The History Colorado Center tells the story of Colorado’s Latino, Chicano and Native people’s rich history in the state through art.
The museum, located at 1200 N. Broadway, is displaying the “Hecho en Colorado” exhibit in collaboration with the Denver Latino Cultural Arts Center until Jan. 10 of next year. The exhibit features paintings, sculptures, photographs and textiles made by Latino artists who worked in the state. Located in the museum’s first floor at the Ballantine Gallery, the exhibit includes the work of artists like Carlos EspinoZa, Carlos Fresquez, David Ocelotl Garcia and more.
The Ballantine Gallery was created to support community partnerships like the one between History Colorado and the Denver Latino Cultural Arts Center, founded by Adrianna Abarca, curator of the exhibit.
“History Colorado is able to provide its resources and expertise around the nuts and bolts of creating an exhibit, and we can rely on our community partners and their expertise, in this case with (Abarca), to develop the content and the interpretation that hopefully makes for something that visitors find really stimulating and different,” said History Colorado’s Communications and PR Manager John Eding.
Hecho en Colorado features photos of civil rights rallies that occurred during the 1970s and vintage low riders, street photography and even a gorilla with Casa Bonita on its head along with numerous other forms of art. The Saint Cajetan Catholic Church, a staple on the Auraria Campus, is also captured in the exhibit in a painting by Carlos Fresquez of Denver.
On Friday mornings, Abarca offer tours of the exhibit for groups of 10 or less people. Coffee is included in the tour that the museum’s website says is ideal for community, family and small groups who are seeking intimate ways to learn and share experiences together.
“There was a need expressed by the community to have more representation of the historic contributions of the Chicanas to Colorado history, so we formed the Year of La Chicana,” said Abarca. Year of La Chicana is a community partnership that works to connect core issues of the Chicano movement with issues of social justice, identity and inclusion.
As part of Year of La Chicana, History Colorado Executive Director Steve Turner invited Abarca to highlight some pieces from the Abarca Family Collection and to create a concept for an exhibit. Abarca liked the idea to highlight artists from different parts of Colorado that self-identify as Chicano, Mexican American or Mexican and have them in an exhibit that she says is a nod to the Chicano Civil Rights Movement.
Due to COVID-19, tickets for the History Colorado Center must be purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased at historycolorado.org. For more information about the exhibit, visit www.historycolorado.org/exhibit/hecho-en-colorado. The museum is open to members only on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.to the public.