MX 21- Resistance, Reaffirmation & Resilience

Sep. 17, 2021

Sep. 17, 2021 @ 8:00 am Feb. 7, 2022 @ 5:00 pm

Sep. 17, 2021 @ 8:00 am Feb. 7, 2022 @ 5:00 pm

The Virtual Exhibition

Mexic-Arte Museum presents the virtual exhibition, Resistance, Reaffirmation & Resilience, on view now through the Museum’s website and the Museum’s CultureConnect portal.

Throughout 2021, Mexico is observing and commemorating major events in history: the falling of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán, the invasion by Spain, and the Independence of Mexico. Mexic-Arte Museum will present an exhibition and programs in conjunction with Mexico’s 2021 events, and reaffirm our common cultural history.

The exhibition MX 21-Resistance, Reaffirmation & Resilience is divided into three sections: Resistance, Reaffirmation, and Resilience

Resistance refers to the Original Peoples resisting the Spanish invasion and occupation of Mexico, which was really not “conquered.” 

Reaffirmation speaks to affirming the unique history and cultural diversity of our shared heritage. 

Resilience represents the on-going evolution of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and other Latinx peoples, despite and because of struggles to achieve liberty, social justice, and plurality. Invited artists respond to these themes to help the public better understand and appreciate how Mexico’s history has impacted and inspired our shared U.S.- Mexico cultural history in the Americas, as Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and Latinx peoples.

Participating artists include Luis Abreux, Santa Barraza, Cande Aguilar, Angel Cabrales, Tomas Filsinger, Eduardo Garcia, Tita Griesbach, Mari Hernandez, Michael Menchaca, Delilah Montoya, Juan Navarrete, Yelaine Rodriguez, Sergio Sanchez Santamaria, Andy Villarreal, “Kill Joy”, and artwork from the Mexic-Arte Museum Permanent Collection.

MX 21 Virtual Tour

Explore the Exhibition Online

CultureConnect is a new mobile tool that Mexic-Arte Museum is utilizing to make exhibitions and artwork accessible to the community. Through CultureConnect, Mexic-Arte Museum can present curated information about the artwork and give the viewer a chance to explore the artist and artwork in depth!


Before the Spanish arrived in the Western hemisphere, this land was densely populated by an advanced civilization. It was not called “America”. The First Peoples inhabited every region living within the diversity of the land and developing cultural lifeways dependent on the land. Five hundred years have passed since the invasion and fall of the Mexico-Tenochtitlan. The inhabitants moved from violent rebellion, to a more understated version. Rather than give up ancestral traditions, the Aztecs and other First People continued practicing their traditions, sometimes in clandestine manners. They resisted the Spanish invasion, occupation, and assimilation from the beginning, and throughout the centuries. Resistance, however small or however revolutionary, became the way of life for communities of “occupied” lands. Resistance was expressed in dances, hidden behind masks, or worshipping “idols” behind altars. Endurance itself is resistance.  

Artists document, appropriate and retell stories to inform and to educate. Artists call attention to the five hundred years of resisting invasion, ethnocide, genocide, ecocide, sexual violence, slavery, exploitation, forced relocation, psychic destruction, and xenophobia. At every opportunity, native and mestizo heritage have been celebrated and preserved. Artists identify with Cuauhtémoc, sympathize with La Llorona and La Malinche, dispel myths of yesterday, proudly wear the Aztec Calendar (Piedra del Sol), and use the pandemic of centuries ago to bring awareness to the pandemic of today.  

Tita Griesbach
Malinche I, n.d.
Linocut and color lithograph on paper, 24” x 36”
Gift of the artist
Adolfo Quinteros
The Black Rebellion
Rebeliones de Negros, ca. 1960
Lithograph of original linocut on paper, 14½” x 10½”

Arturo Rivera
Aire, n.d.
Charcoal, conté, and acrylic, 40″ x 56 1/4″
Gift of the artist
Celia Calderon
Morelos, ca. 1960
Lithograph of original color linocut on paper
14½” x 10½”

Online visitors can view Resistance virtually by visiting the Culture Connect link!


Artworks in this section speak to affirming the unique history and cultural diversity of our shared heritage, complex identity and vitality shaped by experiences in the Americas. First People throughout the Americas have struggled to affirm a place and identity. The notion of affirmation has to do with culture, as well as politics. Affirmation of one’s culture is to strive for political change. Artists work to affirm, self-determine, and resist racial stereotypes. Our plurality represents First People, the African, the Mexicano, Mexican Americans, and other Latinx peoples. Our struggles to achieve liberty and social justice are one. We affirm our similarities and embrace our differences. Artists respond and create to contribute to the understanding of these complexities in the pursuit of social justice today. 

With this exhibition, we reflect on history and current reality here in the U.S., reclaiming and reaffirming shared history and experiences. Africans torn from their homeland, brought to work the land; women forced through rape to produce a new generation of workers to fuel the colonial economy. Thousands of Asian individuals were brought to Mexico as slaves.  


Yelaine Rodriguez
Ezili Dantor, Freedom & The African Diaspora, 2021
Photographic tapestry, 30” x 36”
Courtesy of the artist
Delilah Montoya
Casta #2, 2018
Mixed media, 38″ x 36″
Courtesy of the artist

Mari Hernandez
Colonizer, 2017
Digital photo on photo rag, 20″ x 16″
Courtesy of the artist
Kill Joy
Archipelago to Acapulco, 2021
Acrylic on panel, 48” x 96”
Courtesy of the artist

Online visitors can view Reaffirmation virtually by visiting the Culture Connect link!


Resiliency springs from adaptation to, and under, the most difficult situations. Communities reshape themselves and the environment in response to adverse elements. This is the very definition of self-determination. Using symbols such as the black eagle helped raise awareness of social issues. Aztlán unified the Mexican Americans under a term of inheritance of land and culture. The imagery articulated cultural and historical identities through connections to indigenous heritage, religious icons, revolutionary leaders, and current life. Some iconography included Quetzalcoatl, Emiliano Zapata, Coatlicue, undocumented workers, La Virgen de Guadalupe and others. Art today continues as an activist endeavor, challenging the social constructions of racial/ethnic discrimination, citizenship and nationality, labor exploitation, and traditional gender roles in effort to create social change.

Re: Cradle of Jim Crow 2.0, 2021
Wallpaper and tv installation
140½” x 200½”
Courtesy of the artist
Angel Cabrales
Hueyi tepekulkan
Tanqukulkan, 2019
Mixed media, 16 1/2” x 8 1/2” x 11”
Courtesy of the artist

Codex of Trinity, 1993
Acrylic on canvas, 51⅝” x 48⅝”
Courtesy of the artist
Andy Villarreal
Midnight offering to the young Jaguar on top of the pyramid, 2021
Oil cutout on wood, 92½” x 48”
Courtesy of the artist

Online visitors can view Resilience virtually by visiting the Culture Connect link!

MX 21- Resistance, Reaffirmation & Resilience