CCAI Exhibition in WNC’s Bristlecone Gallery


Carson City, Nevada — The Capital City Arts Initiative presents its exhibition, #SueñoAmericano, by Lauren Cardenas at Western Nevada College’s Bristlecone Gallery, 2201 W College Parkway, Carson City. The exhibition will be in the gallery from

July 21 – September 30, 2021. The gallery is open to the public, M-F, 9am – 7pm.


Using her photographs taken from in-flight airplane windows, Lauren Cardenas has printed the images on slices of American cheese as a metaphor for the anguish suffered by those being deported. She said, “Being from Texas, the border has always been a tenuous territory. Yet, since 2016 the border situation has been pulled to the forefront of American Politics. Broadcasting the journey of Latinx refugees seeking the ‘American Dream,’ yet instead of welcoming arms, they are being met by deportment, racism, and their families severed. Many were put on ICE Airplanes and given an American cheese sandwich, one of the most processed, commercialized, and symbolically ‘American’ things in this country. In #SueñoAmericano series, images of Latinx people and their flight views are printed on slices of Kraft Singles American Cheese to question the reality of the ‘American Dream,’ and its false promises of acceptance and opportunity for all.”


As an artist who struggles with a bifurcated Mexican American identity, she said she is constantly reminded of the privilege afforded to her as a second-generation, white-passing, Latina woman raised in the upper-middle class. Cardenas said, “Almost half of my extended family has not completed college, let alone a graduate degree.”


Cardenas is a Latinx studio artist who focuses on print media. Her current body of work asks the viewer to question the connotations of everyday mundane objects. She is investigating her bifurcated Mexican American identity as a subject matter.


Cardenas holds a BA in Painting, Printmaking, and Drawing from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. She is a Tamarind Institute Printer Training Program graduate and holds an MFA in Visual Art with a focus in Print Media from Washington University in St. Louis. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She was awarded the University of Nevada, Reno Black Rock Press Redfield Fellowship (2016-2018). She created a limited-edition artist book titled “Things You See in the Dark,” which is a collaboration with poet Daniel Enrique Perez.


She currently is the Assistant Professor and Area Head of Printmaking and the Assistant Gallery Director of Gallery 130 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.


Josie Glassberg wrote the essay for the exhibition — available in the gallery and online at www.ccainv.org/files/2021/07/Cardenas_Essay.pdf  Glassberg is a freelance writer whose work has regularly appeared in Double Scoop Art News, the Reno News & Review, and Fibonacci magazine. She attended St. Olaf College for printmaking and enjoys writing about art in the West when she’s not busy with her main gig as a garden teacher. During her free time, Josie likes to swim and hang out with her 9-year-old.


Carlos Ramirez, a Western Nevada College Latino Leadership Academy student, provided a Spanish language translation of the exhibition’s wall text.


Western Nevada College is a component of the Nevada System of Higher Education with campuses in Carson City, Douglas County, and Fallon. CCAI is an artist-centered not-for-profit organization committed to community engagement in contemporary visual arts through exhibitions, illustrated talks, arts education programs, artist residencies, and online activities.


The Initiative is funded by the John and Grace Nauman Foundation, Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, Kaplan Family Charitable Fund, U.S. Bank Foundation, Southwest Gas Corporation Foundation, Steele & Associates LLC, and CCAI sponsors and members.


For additional information, please visit CCAI’s website at www.ccainv.org.