen Noel art Museum that the Permian Basin, national Hispanic social Center, and also the Polk Museum of Art.

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Awards and also honors

Family Pictures/Cuadro de familia: one of the ideal Books of the Year, Library of congress (1990)1996 Pura Belpré compensation honorIn mine Family/En mi familia 1998 Pura Belpré award honorMagic windows 2000 Pura Belpré award medal

A primary school in Los Angeles, the Carmen Lomas Garza primary Center, is named in Garza"s honor.

Works cited