El Zodiaco Familiar

June 19 – October 24, 2021; Lightcatcher building

Exhibition by George Rodriguez

Ceramic artist and sculptor George Rodriguez embarks on a collaborative iteration of the Chinese Zodiac. In an homage to its origins in Chinese folklore, Rodriguez has reimagined the classic zodiac animals as analogous creatures of Mexican origin, bridging cultures and creating new narratives.

El Zodiaco Familiar—the fifth iteration of Rodriguez’s Mexican Zodiac series—invites 13 Mexican and Chicanx/Chicane artists of various artistic disciplines to respond to Rodriguez’s animal sculptures with the forms, tools, and aesthetics of their own artistic practices. Each artist has imbued their collaboratively-imagined sculpture, corresponding to the zodiac animal of their birth year, with personal perspective, folk tradition, and an intimate feeling of celebration. While each sculpture is as distinct as its maker, taken together, the twelve pieces vibrate with deep resonances of the familiar.

The Whatcom Museum is excited to feature El Zodiaco Familiar, especially since these new works are being created specifically for this exhibition. Check back soon for images of some of the artworks we’ll be showcasing.

The Participating Artists and their zodiacs:
Moises SalazarChapulín
Marilyn MontufarToro
Alejandra Carrillo-EstradaJaguar
Samirah SteinmeyerCacomixtle
Yosimar ReyesQuetzalcoatl
Eric J. GarciaIguana
Christie TiradoBurro
Carolina JiménezVenado Azul
Gabriela Ramírez MichelMono
Jon Gómez y Javier BarbozaÁguila
Gabriel MarquezChihuahua
Gustavo MartinezCabra

Also on display are several of Rodriguez’s guardian figures that demonstrate the artist’s ongoing exploration of community, culture, identity, and ornamentation.

Rodriguez was featured in the 12th season of Craft in America. Watch the episode here.

This exhibition is supported in part by the Whatcom Museum Foundation, the City of Bellingham, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Media sponsorship provided by Cascade Public Media KCTS9.