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 Zodíaco 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 Participating Artists and their zodiacs:
Eric J. Garcia–Iguana
Carolina Jiménez–Venado Azul
Gabriela Ramírez Michel–Mono
Jon Gómez y Javier Barboza–Águila
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 KCTS 9, a service of Cascade Public Media.
The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today.