Elizabeth Martinez isn’t a traditional Mexican woman – and her current art exhibit reflects that.
Born in Queretaro, she left Mexico for the United Sates as a baby. She grew up in Jackson, Mo., a town of about 14,000 located five hours southeast of Kansas City, in a traditional Mexican family. Her mother stayed home, tended to the house and watched the kids while her father worked.
Martinez chose a different path than her mother, settling in the Kansas City area to attend the Kansas City Art Institute. Now in her last semester of college while also working full time in marketing, she plans to pursue a marketing career.
“I have avoided that path (by) pursuing a career, pursuing a degree (and) pursuing something more than just being the typical Mexican woman,” Martinez said.
Martinez’s exhibit at the Kansas City Artists Coalition space embraces that idea. Each piece is a constructed print. All of them are black and white outlines of a flower. Some of the flowers have quotes written underneath in Spanish and English. “When are you getting married?” reads one. “When are you going to have kids?” reads another.
“This body of work is based on that idea that I am trying to avoid those expectations while I still really love my culture and love where I come from,” Martinez said.
Martinez was specially chosen to present her exhibit, which also is her senior thesis and last project before graduation. Her collection is running alongside a larger undergraduate college student exhibit. Both are showing until April 28.
Martinez’s exhibit is in the underground gallery of the Kansas City Artists Coalition space, located at 201 Wyandotte St. in Kansas City, Mo. To learn more visit kansascityartistcoalition.org.