Carmen Lomas Garza paints a childhood memory of a family activity. The family is an important component in Chicano culture. Religious beliefs and activities function to build and reinforce
family bonds. In her books LomasGarza presents a variety of Chicana/o family traditions and values.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE ARTMAKER
Carmen Lomas Garza was born in Kingsville, Texas in 1948. Her family emigrated to the U.S. in order to escape the tribulations of the Mexican Revolution early in this century. She is the second child of five children. At a very early age she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. Her family supported her endeavors. Her mother, who inspired Lomas Garza, was also an artist. Lomas Garza received her M.A. from San Francisco State University. Much of Lomas Garza’s work focuses on the traditions and daily activities in Mexican-American culture. At the age of thirteen I decided to become a visual artist and pursue every opportunity to advance my knowledge of art in institutions of higher education. The Chicano Movement of the late 1960s inspired the dedication of my creativity to the depiction of special and everyday events in the lives of Mexican Americans based on my memories and experiences in South Texas. I saw the need to create images that would elicit recognition and appreciation among Mexican Americans, both adults and children, while at the same time serve as a source of education for others not familiar with our culture. It has been my objective since 1969 to make paintings, prints, installations for Day of the Dead, paper and metal cutouts that instill pride in our history and culture in American society.
What can I determine about what the artwork depicts, if anything?
This painting illustrates the artist as a child decorating cascarones (Easter eggs) filled with confetti with her family around a large table. She sits next to her mother and puts confetti into the eggshells. Carmen Lomas Garza, as an adolescent, sits almost in the center of the painting. She wears a red dress with tiny white flower pattern. Her eyes look down and are focused on the confetti and turquoise egg that she holds in her hand.
Her mother wears glasses with white frames. She is the largest figure in the composition. She wears a pastel pink dress with decorative black patterned flowers. Her mother holds a yellow egg that she is decorating with red designs. With a pleased expression, Carmen’s mother gazes out at the children. The other children assist in painting the eggs and cutting the paper confetti. Next to her mother is Carmen’s brother, avidly at work painting designs on the dyed blue egg. He wears a long sleeve white tailored shirt, blue jeans, and black sneakers.
Across from Carmen, is her sister who cuts the funny papers transforming them into confetti. She has short black hair and wears a bright blue dress with pink hibiscus-type flowers. A little bit of red confetti has fallen onto the next to her black shoes. She faces Carmen. At the other end of the table sits Carmen’s other sister.
She attentively paints a yellow egg, decorating it with polka dots. She wears a red dress with a dark line-crossed pattern. Carmen’s brother is asleep next to her and rests his head on the table. He wears a blue tee-shirt.
The family sits around a rectangular table covered with a white cloth. On the table are red, green, blue, yellow, and orange crayons/pencils. There are also two opened egg cartons with a few spaces yet to be filled. There are two boxes filled with confetti, one box catches the clippings of Carmen’s sister and the other is used by Carmen. In front of Carmen’s mother is a pan used for dying the eggs, with a utensil sticking out of the pan. Also on the table are the colored newspapers, some dyed eggs waiting to be decorated, some decorated eggs waiting to be filled with confetti, and also some patches used to cover the eggs.
There are pictures hung on the walls. On the left side of the painting hangs a red calendar with a large pink flower against a yellow background. On the right side of the painting hangs a framed picture of a scenic church. A black and white cat sleeps under the table on an almost spotless wood floor.
Directly behind Carmen, her brother, and her mother, is a large window with a screen. On the inside of the window hangs white curtains decorated with purple flowers and green stems. Above their heads loom two windows that lead to the dark outside.
This is PDF with activities and resources for teachers and students
– After reading the information and analysis above about the artwork and author; check the following questions and activities explained below:
Las preguntas, análisis y essay serán hechos por la estudiante en un documento word y serán compartidas a la profesora via google doc. PLEASE double check the document format before sharing it.
Preguntas – Activities
¿Quién es Carmen Lomas Garza? (visit her website and learn more about her) cuéntame de su vida profesional y familiar.
¿Qué tipo de arte realiza? ¿Qué significan sus obras de arte – en qué se ha basado para hacerlas?
¿Cuál es la intención de su arte? ¿qué quiere transmitir?
Cuando ves sus pinturas: ¿qué piensas? ¿qué ves? ¿qué sientes?
¿Te sientes identificada con las cosas que ves en sus obras de arte?
Students are asked to write questions of investigation in order to establish a thesis statement for the essay, this will help them and guide them while writing the essay. Students will choose a topic, write 3 questions and 1 thesis statement (as a draft), and then send it to the teacher. Students must wait on the feedback before start writing the essay. Please, follow the format: introduction (thesis statement), body and conclusion (thesis statement).
Essay: 1 page (3 paragraphs) Font N12 – New Times Roman.
Photo Analysis – Activities
Analysis: Escoge 1 de las 2 fotografías y haz un breve análisis (take as example the analysis above)
Analysis will be: 1 page, 2 paragraphs. Font N12 – New Times Roman.
Share your analysis, to the Instructor, on a google doc by email.