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ASU Art Museum exhibit to showcase work of first national CALA Alliance resident

Sarah Zapata's work reflects ASU, CALA Alliance partnership's mission to highlight Latino art

January 16, 2024

The pieces included in Sarah Zapata's solo exhibition "Beneath the breath of the sun" are rich with texture, color and references to her identity as a queer woman of Peruvian heritage raised in evangelical south Texas.

Created in the fall of 2023 while Zapata was in residence in Phoenix, the exhibition also showcases the partnership between CALA Alliance and ASU Art Museum, which aims to promote the exchange of new ideas, perspectives and experiences among artists, students and the public through various programs, especially those that educate and inspire the public about the richness of the Latino cultural heritage.

Close-up image of textiles of varying colors and textures.
Sarah Zapata's solo exhibition "Beneath the breath of the sun" will be on view at the ASU Art Museum from Feb. 10 through July 21. Photo courtesy the ASU Art Museum

“As the first national resident at CALA Alliance,” Zapata said, “I’m so excited to show this new installation, made in such an interesting and specific place, at the ASU Art Museum. Arizona exists with such beautiful and complicated lineages, with a rich material culture that is simultaneously historical and prescient."

Sarah Zapata: Beneath the breath of the sun” will be on view from Feb. 10 through July 21 at the ASU Art Museum Nelson Fine Arts Center. It is the artist’s largest and most ambitious project to date, expanding upon her practice and creating an immersive experience with never-before-seen works.

Featuring the artist’s diverse practice, which employs weaving, tufting and traditional craft techniques to create loud, architecturally responsive works, the exhibit is a site-specific installation of textiles imbued with autobiographical references that reflect the artist’s intersecting identities. Traversing themes of gender, colonialism and fantasy, Zapata’s hand-woven, manufactured environment evokes an otherworldly experience that plays on an imagined sense of time. For Zapata, time and space are actors within the exhibition, where visitors are encouraged to recall the past, exist in the present and access ideas of potential and futurity. These new works are shown alongside ceramics the artist personally selected from the ASU Art Museum’s renowned permanent collection. 

"I hope this new work provides some fantasy and curiosity in the flexibility of tradition and its many dualities,” Zapata said.

“Beneath the breath of the sun” is organized by ASU Art Museum Senior Curator Alana Hernandez, with CALA Alliance Curatorial Assistant Sade Moore. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with a community of practice composed of local organizers, writers and scholars.

More information and how to register will be available on the ASU Art Museum’s website as details are confirmed.

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