A new painting now adorns a feature wall in Oglethorpe’s Turner Lynch Campus Center. “Estela Tejiendo (Estela Crocheting),” a massive portrait by burgeoning Atlanta artist Yehimi Cambrón, was recently installed at the top of the main staircase of the busy student hub. Featuring an inspiring representation of the artist’s immigrant mother, the painting now serves as an ever-present reminder of community, togetherness and family.
“Estela Tejiendo” was recently acquired by the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art following Cambrón’s solo exhibition “Yehimi Cambrón: Documenting the Undocumented in the South” in fall 2023. The painting was featured alongside several site-specific installations that portrayed the experience of immigrants in the American South. Though important themes of incarceration and persecution were present, “Estela” suffused the exhibition with warmth and nostalgia, showing the persistence of joy in immigrant communities.
“‘Estela Tejiendo‘ honors my mother and credits her as the first artist who influenced me,” said Cambrón. “Depicting my mother in the intimate act of crocheting is a familiar image of comfort. It’s an act of creating that bridges my childhood in México to the almost 22 years we have lived in America.”
This painting is more than just a new addition to the campus; it symbolizes the university’s commitment to upholding values of diversity and cultural understanding.
“I am genuinely at a loss for words to express how much this moment means,” Cambrón expressed. “I am forever grateful for OUMA’s support in reaching two significant milestones in my career: my first solo exhibition in Atlanta and my first acquisition. I hope students feel embraced by [Estela’s] presence and find comfort and sanctuary in her image.”
The acquisition was made possible by longtime friend and supporter of the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Dr. James H. Dew, Jr. of Atlanta.
“The acquisition is significant because it manifests OUMA’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion while also supporting emerging and immensely talented artists such as Yehimi Cambrón,” says Curator of Collections John Daniel Tilford. “This also builds on past acquisitions such as numerous works by Shanequa Gay.”
The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art continues to grow its permanent collection through acquisitions that reflect the diversity and uniqueness of the student body and the greater Brookhaven community. With free admission and a variety of programming open to all, the university’s teaching museum is a welcoming and inclusive environment for anyone who appreciates art.
Featured image credit: Jose Ibarra Rizo