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A Signature Image: "Dolores, a Warrior for All Living Beings"

Posted on March 23, 2020 at 2:30 PM by Adrienne Gennett

Object of the Day: "Dolores, a Warrior for All Living Beings" by Favianna Rodríguez

Creating Global Understanding in the Christian Petersen Art Museum (closed through April 5th), uses permanent collection objects to make global connections through art. The print, Dolores, a Warrior for All Living Beings, is a beautiful example of how art informs, calls the world to action, and creates open discussion. 

The bright and bold image for the signature image of Creating Global Understanding was created by the interdisciplinary artist and activist Favianna Rodríguez. Based in Oakland, California, Rodríguez identifies as a first-generation Latinx artist with Afro-Peruvian ancestors, which informs much of her art and activism. She creates art that is meant to provoke action on a diverse range of topics from migration, to gender and economic inequalities, to ecology. 

The print, Dolores, a Warrior for All Living Beings, evokes a range of interpretations about the various images depicted. The title and central female figure pay homage to the activist Dolores Huerta, who with Cesar Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association, renamed United Farm Workers, which worked to unite and organize farm workers to achieve better wages and conditions for their laborious work. Huerta continues to fight for the voiceless and lobby for the rights of those who were given none to this day. In the figure’s arms she cradles the world, which can be perceived as both birthing and protective, like a mother with her child. Behind her shoulder is a dog, specifically a traditional Xolo dog, whose image has been found in art and cultural artifacts from ancient history to today in Mexico. The print is filled in with various natural vegetation, from varieties of palms to cacti. Finally a small yellow butterfly in the top right corner marks this as a work of art by Rodríguez. Her version of the monarch butterfly, first created in 2012, along with the words “Migration is beautiful”, signifies that like monarchs, humans too migrate throughout the world and should not be held within inhumane borders.

The print was generously purchased and donated to University Museums Art on Campus Collection by Women in French, a scholarly association that includes co-curator of Celebrating Global Understanding, Dr. Michèle Schaal, Associate Professor of French and Women’s and Gender Studies. Also, thank you to Dr. Lucía M. Suárez, Director of U.S Latino/a Studies and Associate Professor of Spanish, for her research and insight on this print and artist Favianna Rodríguez.

~ Adrienne Gennett, Associate Curator of Collections & Education

Dolores, a Warrior for All Living Beings, 2018 by Favianna Rodríguez (American, b. 1978). Digital print. Women in French is a scholarly association established in 1978 and whose goal is the promotion of the study of French and Francophone women authors, artists, filmmakers, and intellectuals. Gift of Women in French. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. U2019.230

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