The student-run art exhibit, Office Hours, is a collection of audio and visual artworks, each uniquely displaying each artist’s interpretation of queer expression. Photo by Marcelo Maximilian.
By Marcelo Maximilian, Staff Reporter
The independent artist student-run, art gallery, Office Hours is a collection of audio and visual artworks, each uniquely displaying their interpretation of queer expression.
The gallery is a mixture of different mediums from former and current students and is curated by student artists Birdie Rojas, Gabe Medina and Professor Jimena Sarno.
Birdie Rojas stands proud next to her creation, “La Frutería,” an acrylic painting on stretched canvas. The corner of the painting has the year 2019, the year she began working at the queer culture resource center, at CSUDH and where Rojas said she met her “chosen” family.
The painting is a medley of symbolism to pay tribute to both her queer and Mexican culture. Rojas said her mother would always bring her chopped fruit, as an act of endearment but once she came out as queer, Rojas noticed she no longer received fruit. She described the Mexican-native fruits in her art as being symbolic to “fruity.” The self-portrait of her hand penetrating the center of a fruit symbolizes her queer sensuality, she said. The background of the painting mimics the pattern of a sarape and La Frutería is written in old English to represent the Mexican tattoo culture which Rojas appreciates.
“El Nopal” is a handmade piece by South Central native, Gabe Medina. Medina combined inspiration from the neighborhood he grew up in, the queer experience and his Mexican culture.
“El Nopal” was purposely created with red clay without the use of a potter’s wheel to add character that emphasizes the piece was made by hand. The exterior of El Nopal has green cactuses which Medina explains are grown around Mexican households, used in Mexican cuisine and displayed on the Mexican flag.
In addition to his Mexican culture, Medina said the cactus also represents resiliency and adaptability of the queer and LGBTQ+ experience.
“El Nopal” sits on top of a cement cinder block which Medina said is a “Visual language from home, like whenever you’re in Compton, Watts or South Central, you’ll see a lot of houses with cinder blocks. I feel like my ceramic vessels are stand-ins for home.”
The art exhibit is currently on display until May 11.