Curated by Raoul De la Sota

"Gracias a San Laborio" - Sergio Vasquez

Opening Reception, Saturday night, December 13, 2008 7 to 10 pm



The Avenue 50 Studio is proud to present Silent Testimonies – Contemporary Ex-Votos.  Artists and community members were asked to interpret the uniquely Mexican art form known as ex-votos with contemporary themes. The artists and community members are from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  


Artists Katrina Alexy, Paula Baqueiro, Barbara Carrasco, Ana Flores, Frank Gutierrez, Lucy Hagopian, Amy Inouye/Stuart Rapeport, Pola Lopez, Isabel Martinez, CCH Pounder, Joseph Sims, Cindy Suriyani, Eloy Torrez, Richard Valdes, Sergio Vasquez, along with Board Members Vanessa Acosta, Raoul De la Sota, Ulises Diaz, Kathy Mas-Gallegos, Poli Marichal, Lara Medina, Ricardo Muñoz, David Stowe, and J. Michael Walker were chosen because they had no history of painting such forms.

Ex-Votos historically were devotional visual offerings to the Catholic Church for a miraculous cure or for some intervention by a specific religious figure that prevented harm or death.  In 16th century Spain they were painted directly onto interior walls of churches and Cathedrals as murals depicting the miracle.  The paintings themselves were called Milagros or miracles. In 18th and 19th century Mexico they became the source of income for itinerant artists depicting in their paintings some sort of “miracle”.  These artists, often academically untrained, created their works with oil on whatever small scraps of material was convenient and cheap, most often tin or wood. The works ranged from the charmingly rustic to the aesthetically profound. The works were then in turn donated to a nearby church as gratitude for its intervention. In the 20th century the craft continued but with less religiosity and more pleas for financial help or material goods. In all cases there was always a narrative painted onto the surface that described the event and the stated gratitude of the donor.  Frida Kahlo was a modern artist who admired and patterned some of her work after this art form.


Please join us in discovering a historic art form interpreted in new ways.

December 13, 2008 to January 17, 2009