Artist Expresses Spiritual Realism

Maggie West

Gloria Torres' exhibit on display at the Mesa Art Gallery.

Jessie Stancliff

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Artist Gloria Torres presents an insight to the colorful expression of spiritual realism at the Mesa College Art Gallery.

The exhibit runs till Oct. 12. There are still a couple of days left to catch a glimpse of these wonderful paintings.

“I refer to my art work as spiritual realism drawn from fun stories of my childhood that reflect healing and loving relations between people, animals and nature,” said Torres.

The exhibit features classic pieces of a Chicano lady depicting her life growing up in San Diego in the 1940s. Torres is displaying her memories of living with her family and animals. Most of her paintings reflect her Chicano/Mexican heritage.

“Memories from the Rolling Hills of Old San Diego” is an exhibit full of pieces of art that are rich in beauty and color.

“I got a real feel for her heritage,” said Mesa student Peter Marino. “It seems the artist enjoys the simple things in life.”

Torres said she grew up in a time when children found ways to entertain themselves. Either by playing with their animals, such as goats or chickens or by reading the book “Logan Heights” or just watching her mother cook.

There are a couple of paintings that stand out. One is a piece called “Queso de Chiva” done in 1991. It is a picture of Torres, the artist, making goat cheese. This was a delicacy for them and a favorite of her mothers.

The goats in this piece were derived from her dreams, as she calls it “Spiritual Realism.”

Another piece that stands out is “The Sisters” done in 1998. It is a painting of her three sisters watching their mother, waiting up for tamales to be finished. She goes on to tell us in this painting that she and her sisters would sell the tamales from a cart during the day.

The rest of her artwork are paintings of San Diego’s first communities that began under the bridge in Barrio Logan.

Torres makes San Diego look both old and new, like a beautiful, community-oriented, family-based place.

She shows in this exhibit respect for her Indian as well as Mexican heritage.

“The children of Barrio will take the city into the future,” said Torres.

She relates animals and humans in her paintings in an interesting way, showing a connection between the two. Her art is a reflection of her love for Mother Earth.

“Memories from the Rolling Hills of San Diego” is an exhibit full of beauty and color and is a display of the artist’s love for life.

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