Art helps heal wounds left by Arizona immigration law

Artwork created in response to Arizona’s SB 1070 has been aimed at better informing the public about the hard-line immigration law, and has inspired a large group of active artists.

One of the art movement’s most active members is Favianna Rodriguez, a Hispanic American citizen whose parents emigrated from Peru. A print-maker, digital artist and writer, Rodriguez has combined her political prowess and artistic skills to help organize CultureStrike, an artists’ coalition that is currently working to better inform the public of the negative aspects of SB 1070, according to a recent interview with Rodriguez on the website Vote Latino.

Teamed with other artists, writers and filmmakers, Rodriguez recently spent four days in Arizona to witness the state’s immigration policies first-hand.

“Artists and writers have the ability to greatly impact culture – the realm of ideas, images and stories that help people make sense of the world. History proves that when culture changes, politics follow,” Rodriguez said during her interview.

A group show in 2010 held at Phoenix’s Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center provided another artistic outlet, giving those affected by SB 1070 a chance to voice their opinions and tell their stories, whether they hold U.S. visas, green cards, citizenship papers or not.

Works in the show include images of the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. flag, and skeletons. Mexican-American Martin Moreno painted “Born in the USA” for the show, a piece depicting a grieving American father and Mexican-born mother whose son was killed in street violence.

While some of the art is graphic in nature, the exhibit is meant mainly to be a tool used to better inform people.

“This educational exhibit was born from the thought that there has to be a different way of reaching people’s hearts on this issue,” said exhibit organizer Annie Loyd in an interview with CNN.

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