La historia en el arte

The Story in the Art

By Museo Eduardo Carrillo

Museo Eduardo Carrillo

Author reading (2016) by Andy Zenczak and Gadgetbox StudiosMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Finding that teens rarely had access to contemporary Latinx art, Museo Eduardo Carrillo launched an initiative to bring images by those artists directly to youth in our region. We wanted to make the experience significant to them, to deepen the meaning of looking closely. To do that we found the perfect partner in the Young Writers Program. Their training of community volunteer mentors results in turning reluctant students into assured writers.

The Artist Dreaming of Immortality in His Grandmother's Backyard (1990) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Museo curated the images, selecting work for its vigor and potential to resonant with the students. We designed posters for each artwork so students would have their own unique image. The classroom teachers entrusted us with their students to offer this unique program. The mentors spent 13 sessions with the students to help elicit responses toward the art, draft personal narratives, and revise, revise and revise their writing to complete the keenest writing each could achieve.
Image: (detail from Eduardo Carrillo, "The Artist Dreaming of Immortality...")

The writing, paired with accompanying artwork, was transformed into books—printed, beautiful hard cover books. The look when the students—now published authors—received their copies was priceless.

For this exhibition, we selected excerpts from their narratives. We hope you will enjoy viewing the art of these contemporary Latinx artists and reading what today’s youth have to say about the images and their lives.

Image: (detail from Eduardo Carrillo, "The Artist Dreaming of Immortality...")

Patssi's Kitchen (2000) by Patssi ValdezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Both my parents were extremely poor when they were young, and they are very hardworking. At my age, my dad was already working... My parents didn’t want my sister and me to go through the same thing they went through, so they decided to come to the United States so we could have a better future than we would have had in Mexico.

Tanto mi padre como mi madre eran extremadamente pobres de jóvenes y los dos son muy trabajadores. A mi edad, mi papá ya estaba trabajando... Mis padres no querían que mi hermana y yo pasáramos por lo mismo que ellos pasaron, así que decidieron venir a los Estados Unidos para que pudiéramos tener un futuro mejor del que habríamos tenido en México.
—Adamaris Mendoza Chavez

Humano (+) Humano (+) side view (2016) by Hector Dionicio MendozaMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

I remember the redwood trees that were there; how humongous they were and how some were burned in a fire. I also remember when I had the chance to take a long, calming walk around the endless woods alone for a long time. It was amazing, and I felt reassured and at peace.

Recuerdo las secuoyas que había, lo descomunales que eran y cómo algunas estaban quemadas. También recuerdo cuando pude pasear relajadamente por aquel bosque infinito durante mucho tiempo. Fue increíble, me sentí tranquilo y en paz.

—Alejandro Morales

Monte Alban (2016) by Lesha Marie RodriguezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

I really admire all these people who are hard workers. Field workers who work in the hot days are in danger of fainting and dehydration. This is really unfair for the people who work in fields, and they should get paid more for their hard labor.

Realmente admiro a todas estas personas que son tan trabajadoras. Las personas que trabajan en el campo durante los días calurosos están en peligro de deshidratarse y desmayarse. Esto es muy injusto para los trabajadores agrícolas; deberían de recibir más por su ardua labor.

—Alondra Palmerin Montoya

Nube/Clouds (2012/2015) by Hector Dionicio MendozaMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

This art relates to my life because on the outside everything seems perfect, but on the inside, it hurts. My life has a lot of damage—so much damage that it can’t be fixed. In order to forget about all the damage and how hurt you are, you just have to forget about it, move on, and leave everything behind.

Mi vida se ve reflejada en esta obra de arte porque, aunque en el exterior todo pueda parecer perfecto, en el interior, duele. Mi vida tiene mucho daño -tanto daño que no se puede arreglar-. Para poder olvidar todo el daño y las heridas que tienes, sólo hay que desconectar, seguir adelante y dejar todo atrás.

—Alyssa Garcia

Trade (2016) by Lesha Marie RodriguezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Angelique reading

This picture reminds me of my great grandmama. She is a strong Cherokee Indian Christian woman, and she spends most of her day in her room on her knees, praying for her family. She really cares for us a lot.

Este cuadro me recuerda a mi gran abuelita. Ella es una india cherokee fuerte y cristiana, que pasa la mayor parte del día en su habitación de rodillas, rezando por su familia. Realmente le importamos mucho.

—Angelique Destany Montaño Lopez

Harbor Hillside (2016) by Lupe SantosMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Brian Lopez (read by Julia Chiapella)

The picture reminds me of the time I went to a park near Los Banos with a wide, fast-flowing river. We mostly played in the river, but it was extremely cold—so cold that if you stayed in the river for longer than 30 seconds, your feet would get numb.

La pintura me recuerda a la vez que fui a un parque, cerca de Los Baños, el cual tenía un amplio y caudaloso río. Jugamos en el río sobre todo, pero era tan frío que, si permanecías dentro del agua por más de 30 segundos, los pies se quedaban totalmente entumecidos.

—Brian Lopez

El Grito (The Cry) – detail right panel (1977/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

The apron that the lady in the artwork is wearing, with all the patterns and different colors, reminds me of what my abuelita wears when she’s making tortillas—or really anything to do with cooking. Sometimes she even wears them as part of her regular clothes.

El delantal que lleva la señora de la obra, con todos los estampados y colores diferentes, me recuerda al que usa mi abuelita cuando hace tortillas -o aunque no cocine también lo lleva puesto-. A veces, incluso forma parte de su ropa habitual.

—Brigette Regalado

Undocumented Border Flowers:DIA (2011) by Consuelo Jimenez UnderwoodMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

This picture reminds me of last summer, when I worked at a house in Santa Cruz with my uncle and cousin. Every weekend that summer, my uncle would pick me up in the morning and he would take us to places for breakfast like The Bagel Bakery or McDonald’s.

Esta imagen me recuerda al verano pasado, cuando trabajé en una casa de Santa Cruz con mi tío y mi primo. Cada fin de semana durante ese verano, mi tío me recogía por la mañana y nos llevaba a lugares como The Bagel Bakery o McDonald’s para desayunar.

—C. R. G.

El Grito (the Cry) – left panel (1977/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

My family and I visit my grandfather’s farm in Guadalajara at least once a year. My cousins and I share two horses, named Josefina and Loco. My dad and brother named Josefina and my Uncle Favian named Loco. All my younger cousins, nieces, and nephews are afraid of Loco; they don’t even like to touch him. Nobody knows what Loco is capable of doing.

Mi familia y yo siempre visitamos, al menos una vez al año, la granja de mi abuelo en Guadalajara. Mis primos y yo compartimos dos caballos, llamados Josefina y Loco. Mi padre y mi hermano le pusieron el nombre a Josefina y mi tío Favian a Loco. Todos mis primos y sobrinos más jóvenes tienen miedo de Loco; ni siquiera les gusta tocarlo porque nadie sabe lo que es capaz de hacer.

—Daniela Rodriguez

Trees Schwan Lake (2006) by Lupe SantosMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Elsy Romero reading

This painting reminds me of times I wished I was asleep, and that all my problems were just nightmares. It looks too good to be true, like a place you dream about—like someplace you want to go to escape all of your problems, your fears, and your pains.

Esta pintura me recuerda a las veces en las que deseé estar dormida y que todos mis problemas fueran sólo pesadillas. Parece demasiado bueno para ser cierto, como un lugar con el que sueñas -como un lugar al que quieres ir para escapar de todos tus problemas, tus miedos y dolores.

—Elsy Romero

North Coast Ranch (2011) by Lupe SantosMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

This art makes me imagine what I desire my reality to be.

Esta obra de arte me hace imaginar cómo deseo que sea mi realidad.


Humano (+) Con Tierra (2016) by Hector Dionicio MendozaMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

We looked out of the car and saw the desert floor, and it was all cracked, as if there had been an earthquake. There were a lot of animal bones there.

Al mirar por la ventanilla del carro vimos el suelo del desierto: estaba todo rajado, como si hubiera habido un terremoto. Había muchos huesos de animales.

—Ismael Villalobos

Fenye's House: The Studio (2000) by Patssi ValdezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

I feel like growing up in a rich house changes your life. People see you differently. Some will see people who grow up in a rich house as spoiled and irresponsible because they think they can do whatever they want. For example, they’ll mess up something and say, “Oh, it’s okay, I have money to pay for this mistake.”

Siento como si al crecer en una casa rica, tu vida cambiara. La gente te ve diferente. Algunos creerán que las personas que crecen en un hogar con dinero son unos malcriados e irresponsables porque piensan que pueden hacer lo que quieran. Por ejemplo, si estropean algo dirán: “oh, está bien, tengo dinero para arreglar este error”.

—Itsel Loera

El Grito (The Cry) – right panel (1977/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

This piece of art represents freedom. The individuals are running for their lives, to be free. They are escaping slavery, hunger, and a lack of hygiene, and are searching for a life that allows them to have food, cleanliness, and the ability to make choices for themselves.

Esta obra de arte representa la libertad. Los individuos huyen para salvar sus vidas, para ser libres. Están escapando de la esclavitud, del hambre y de la falta de aseo. Están buscando una vida que les permita tener comida, higiene y la capacidad de tomar decisiones por sí mismos.


Undocumented Border Flowers (2010) by Consuelo Jimenez UnderwoodMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

The flowers in this picture make me think that each and every person is equal no matter where they come from, and that everything they do is beautiful.

Las flores en esta imagen me hacen pensar que todas y cada una de las personas son iguales, sin importar su origen, y que todo lo que hacen es hermoso.

—Jennifer Montes

Eagle (2016) by Lesha Marie RodriguezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Another thing I figured out is that in every problem, there is a solution or consequence, but you will have to move on no matter what.

Otra cosa que he descubierto es que, para cada problema hay una solución o consecuencia, pero tendrás que seguir adelante sí o sí.

—Jennifer Quintana

Talking (2016) by Lesha Marie RodriguezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

The bright colors in this image remind me of Mexico. The bright green color reminds me of Mexico because my dad has a big orchard of avocados, and the trees are green. When I went to Mexico, I used to go to the orchard to see how they were doing, but I would get a lot of mosquito bites.

Los colores brillantes en esta imagen me recuerdan a México. El color verde brillante hace que me acuerde de México porque mi papá tiene un gran huerto de aguacates y los árboles son verdes. Cuando voy a México, suelo acercarme al huerto para comprobar cómo van, pero siempre termino llena de picaduras de mosquito.

—Jessica Baltazar

LA Borderline (2014) by Consuelo Jimenez UnderwoodMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Joanna Vega Villanueva reading

“LA Borderline” $how$ a border $eparating one whole place into two. The only thing $eparating “two” place$ is a border that $omeone decided to create. If it wa$n’t for a “border,” we would all be happy with the one$ we love. The people we love are flower$ on both $ide$, and the flower$ repre$ent the love on both $ide$.

LA Borderline muestra una frontera que separa un único lugar en dos. Lo que separa “dos” lugares es solamente una frontera que alguien decidió crear. Si no fuera por una “frontera”, todos seríamos felices con las personas que queremos. Las personas que amamos son las flores de ambos lados, y las flores a su vez representan el amor, tanto en un lado como en el otro.

—Joanna Vega Villanueva

Somber Clouds (2015) by Patssi ValdezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Okay, now let me get back to the artwork. The picture looks very evil and scary to me. The clouds are painted red like a magic place, and the floor has very deep lines and people live there because the floor has water.
The day is very sad. There are no birds singing or anything.
Just rain…

Bueno, ahora volvamos a la obra de arte. La imagen me parece muy perversa y aterradora. Las nubes están pintadas de rojo como en un lugar mágico, y el suelo tiene líneas muy profundas y la gente vive allí porque el suelo tiene agua

—Jocelyn Estrada

Maidens of Spring (2013) by Judithe HernandezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

People fight over the racism in this country, and I just hope one day everybody will see each other like brothers and sisters. We should all be free to be who we want to be and not be made fun of simply because we are different or come from a different place.

La gente lucha por el racismo en este país, y yo solo espero que algún día todos nos veamos como hermanos y hermanas. Deberíamos de ser libres para ser quienes queramos ser y no ser ridiculizado simplemente porque somos distintos o porque venimos de un lugar diferente.

—Jonathan Lopez

Summer (2013) by Judithe HernandezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Time flew by really quickly, and soon it was already 10:00 p.m. I was walking to my tent when all of a sudden I heard something across the lake. My dad turned on a flashlight, and we saw a big black grizzly bear with its baby cub. When I saw the bear, I felt cool, excited, and fearless. This painting brought back good memories about summer.

El tiempo pasó muy rápido y en seguida eran ya las diez de la noche. Estaba de camino a mi tienda cuando de repente oí algo cerca del lago. Mi papá encendió una linterna y vimos un gran oso pardo, negro, con su cachorro. Cuando vi al oso me sentí padre, emocionada y sin miedo. Esta pintura trajo buenos recuerdos sobre el verano.

—Julianna Hernandez

Borderline Premonitions - New York (2015) by Consuelo Jimenez UnderwoodMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

Justin Felix reading

My picture reminds me of a school picnic I went to at Pinto Lake in Watsonville when I was in fifth grade. The reason this picture reminds me of this moment is because it has bright, vibrant colors. The snacks that were at the school picnic were colorful, such as the chips and M&M cookies. That day, my friends and I played tag and hide and seek in the forest, and while we were playing, we ended up finding a massive garden snake.

Mi imagen me recuerda a un picnic en Pinto Lake, Watsonville, al que fui con la escuela cuando estaba en quinto grado. La razón por la que me recuerda ese momento es porque la obra de arte tiene colores brillantes y vivos. La botana del picnic de la escuela era colorida, como los totopos y las galletas M&M. Ese día, mis amigos y yo jugamos a la traes y a las escondidillas en el bosque y mientras jugábamos, terminamos encontrando una enorme culebra jarretera.

—Justin Felix

Humano (+) Humano (+)Museo Eduardo Carrillo

Litzy Guzman reading

In this image, I see people falling apart. I see myself, like I am falling apart. You might ask, why don’t you? I ask myself that too.
Why do people fall apart? That’s how I see myself. From the outside, I might look like I can take strong hits, but I am very fragile on the inside. The story of why I am and who I am is about to start.

En esta sta imagen, veo gente desmoronándose. Me veo a mí misma, como si me estuviera cayendo a pedazos. Uno se pregunta, ¿por qué no? Yo también me lo pregunto. ¿Por qué la gente se desmorona? Así es como me veo a mi misma. Desde el exterior, podría parecer que puedo aguantar golpes fuertes, pero en realidad por dentro soy muy frágil. La historia del porqué de mi existencia y de quién soy está por comenzar.

—Litzy Guzman

Autumn Reigns (2013) by Judithe HernandezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

When I went fishing, I was really scared because the boat was wobbly. We went fishing during summer break because that’s when there would be more fish, and we had so much fun that I didn’t want to go back home.

Cuando fui a pescar, estaba muy asustado porque el barco se tambaleaba. Fuimos a pescar durante las vacaciones de verano porque es cuando más peces hay y nos divertimos tanto que no quería volver a casa.

—Martin Verar

Davenport Cliffs (2016) by Lupe SantosMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

The clouds in this artwork remind me of when I go to Denny’s with my dad and they put whipped cream on my pancakes. When we go to breakfast, we don’t really talk much; when we do, we only talk about how I’m doing in school and stuff like that.

Las nubes en esta pintura me recuerdan a cuando voy a Denny’s con mi papá y ponen la crema batida en mis panqueques. Cuando vamos a desayunar, en realidad no hablamos mucho y cuando lo hacemos, sólo hablamos de cómo me va en la escuela y cosas así.

—Salvador Resendiz

Winter Returns (2013) by Judithe HernandezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

I remember there was a caged camel and it was just—weird. I wasn’t used to seeing all this “Christmas feeling” because where I live, Christmas isn’t really such a big thing, since it’s un pueblo chico, after all. The thing that amazed me was a beautiful carousel at night, con el sonido suave.

Recuerdo que había un camello enjaulado y simplemente era... raro. Yo no estaba acostumbrada a ver todo este “espíritu navideño” porque donde vivo la Navidad no es gran cosa, ya que, después de todo, solo es un pueblo chico. Lo que me sorprendió fue un hermoso carrusel por la noche, con el sonido suave.

—S. Nolasco

Making Corn (2016) by Lesha Marie RodriguezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

The image shows two women grinding corn, and it reminds me of making tamales at Christmas with my family. The women remind me of my mom and my tía because they’re always together, making food, talking, and gossiping.

La imagen muestra a dos mujeres moliendo elote, y me recuerda a cuando hacemos tamales con mi familia en Navidad. Las mujeres me recuerdan a mi mamá y a mi tía porque siempre están juntas cocinando, hablando y chismeando.

—Tony Raya

El Grito (The Cry) – central panel (1977/1979) by Eduardo CarrilloMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

I think the artwork is trying to explain that the people are going to war. I believe this because there are guns, sticks, swords, and horses in the painting. It appears to be nighttime. I found out that the events shown in this mural ultimately led to Mexican Independence in 1821.

Creo que la obra de arte trata de explicar que la gente está yendo a la guerra. Creo esto porque hay armas, palos, espadas y caballos en la pintura. Parece ser por la noche. Averigüé que los acontecimientos mostrados en este mural de Los Ángeles, El Grito, llevó en última instancia a la independencia de México en 1821.

—Ventura Lopez Martinez

Fenye's House: The Entry (2000) by Patssi ValdezMuseo Eduardo Carrillo

My mom was only 14 when she played with the Ouija board at her house in Guadalajara. It started when her brothers, sisters, and friends were talking about La Llorona and how they heard her crying for her kids at night.

Mi mamá tenía sólo 14 años cuando jugó a La Ouija en su casa de Guadalajara. Comenzó cuando sus hermanos, hermanas y amigos hablaban de La Llorona y de cómo la oían llorar por sus hijos por la noche.

—Victoria Urias

Credits: Story

Museo Eduardo Carrillo
Betsy Andersen, Executive Director

Young Writers Program:
Julia Chiapella, Executive Director
Mariah Goncharoff, Word Lab Director
Stuart Rodriguez, Publication Coordinator
Robin Estrin, Volunteer Coordinator

Rosa Lona,
E.A. Hall Middle School Watsonville, CA
Lynn Clausen,
Renaissance High School, La Selva Beach, CA

YWP Mentors

Book Design: Justin Carder
Web Exhibition Design: Vicki Winters
Audio Recording & Event Photography: Andy Zenczak

The Artists

Our Funders:
Arts Council Santa Cruz County
Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County
Wendy Barrett

All rights for artwork reserved by artists
All rights for text and design reserved by Young Writers Program and Museo Eduardo Carrillo

For purchase of the books please contact Bookshop Santa Cruz:
For more information: search titles - Hablamos Juntos and La Historia en el arte.

For more information/contact:
Young Writers Program-
Museo Eduardo Carrillo-

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Latino Cultures in the US
Be inspired by the contributions and experiences of Latinos in the US
View theme
Google apps