Carmen Lomas Garza
Mexican-American artist and illustrator
Carmen Lomas Garza (born 1948) is an American artist and illustrator.
- My parents did not trust…There was a lot of mistrust…There was this skepticism about white people because of what they had gone through. And I didn't associate with any white people except when I got to junior high.
- On the racial divides in her household and community in “Oral history interview with Carmen Lomas Garza, 1997 Apr. 10-May 27” (Smithsonian Archives of American Art)
- In the end, you know, this whole thing about the feminist movement and the feminist art movement, in the end, when it comes down to it, as a Chicana artist, I know what my father has gone through, I know what my husband and my brothers have gone through, and I know what my nephews are going to go through with discrimination and racism. You know, I have to support them. They are my family. And I've seen it now more and more where white women are turning their back against men of color. You know, so their support isn't there as much as they vowed to do. You know, even though they're a minority…
- On where she stands as a Chicana artist in “Oral history interview with Carmen Lomas Garza, 1997 Apr. 10-May 27” (Smithsonian Archives of American Art)
- I wanted to have these kinds of images because other Chicano artists were doing imagery that was very political, sending messages about oppression and discrimination, honoring the great muralists in Mexico, and protesting the Vietnam war because a lot of Chicanos had been drafted into the army. There were a lot of protests against the war and the draft. I just wanted to focus on the every day life that we’re all very familiar with. We needed to re-celebrate that: the beautiful things that we have always known and grown up with…
- On depicting everyday life for Mexican Americans in “Carmen Lomas Garza in the Artist Studio, April 2011” (de Young Museum of Art)
- I grew up with a lot of discrimination and racism though we were in South Texas it was still very prevalent and I had to deal with a lot of it in the public school system. In the elementary school we were punished for speaking Spanish, physically punished for speaking Spanish. So you’re made to feel ashamed. When the farm workers came through Kingsville on their march to Austin, the capital of Texas, we were very excited. The most obvious issues that were being discussed were the violence against the Mexicans and the farm workers, anybody who wasn’t the right color was subject to being arrested, to being beat up by the Texas Rangers. It was at that point that I made the decision that no matter what it took from me I was going to be a Chicana artist, no matter what! Because here was this whole population of my people who were being unfairly treated and if I could use my artwork as a vehicle towards bringing a greater understanding as who were as a people: our culture, our language, out customs, our mannerisms. Everything about our lives needed to be brought out in a fine art format…
- On becoming a Chicana artist in “CARMEN LOMAS GARZA – IN HER OWN WORDS” in Latinopia (2010 Mar 6)