Exhibit celebrates extraordinary Southwest women


October 29, 2010

ASU’s Museum of Anthropology has a new exhibit, "Return of the Corn Mothers" that focuses on women who have earned accolades for community activism and creative endeavors. Each featured woman also recounts, in story form, her memories of the women who influenced her in her life journey.  

"This show is about women from 29 to 89 who tell stories that help shape and nurture our country. They represent the circle of life and the continuation of a never-ending story about love and perseverance," said curator Renee Fajardo.

Todd Pierson, master photographer, traveled the American Southwest to capture these unique women in their home environments. They include world-renowned Isleta Pueblo potter Stella Teller; painter Evelyn Valdez-Martinez, who works with the Tarahumara Indians; Concha Allen, a curandera (healer) from Mexico; Rita Wallace, a famed embroidery artist; and Ami Duncan, a third-generation midwife living in Arizona's remote Gila Mountains. Pierson's portraits embody the essence of these women, who are often overlooked by today's fast-paced world.

Local artists have created nine Day of the Dead altars inspired by women, corn and iconic figures of the Latino celebration, like La Catrina. Visitors may write a message to the dead or make a cornhusk doll in remembrance of the important women in their lives.

Over the next few months, the museum will offer four free storytelling workshops, led by master storytellers from the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute. Visitors may sign up for workshops at the opening or by sending an e-mail to anthro.museum">mailto:anthro.museum@asu.edu">anthro.museum@asu.edu. The free workshops are made possible by the Arizona Humanities Council. 

The ASU Museum of Anthropology is part of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. It is located at the corner of Tyler and Cady Malls on the ASU Tempe campus. Visitor parking is available in the nearby Fulton Center garage on College Avenue, or in metered parking spaces near the campus.