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'Mujer' art exhibit honors women's stories, perspectives

Mattie Rhodes 'Mujer' exhibition
Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 08:16:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — "Mujer" means "woman" in Spanish, but the context and history behind the word goes much deeper.

That's what the "Mujer" exhibit at the Mattie Rhodes Center aims to explore for Women's History Month.

"Women are multifaceted. We have all different kinds of backgrounds, all different kinds of stories," Angela Rangel, an artist and instructor for the Mattie Rhodes Center said. "I hope that when people come in here that they see what makes women, women, what makes us strong, makes us resilient and what makes us powerful forces of community."

The Mattie Rhodes Center has served as a resource for the people of Kansas City, Missouri, for 127 years providing family services, youth programs and cultural activities.

The center has featured the "Mujer" exhibit every March for more than 20 years, but this year, it's housed inside Mattie Rhodes' brand new cultural arts building on Jarboe Street in the Westside neighborhood.

"Keeping our roots here is so important, especially with the changes that have occurred in our neighborhood," Jenny Mendez, cultural director at Mattie Rhodes said. "This is an opportunity to hopefully educate those new arrived people here on the west side, to let them know and understand the importance of us continuing to be here. We want to be able to continue to keep that legacy going here."

That legacy is rooted in community, sustained by many of the women featured as artists in the "Mujer" exhibit.

"I hope that people can walk away with their own interpretation of it," Kiki Serna, an artist and gallery coordinator at Mattie Rhodes said. "To be able to reflect on the strengths, the histories of a lot of women, not only historically, but also in our communities and our neighborhoods."

The "Mujer" exhibit runs through the end of March.

Additionally, the center is hosting a symposium at the new gallery on Saturday, March 26.

It will feature talks from artists, a ceramics workshop, women-owned vendors, food and a women's mindfulness and self-care circle.

More information is available on the Mattie Rhodes Center Facebook page.