Feliz Navidad is the holiday theme of the Goddard Center’s galleries which will feature the beautiful, touching art of Kathy Sosa opens Tuesday and continues through January 8th.
The public is invited to a free opening reception from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Sosa is a master of mixed media portraiture, a technique she calls “portrait collage,” which combines her oil portraits with textiles and wallpapers from her extensive collection. The artist reinvented herself when she stepped off the fast track of the advertising world and moved to a small town south of San Antonio, Texas. With support and encouragement from her artist husband, Lionel Sosa, she picked up a paintbrush for the first time at the age of 45. Soon after, she began studying with renowned portrait artist Nelson Shanks at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia.
Sosa has focused her subject matter on the study of Latin American cultural heritage, as well as the exploration of the artistic expression of mestisaje, the blending of peoples, races, ethnicities, languages, ideas, and habits that characterize the Texas-Mexico border region. The people there have mixed and merged for centuries to form a blended culture that has become uniquely its own, and in this niche culture, the artist is both a participant and an observer.
In much of her work, Sosa uses design motifs drawn from textiles, traditional garments and sculptural objects created by indigenous peoples. The artist paints recurring images of women – vibrant, strong, and beautiful. They are in formal portrait poses looking directly at the viewer. Proud and contemporary, they appear transformed by the power of their attire, embodiments of an ancient, indigenous culture. Some of the women eclipse a Tree of Life, which in traditional representations incorporate figures of Adam and Eve, grandparents and parents, and a bride and groom joining generations in a spiritual lineage that links heaven and earth. In Sosa’s hands, the Tree of Life becomes a nimbus cloud of thoughts or obsession, as each woman mentally bears her hopes and fears like a crown of glory.
The overall effect of Sosa’s work is to be immersed in a decorative tide of color and design that surrounds the figures and floods the visual field. Her art is a lens through which one can explore the rich cultural heritage of Mesoamerica. Sosa’s exhibition, “Huipiles: a Celebration,” debuted at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Latino Center’s 2007 summer season before traveling to the Museo Alameda in San Antonio in 2008.
The exhibit can be viewed during the Center’s regular business hours Tuesday thru Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Goddard Center is located at 401 1st Ave. SW in Ardmore.
To ask questions call the Goddard Business Office at (580) 226-0909 or visit our website at www.goddardcenter.org.
This event is made possible in part by funding from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Goddard Center is an Adventure Road Partner.