Arts & Theater

Artists pay tribute to Frida Kahlo with birthday exhibit on Friday in North Sacramento

Vida Bohemia by Raul Mejia
Vida Bohemia by Raul Mejia Raul Mejia

Iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is one of the most celebrated artists in the Latino community, and her work continues to inspire generations of young artists, including several in the capital region.

On Friday, July 6, Sacramento artist collective Love Is a Verb honors Kahlo on her 111th birthday with a summer Pop-Up Art Gallery, located at 1023 Del Paso Blvd. Doors are open from 6 p.m. to midnight.

For Love is a Verb co-curator Raul Mejia, and his creative team of artists, Alda Nuvia, and Ari Dee, it is the perfect way to commemorate the spirit of their favorite artist.

The opening show, "Wounded Deer," is titled after Kahlo's famous self portrait as a bloody deer, riddled in arrows.

Although many of Love Is a Verb’s exhibitions have been lighthearted, Mejia said he thought about this concept for some time and felt it was important to share the vulnerability and pain that many identify with in Kahlo’s work.

He said he chose the painting as the theme of the show because he felt it described the pain and the emotions of being wounded.

“Everyone in America is hurt,” said Mejia. “We are all feeling the effects of all this indifference with each other – some of us are still existing and fighting – we are the wounded deer.”

Amid political unrest over issues such as immigration, as well as income and gender equality, it is up to artists to bridge the gap, said activist and social media manager for Love Is a Verb, Nuvia, 42.

“We have a responsibility – as artists – to reflect our community,” said Nuvia. “It makes us stronger and it unites us.”

The Pop-Up show will showcase the works of 10-plus artists inspired by Kahlo. Art festivities will be both indoor and outdoors, offering guests the freedom to roam around.

There will be local merchants, live paintings, performances, musical acts and a bar serving alcohol. Food and vegan friendly options will be offered.

Dee, a makeup artist and performing arts coordinator for Love is a Verb, will present two live action recreations of Kahlo’s famous works, incorporating installations and body painted models who will be in character as the esteemed painter.

“I’m just really excited about what we create,” said Dee, “I am just so honored to be on this team.”

After July 6, the Pop-Up Gallery will be open weekends and upon scheduled appointments for inquiries.

Mejia said he hopes the gallery can provide people with a much needed visual vacation and hopes it encourages people to consider supporting the movement of unity and love going.

Love Is a Verb plans more exhibits later this summer. Mejia said all art events held at the gallery will be free.

“Anybody can walk in to look at the art,” said Mejia, “You don’t need capital to enjoy it.”

Missy Amaya: