All three artists have close ties to The Mattie Rhodes Art Center and Gallery, the best place in Kansas City to celebrate and learn about Latino culture through visual arts. The exhibit introduces the artists’ work to a downtown audience while raising awareness of the Mattie Rhodes Center.
The Mattie Rhodes Center has been a positive presence in KC for over 120 years, and this exhibition highlights their unique art programming. The Mattie Rhodes Art Center offers a wide range of creative programs for children and adults, including visual art classes, art camps and events. The Art Gallery hosts year-round exhibitions featuring emerging and established Latino artists.
The artwork of local artist Adolfo Gustavo Martinez is often informed by his Mexican heritage and multicultural perspective. His pop art inspired paintings often reflect his identity and sense of humor. Likely best known for his “sofa” paintings, his work can be found in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Kansas City Arrowhead Art Collection.
Local artist Isaac Tapia attended the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts and studied at the Kansas City Art Institute from 2010-2012. His paintings often include portraits of his family and friends, which reveal his interest in exploring cultural identity and the urban environment.
The third artist, Gemma Tornero, divides her residence between Kansas City and Mexico. She holds a master’s degree in Education and the Arts, and is a self-taught artist. Her dimensional mixed media works follow the tradition of votive paintings and are filled with religious imagery and symbolism.