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Mexican artist Mauricio Zúñiga exhibits at Tucson consulate
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Mexican artist Mauricio Zúñiga exhibits at Tucson consulate

  • Bold colors and shapes form faces in this vibrant piece.
    Mauricio Zúñiga Bold colors and shapes form faces in this vibrant piece.
  • This abstract piece is full of symbols from Zúñiga's life.
    Mauricio Zúñiga This abstract piece is full of symbols from Zúñiga's life.
  • A surreal amalgamation of faces and animals, this piece is in stark contrast to Zúñiga's colorful work.
    Mauricio Zúñiga A surreal amalgamation of faces and animals, this piece is in stark contrast to Zúñiga's colorful work.

"Dialogue of memories for the desert," an exhibit of 25 works exploring the creative influences of artist Mauricio Zúñiga, opens Thursday night at the Mexican Consulate in Tucson.

Zúñiga, who was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and moved to Chicago at the age of 13, infuses his paintings with his heritage and vignettes from his life.

The collection, described as "a tour of latitudes from the valleys of Jalisco to the desert of Sonora, Arizona, and the life of the painter as a Mexican migrant in the vast region of the Midwest," combines the aesthetics of Cubism and Surrealism with the bright colors and images of Mexican culture.

The "atypical" materials and textures of Zúñiga's paintings — plaster, varnish, and acrylics — deliberately reflect those used in building materials.

The artist, in fact, encourages people to touch his artwork so that experiencing them is both visual and tactile.

Zúñiga's career has led to him being a curator for galleries all over the United States. He has volunteered in the Kansas City Arts Council organization for 15 years. He's also curated exhibitions for the "Fiesta Kansas City."

He was recognized as an outstanding artist by the government of Mexico in 2021 during the Second Conference of Artists Abroad. And in 2015, he was awarded the ArtsKC Virtuoso Award.

"Dialogue of memories for the desert" will open this Thursday, August 25, at 5 p.m. at the consulate's gallery, 3915 E. Broadway. The exhibit will run until October 21, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. — 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Bianca Morales is TucsonSentinel.com’s Cultural Expression and Community Values reporter, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.

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