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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Artist and educator explores his Mexican-American identity

Print artist Marco Hernandez was born in Mexico and moved to the United States with his family when he was 3. Due to his undocumented status, Hernandez wasn’t able to visit Mexico until many years later. Still, he grew up being proud of his heritage and incorporated this pride and his interest in Mexico’s history into his work. 

Hernandez opened his exhibition, “Sin Perder A Mis Raíces (Without Losing My Roots)” on Dec. 29 at the Wichita Art Museum (WAM). Hernandez is also a foundation coordinator and assistant educator of print media at WSU. He explained the influences and techniques behind his work in an artist talk.

“I want my work to show that I am Mexican and show where I’m from because I am very proud,” Hernandez said. 

Hernandez visited Mexico again for the first time in 2020 and was inspired by the culture, architecture, and scenery he saw. Part of the exhibit includes several prints of a series of photos he took on this trip. The black-and-white photos are layered with splashes of color that Hernandez said were inspired by the colors he saw in Mexico City.

He also explained that he uses humor in many of his pieces, which often deal with issues of violence both in Mexico’s history and contemporary life. 

“I made a choice to make my work kind of satirical,” he said. “It’s a very serious theme but it’s a little easier to see. It could make someone laugh, but if you really think about what’s going on, it’s not that funny.”

Hernandez described many of his pieces as “experiments” because he used new techniques he learned from different workshops and residencies, programs that allowed him to devote his time to art while learning new skills. 

“Every type of process and technique has its own appearance,” he said. 

As an assistant educator at WSU, Hernandez said he has seen an interest in printmaking grow among students. 

“Part of the reason is because we try to create events,” he said. “We invite high school students to come and participate in our events. We had a steamroller event last semester, seven schools from around the city of Wichita participated. But we also have a club, Tornado Alley Press, and we have print sales; we have different events throughout campus.”

 “Sin Perder A Mis Raíces” will be in WAM’s Cessna Gallery until March 24.

After Marco Hernandez’s artist talk on Jan. 19 at the Wichita Art Museum, many gathered around to view his gallery of fine art prints. Hernandez spoke about incorporating his culture and feelings into his work. (Cheyanne Tull)
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About the Contributors
Ainsley Smyth
Ainsley Smyth, Reporter
Ainsley Smyth is a second-year reporter for The Sunflower. Smyth is a sophomore communications major with an emphasis in journalism and media productions. Her dream job is to travel back in time 30 years and then be a reporter for Rolling Stone. Smyth uses she/her pronouns.
Cheyanne Tull
Cheyanne Tull, Reporter
Cheyanne Tull is a first year reporter, photographer and illustrator for The Sunflower. Tull is double majoring in graphic design and journalism & media production. She hopes to work for outdoor publications in the future combining creativity, nature, and rock climbing. Tull uses she/her pronouns.

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