People of Corn / Gente de Maiz with Artist in Residence–Jorge Rojas
June 23, 2021 – September 19, 2021
The Kimball Art Center names Jorge Rojas inaugural artist-in-residence. Kimball Art Center’s artist-in-residence program supports artists of diverse ages, backgrounds, and disciplines in the exploration and expansion of their creative practices and the production of new bodies of work.
For more than 10 years, much of Rojas’s sculptural and performance work has celebrated the spiritual significance of corn in cultures throughout the Americas. During a two-month residency, Rojas will add to this body of work, using it as a platform for public engagement and creative collaboration.
People of Corn / Gente de Maiz emerges from the artist’s long standing desire to transform museums into more inclusive spaces. Here, he invites all of us to step out of our usual roles as observers and become integral participants or co-creators in this project. Creating an artwork inspired by his Latino roots and based on creating shared experiences with the community, Rojas hopes to establish a space for meaningful and lasting cross-cultural exchange.
Programming begins June 23 and continues on select dates through August 28. The exhibition of the community-created artwork will open August 13 for the public.
Jorge’s Corn Mandala, the sixth in an ongoing series of site-specific installations made from corn, uses corn kernels to celebrate the importance of maize for Indigenous cultures in the Americas.
“My corn mandalas center corn as something sacred. I use corn because I feel a strong connection to it. It carries an ancient history and life force that I learn and draw from, and being from Mexico gives meaning to that connection. Mandalas interest me not only for their beauty and spiritual qualities, but also because they can help build bridges of understanding between cultures, creating and opening channels for a flow and exchange of ideas.” – JORGE ROJAS
The mandala on display at Kimball Art Center displays the Seed of Life symbol as the central element. The Seed of Life is taken from the inner seven circles of the Flower of Life symbol, and, in its sacred context, represents the consciousness of God, the creator.
This program is supported by Mell & Kieran Gallahue, Carol & Will Hodgman, Debby & Rob Schiller and Mary & Scott Wieler.
We Are People of Corn / Somos Gente de Maíz
In conjunction with Artist-in-Residence Jorge Rojas’ community art project Gente de Maíz / People of Corn, the Kimball Art Center has partnered with Artes de México en Utah, Utah Humanities, and Park City Library to present We Are People of Corn / Somos Gente de Maíz, a series of interactive classes, talks, readings, art making and meal sharing. The series will take place in August and September and invites the community to explore the meaning and cultural importance of corn to indigenous peoples of the Americas.
- Born from Corn: The Soul of the Americas – Wednesday, August 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
- Nacidos del Maíz: El Alma de las Américas (en Español) – Wednesday, August 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
- Cooking with Corn / Cocinando con Maíz – Wednesday, August 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
- Jorge Rojas: Artist Talk – Thursday, September 2 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
- Stories of Maize / Historias de Maíz – Wednesday, September 15 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Jorge Rojas in conversation with Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriguez, author of Our Sacred Maiz Is Our Mother: Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas.
Created in partnership with Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Artes de México en Utah, Utah Humanities, and Park City Library.