On Thursday, April 28, Los Angeles-based artist and researcher Sandy Rodriguez will give a keynote presentation in the Physical Science Building.
Rodriguez will visit Cornell as part of the “From Invasive Others toward Embracing Each Other: Migration, Dispossession, and Place-Based Knowledge in the Arts of the Americas” project — an interdisciplinary research initiative that explores Indigenous, Latinx and Chicanx histories through visual, performance and textual arts. The research team also features Prof. Ella Maria Diaz, Latino/a studies, Prof. Ananda Cohen-Aponte, history of art and visual studies and Prof. Jolene K. Rickard, history of art and visual studies.
Rodriguez’s keynote presentation will focus on Rodriguez’s artistic practice and her three-week residency at Cornell and Rocky Acres Community Farm, an agricultural cooperative that aims to intertwine activism and nature.
Rodriguez will share her project, Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón, a series of bioregional paintings and maps that illustrate themes of history, medicine, color and culture. She began the project in 2017 when she researched and tested Mexican and Pre-Colombian art materials. From this research, Rodriguez recreated indigenous American colors, and she painted the works on handmade paper crafted from the bark of wild fig and mulberry trees. Rodriguez continues to contribute to this project.
Rodriguez grew up in San Diego, Tijuana and Los Angeles. She went on to earn her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1997. Rodriguez’s work has been featured in numerous institutions, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Denver Art Museum. Her recent notable achievements include the Creative Capital Award, Caltech-Huntington Art and Research Residency and the Alma Ruiz Artist Fellowship.
Much of Rodriguez’s art references the Florentine Codex, one of the most comprehensive European records of Aztec civilization. Created in the sixteenth century, the codex was composed in the Uto-Aztecan language Nahuatl by the Franciscan friar Bernadino de Sahagun with Nahuatl students in the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco — located in present-day Mexico City. It documents Aztec religion, society and economy over the course of 2400 pages and over 2000 illustrations.
Students will have an opportunity to listen to a first-hand account of Rodriguez’s work.
The presentation will take place in Room 120 of the Physical Science Building, but guests may also register to attend virtually here.