UMOCA’s ‘Beyond the Margins’ Showcases Latina/x Experiences


Jack Gambassi

The exhibition, “Beyond the Margins: An Exploration of Latina Art and Identity” on display at the UMOCA in downtown Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eliza Delgado, Assistant Arts Editor


Beyond the Margins: An Exploration of Latina Art and Identity” is a temporary art exhibit at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibit displays a deeper meaning of the history, experiences and voices of Latina/x artists.

Meaning of ‘Beyond the Margins’

I had the pleasure of spending my Saturday afternoon exploring “Beyond the Margins.” The lovely exhibit displays the work of four Latina/x artists — Frances Gallardo (Puerto Rican), Nancy Rivera (Mexican-American), Tamara Kostianovsky (Argentinian-American) and Yelaine Rodriguez (AfroDominicanYork). Each artist displays their talent with elements of rich history, emotions and stories all curated by their own experiences and background. I was curious to know what inspired the four artists and how it ties to their Latina/x heritage.

What Makes Each Artist Special?

As I walked through the gallery, the first thing that caught my eye was “Impossible Bouquets: After Jan Van Huysum” by Rivera. Van Huysum was a 17th- and 18th-century Dutch still-life painter who created the famous painting “Flowers in a Terracotta Vase.” The painting is known to be an illusion due to the fact that the flowers in the vases could not actually exist altogether, as some flowers bloomed at opposing times of the year.

Rivera’s artwork was very much inspired by Van Huysum, featuring beautiful flowers with colorful hues and mixed petal sizes that complement one another. What I found astonishing about Rivera’s artwork is that her work created an illusion quite similar to Van Huysum’s, as I couldn’t tell if the pieces were photographs or paintings — making it quite captivating. 

Kostianovsky’s “Every Color in the Rainbow” is an incredibly detailed bird brought to life with discolored undergarments, tablecloths and old sweaters. The piece is an ode to the torn body, which is made up of rejected textiles and pieces of clothing. Kostianovsky was inspired in telling a story and giving a second chance to discarded clothing and textiles, and how beauty, violence and materiality exist in our bodies and in stories behind closed doors. She uses the discarded elements and gives the pieces a second chance to complete their purpose in life — just like humans. 

“Carmela” created by Gallardo is an amazing piece, inspired by archived satellite images of hurricanes and storms. I found this piece to be incredibly beautiful due to the process of how it was created. Gallardo imitated the landscapes by cutting the paper’s surface with lace-like patterns that are quite similar to the process of eroding. The piece is captivating and anyone can see the crafted details Gallardo poured her heart into. Definitely one of my favorites!

Finally, “Afro-Sacred Familia” was the last art piece I encountered. Created by Rodriguez, she beautifully captured the images and story of her piece. Honoring the African roots of Quisqueya, also known as the Dominican Republic, she displays handwoven pieces that celebrate the AfroDominican heritage with beautiful red and blue beads and oceanic blues on the AfroDominican models and artists. Rodriguez shows the beauty of mixed ethnicities and the important history of AfroDominicans.


María del Mar González-González is the curator of “Beyond the Margins.” When I first entered the gallery there was a wall with her words, explaining why the exhibit was created: “Women, especially women of color, have been systematically excluded or presented in biased ways. In reality, women are more actively engaged in the art world than they are often credited.” The four talented Latina/x artists redefined the meaning of margins and made their artwork heard through voices, stories and experiences.

I highly recommend checking out the “Beyond the Margins” exhibit, which will be on display until March 4, 2023.


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