October 7, 2022

Mesa College Celebrates LatinX Heritage Month, with the exhibition In Lak’ech: Tu eres me otro yo (You are my other me)

By Office of Communications

LatinX Art Exhibition

San Diego, CA - San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery recently celebrated LatinX Heritage Month, with the exhibition In Lak’ech: Tu eres me otro yo (You are my other me), featuring Artworks by Maria de Los Angeles and Ryan Bonilla. Maria de Los Angeles is a Latinx artist and professor of painting at Yale University School of Art and started her education as a Dreamer at Santa Rosa community college. Ryan Bonilla is a Filipino-American fashion photographer that has worked for Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry and published in ELLE and other fashion magazines. They traveled from the East Coast to attend the reception. Maria de Los Angeles is based in New York.


In Lak’ech: Tu eres me otro yo (You are my other me) invokes a Mayan concept popularized by Chicano playwright Luis Valdez. This affirmation reflects a philosophy of caring and connecting with the human spirit of one another. This idea is what the tone for this two-person exhibit at the San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery. In addition to human spirits, Alessandra was delighted to Maria and Ryan at the Reception.


“At the reception, Maria and Ryan’s generous spirit came through, stated  Alessandra Moctezuma, Gallery Director and Professor of Fine Arts. “They spent the three hours of the reception talking to students, answering questions, listening to their interpretation of the art.”


Moctezuma reflects back on her experience with Maria de Los Angeles, “I met Maria de Los Angeles on a FB artist activist group during the Trump era, maybe 2018? When anti-immigrant furor was at its height. I immediately fell in love with her work since it resonated with my own experience as an immigrant from Mexico.”


Through evocative paintings, wearable dress sculptures and drawings, artist Maria de Los Angeles connects with America’s multiple selves: those of the immigrant, the refugee, the undocumented, and the indigenous. She questions and breaks down racist stereotypes and tackles otherness and the concept of belonging.


Alessandra acknowledged, “Her art spoke of the difficulties but in such a beautiful way. She was in New York but we would chat via message and got to know each other.”


Maria immigrated from Mexico and was raised in Northern California. De Los Angeles received her MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University School of Art (2015), a BFA in painting from Pratt institute (2013), and an associate’s degree in painting from Santa Rosa Junior College, California. Maria has been involved in community projects and has created youth arts programs. She received the Community Action Partnership’s award, and the Blair Dickinson Memorial Prize given by Yale University. She was an artist in residency at El Museo del Barrio (2017) and at Mana Contemporary (2015-2017).

 In fall of 2022, she was hired as Assistant Director of Painting and Printmaking at Yale University School of Art.


Ryan Bonilla is a multimedia artist who was born in the Philippines. Bonilla migrated to New York as a child, and as a teenager, he was influenced by the vibrant street culture that surrounded him. He worked and collaborated with fashion houses such as Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry, and David Yurman. He has been published by Elle, Playboy, GQ, and i-D magazines. His work has been presented by galleries in New York and around the world, showcased at Art Basel and SCOPE, and has been acquired by the Museum of Art and Design and by private collectors. He currently resides in New York and Jersey City.


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