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Michelle Franzoni Thorley, Elizabeth Sanchez, and Ruth González-Muhlestein: Nepantla

Updated: Feb 8

October 1st - November 3rd, 2021

Michelle describes the theme of the show, Nepantla, in the following way:

"How do multiracial Latinos identify? Which ancestors do we claim? Which parts of our histories do we lean into and celebrate? We face these questions every time we're asked to check boxes for race or ethnicity. Most of my life I've seen myself through a lens of Western US culture—even internalizing a colonizer's view of myself. More recently I have explored trying to see myself through a lens of my Indigenous ancestors and ancestry.

Nepantla is a transitional term, a middle space, an in-between-ness, where multiple forms and multiple realities are viewed simultaneously. I am learning to reject both binary and quanta-based thinking. I'm not a percentage. I am both. I am whole. I am a bridge. I am a fulcrum. I am a Nepantla, Xicana, Mestiza, Mexican-American, and so much more."

Michelle Franzoni Thorley’s work focuses on our ancestral power to heal. She is a self-taught artist who has claimed power through embracing her Mexican-American heritage and her experiences as a woman artist.

Ruth González-Muhlestein is Orem-born to Mexican parents and raised in white, Mormon culture: "I’ve never felt I truly fit the roles laid out for me. And as I’ve leaned into finding where I fit I’ve been compelled to reach back into my family history, even my more immediate family history, to connect to their stories and find healing and place in those connections."

Elizabeth Sanchez was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. She graduated from Brigham Young University, where she earned a BFA in painting: “My goal is to inspire feelings of compassion and kindness towards ourselves and others. I considered my art a dialogue between the unconscious and the customary mind, embodied in the new spaces and old places that knew me. I want for my art to speak of the conventional days from a poetical and sacred view that emanates from a place where love and irony are intimately entwined and at peace.”

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