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March 3 – July 30, 2017 in the Chicago Gallery
Exhibition reception will be on Friday, April 21, 6-8 pm. Maria Varela will be present.
Inspired by social justice activism in her south side Chicago Catholic high school, Maria Varela (b.1940) accepted an invitation in 1963 to join the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a civil rights organization working in the U.S. south. She helped develop a voter literacy program and by 1965 was the only female staff photographer for SNCC. In 1968 the experienced civil rights activist accepted an invitation from Reies Lopez Tijerina to join the Land Grant Movement in New Mexico. When members of the movement requested help in restoring ancestral lands and cultural practices, she supported them in establishing co-ops and non-for-profits to help improve their lives. In 1990, Varela received a MacArthur Fellowship for this work.
Artist Talk: Time to Get Ready: Civil Rights Photography of Maria Varela
Join us for a talk by the artist on Wednesday, April 19th. Maria Varela will reflect on her National Museum of Mexican Art photography exhibition through images and poetry. This free lecture is part of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Arts and Culture Organizations Residency Program and will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington in the Garland Room from 6-7pm.
Image: John Luis, Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, on the Meredith March Against Fear. Mississippi 1966. ©Maria Varela