La Sierra art chair to showcase retrospective exhibit

Through drawings, paintings, videos, and three-dimensional works, an exhibition this month by La Sierra University art professor Beatriz Mejía-Krumbein will explore the artist’s commitment to social action. The show will span decades of art and will include representative examples from the artist’s most significant bodies of work as well as less familiar and intimate pieces. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.

Titled "Beatriz Mejía-Krumbein: I Am Still An Artist," the exhibit will be held at La Sierra's Brandstater Gallery Jan. 13 - 30 with a public reception Mon., Jan. 13, 6 - 8 p.m. Mejía-Krumbein will also give a public performance of her most recent endeavor titled "Mi Tiempo, Mein Raum, My Map (My Time, My Space, My Map)" on Sun., Jan. 26 at 2 p.m.

The exhibition represents a mid-career retrospective for the Colombian-born artist and university art department chair. It will also serve as Mejía-Krumbein's first solo exhibit and as well as her last show in Brandstater Gallery prior to her retirement this year from 17 years of teaching at La Sierra. She previously exhibited with annual group faculty shows at the gallery. "It is great to be able to see the work done in more than 40 years sharing the same space. It is like a conversation in time," she said.

"To prepare for this exhibit brings me a lot of mixed feelings. It is great to be able to share the work with the community and celebrate it, but it is sad to see the end of an intense and loved academic carrier and life cycle," said Mejía-Krumbein. "On another note, I am looking forward to continuing to develop new projects, to meet more people, and to be involved in multidisciplinary projects. I want to keep exploring, learning, and realize many dreams I still have."

Mejía-Krumbein, a resident of Riverside, was born in Colombia but lived in Mexico and Germany before immigrating to the United States in 1987. Since the mid-1990s, Mejía-Krumbein has produced a body of figurative work that expresses a genuine concern for human rights and the need for solidarity among underrepresented communities. Her large-scale books, mixed-media paintings and assemblages express skepticism toward mandated behavior and question the actions of those who abuse power.

The series of works in "Black and White" revealed the institutional violence and abuse she witnessed in her native Colombia-painted in a stark gray scale. "La Suite del Silencio (The Suite of Silence)" investigated the plight of women worldwide, through paintings and collages created on quilts pieced together from rags. Using a form of figurative expressionism, raw brushstrokes, and a variety of both traditional as well as unconventional materials, Mejía-Krumbein 'speaks' for those rendered voiceless.

More recently, Mejía-Krumbein has returned to exploring her own life passages and experiences as a serial migrant through a series of video works and performances. "Mi Tiempo, Mein Raum, My Map (My Time, My Space, My Map)" is a tri-lingual performance piece through which the artist explores her journey as a migrant artist through the individual relationships she formed during her various migrations.

"Beatriz Mejía-Krumbein: I am Still an Artist" is curated by Gabriela Martínez, curator of education at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, Calif. and organized by Tim Musso, assistant professor of art at La Sierra University.

Mejía-Krumbein studied fine arts and music in Colombia and received an MFA from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. in 1996. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collections of The Museum of Latin American Art, Smithsonian Museum of American Art (Self-Help Graphics Archives), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Printmaking Archives, The Huntington Museum at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Museo de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia.

In 1997, Mejía-Krumbein accepted an appointment as assistant professor of art at La Sierra University. Since 2004, she has served as chair of the Art Department and director of Brandstater Gallery.

La Sierra's Brandstater Gallery is located in the Visual Art Center 112, Building 1. Gallery hours are Mon. - Thurs., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sun., 2 - 5 p.m. La Sierra University is at 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside. Admission is free. For additional information call 951-785-2170.

  • Last update on  August 26, 2014