Continuing our support of the upcoming Frida exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we’re bringing you an artist profile of Marta Sanchez, a Chicana artist from San Antonio, now living and working in Philadelphia. The Frida exhibit opens on February 20th and runs until March 18th.
1. Briefly tell us a little about yourself and your artwork.
I am a Chicana artist originally from San Antonio, Texas. I received my BFA in painting from the University of Texas in Austin and my MFA from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. My work is narrative due to my influence with traditional Mexican Retablos as well as my artistic training during the large narrative art movement in Texas in the late 70’s/early 80’s. The aspect of Chicano/a art in my life combined not only incorporating cultural images to my work but also making my work function for my society for the community. My paintings tell a story of everyday people and events that should be honored or recognized. My Cascarones Por La Vida Project that annually assist families affected by AIDS/HIV in my combined interest in sharing a children’s Mexican traditional toy (confetti filled egg) with the public to assist and talk about our community that needs help and understanding.
To be a Chicana is to make a social mark in improving the social/ economical standards in the immediate realm.
2. Why did you move to Philadelphia and why did you decide to stay here?
I moved to Philadelphia to go to graduate school. One of my professors from University of Texas encouraged a large group of his students to apply to Tyler. One of my girlfriends went and encouraged me to apply and so I did, studied during my first year in Rome and finished my second year here in Philadelphia.
After I completed my degree I found myself becoming a part of the art scene, got married, and rooted myself here with my husband and son.
3. How has Philadelphia helped you achieve your artistic aspirations?
I think Philadelphia has given me the opportunity to experience a wide variety of experiences. I love living in Mt. Airy, a neighborhood that is known for it’s diverse and multicultural community. I have been blessed to have the Latino/a community always open their arms to my work and my input in their organizations. I have had the great opportunity to see education work in every level possible. From public schools that I teach through the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the private girl school of Springside school in Chestnut Hill and lastly to college level courses I teach through Temple programs (ART START) and St. Joseph University.
As a public school graduate in San Antonio, I am glad that there are so many ways to teach and learn. All of this feeds my art work. The most aspiring aspect of my work is to walk the many galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and grow from it as I share the collection with students of all ages. It is a second home to me. I hope I can encourage more people in love with art and culture to make it theirs as well.
She is also a featured artist of the Frida & Me exhibition @ the Projects Gallery.