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Link to KVPR Story: “Boom Oaxaca,” a new art exhibition by Oaxacan artists, to open at Arte Americas 

Link to Vida en el Valle Story: Artista de origen zapoteco pone la vida de campesinos en sus obras de arte

Press Release

February 11, 2022 

Arte Américas Opens Major Exhibition Boom Oaxaca Featuring New Artwork By Artists Tlacolulokos and Narsiso Martinez

Exhibition in Conversation with Over 50,000 Oaxaqueños Living in the Central Valley

Boom Oaxaca: Conversaciones de Campo a Campo is on view from March 4, 2022 through August 14, 2022 at Arte Américas in Downtown Fresno located at 1630 Van Ness Avenue, Fresno, CA 93721. Gallery entry fees will apply to see the exhibition and attend all related programs. For more information and a calendar of events visit 

– Arte Américas and the Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño present Boom Oaxaca: Conversaciones de Campo a Campo, an exhibition and programming series made possible by a grant from The McClatchy Fresno Arts Endowment of The James B. McClatchy Foundation. Boom Oaxaca is an invitation to participate in local and transnational conversations around food sovereignty and Indigenous sovereignty as issues that uniquely converge in the Central Valley’s Oaxaqueño community.

In development for over two years, Boom Oaxaca is the second exhibition to open in a $1M grant-funded collaborative of three organizations presenting “The Power of Culture” in the Central Valley. Boom Oaxaca was developed by a curatorial team at Arte Américas, including Lilia Chavez, Executive Director of the Fresno Arts Council and President of the California Arts Council. “We wanted to bring artists to Fresno that were willing to work with our local community,” Chavez said. “ These internationally known artists provided us with an opportunity to create an exhibition unique to Fresno and the issues that impact us directly.” Boom Oaxaca includes newly commissioned artwork by Narsiso Martinez and Tlacolulokos, developed through interviews and visits with local community members.

Grounded in the context of both Oaxaca and California, often termed “Oaxacalifornia,” these artists created images of often invisibilized spaces, and in turn demand attention and humanize the experiences of their community. From portraits of farmworkers on reclaimed produce boxes to street art and large-scale murals, the works of Narsiso Martinez, and Tlacolulokos, among others in the exhibition are in conversation with the approximately 50,000 Oaxacan immigrants residing in the Central Valley, humanizing their experiences as field laborers, and validating their contributions to California’s rich bounty. The forthcoming exhibition and community programs seek to inspire new audiences and instill cultural pride in the hundreds of students anticipated to visit. The exhibition will open a dialogue on topics that are particularly important during the pandemic, including immigration, border politics, food, labor, and safety.

“Although the Indigenous migrant community continues to survive the structural inequalities during the pandemic, we can’t forget how we thrive in the preservation of culture and as stewards of land,” said Dr. Sarait Martinez, Executive Director of the Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño. “The artists in the exhibition show a multifaceted perspective of our local community and instill a sense of pride.” 

The exhibition will span Arte’s five galleries with accompanying artists such as printmaking collectives like Hoja Santa, an all-women’s printmaking collective based in Oaxaca City, and three other printmaking collectives: Taller Bambú, Subterráneos, and Gabinete Gráfico. Other media such as films and a mapping project will also tell the stories of local Oaxaqueño cultural stewards and foodways.

During the pandemic, Arte Américas invested in remodeling the space, including new floors, a new HVAC system, revamped outdoor lighting, and a new audio system with parabolic speakers. For this exhibition, the speakers will be vital as many guests from the Oaxaqueño community speak Indigenous languages. Didactics in the gallery as well as specific programming will be offered in English, Spanish, and Indigenous languages. 

The six-month long exhibition will include public programming, such as artist talks, a “Foodways Panel,” a “Tianguis” open-air marketplace in partnership with Dulce Upfront, and six months of arts and culture workshops. Educators and families can access online resources and enjoy a dedicated children’s gallery focused on Indigenous plant science and textiles. 

The McClatchy Fresno Arts Endowment aspires to establish Fresno as a creative and cultural arts hub and elevate the region as an arts destination. By celebrating the diverse Oaxacan  communities of the Central Valley, we hope that people see their own struggles and triumphs reflected in the exhibition, and that the public gains a deeper understanding of this community, feels connected, and are transformed.


Contact Person: Ruth Saludes, Executive Director, Arte Américas

Contact Email:

Contact Phone Number: (559) 268-6130