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February 4, 2014

Looking at History Through a Different Lens: The “Ebano” Exhibit Opens at the National Orange Show Art Gallery

Written by  Isabel Quintero
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Crowd at the Gallery Crowd at the Gallery Photo by Isabel Quintero

There are few things that make people more uncomfortable than talking about race and marginalization. But do not fret dear reader, this article is not only about race and marginalization, but also about art as a means to explore and respond to these issues. The “Ebano” exhibit by Mexican photographer Nicolas Triedo at the National Orange Show Art Gallery in San Bernardino, is a celebration of African heritage in Mexico—a heritage, as Triedo eloquently stated, oft swept under the rug.

Photographing African heritage throughout Mexico, and using it as an integral component to understand what it means to be Mexican, the artist presents a different history, one, he assured me, is for the most part forgotten in favor of a heritage which places the narrative of an indigenous

heritage at the forefront. That narrative also becomes problematic, because for all the celebrating of an indigenous heritage, it is relegated to only celebrating that heritage in terms of history, the past. For these reasons Triedo has dedicated himself to documenting marginalized communities living in Mexico, be they indigenous, African, Russian, French, or Mennonite.

Alongside Treido’s exhibit, which has traveled the globe, is the work of renowned photographer William Nord, and artists: Charles Bibbs, Alva McNeal, Maurice Howard, Johnny Bryan, Adeola Aiyeloja, Diane Young, and Carmelita Acid-Hooks.

“Ebano” has arrived with perfect timing to celebrate Black Heritage Month and will be showing at the National Orange Show Art Gallery Fridays and Saturdays through March 1, 2014, except Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15. The exhibit opened on Saturday, February 1st with poetry by local poets Aaron Reeder, Elisa Grajeda-Urmston, Maurisa Thompson, Alex Avila, and Roshon Dodson. The event and exhibit were made possible through a joint collaboration between the Mexican Consulate, Carolina Zaragoza Flores, and Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, who represents the 47th District.

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