Artist, Beatriz Mejía-Krumbein has made it her mission to represent the voiceless through her work.
Art is more than lines and color; it is a form of expression that conveys a strong message.
Mejía-Krumbein has created powerful pieces of art that tackle controversial topics such as, child abuse, neglect and the misuse of power.
She was born in Columbia but immigrated to the United States in 1987 after spending time in Mexico and Germany.
She has served as Chair of the Art Department and director of the Brandstater Gallery at La Sierra University since 2004.
Mejía-Krumbein had the opportunity to showcase her exhibit, “I Am Still An Artist: Beatriz Mejía-Krumbein A Retrospective,” on the campus.
Injustices Mejía-Krumbein witnessed in Columbia was the foundation for a series of art pieces titled, “Black and White.”
Every piece in this series lacks bright colors and uses a mix of grey and black with the occasional stroke of red.
Though the red colors are faint, they are meant to show the physical violence, and the psychological scars that lie hidden beneath the skin.
The dark images display the pain and struggles that her people have faced.
“I wanted to keep it all black and white to avoid skin colors and keep simplicity and clarity in the message, like the meaning behind the idiom ‘black and white,’” said Mejía-Krumbein when describing her work.
The contrasting black and white colors force the viewer to look in between the lines for something.
Mejía-Krumbein believes that much like real life, once you start to look in between you find solutions that you didn’t know existed.
This was her first solo exhibit and will be the last showcase that she presents at the Brandstater Gallery.
In preparation for her showcase, Mejía-Krumbein said, “This exhibit brings me a lot of mixed feelings.”
“It is great to be able to share the work with the community and celebrate it, but it is sad to see the end of an intense and loved academic carrier and life cycle,” she continued.
The gallery featured drawings, paintings, videos and even three-dimensional art pieces that Mejía-Krumbein created throughout her career.
One of the focal points of the gallery was a piece titled, “Insomnia.”
This piece consisted entirely of its artists’ face and was spread across an entire wall.
Each face had an expression so powerful that it felt as though they were looking right at the viewer.
Her art was powerful and full of passion.
“Insomnia” was meant to identify an anonymous group of people that the author feels prevents her from expressing herself and delays her progress.
“Who are they to judge me…Who are they with the power to get in my way…Who are they who want to kill my faith?” read the text on the wall.
The more lavish pieces came from Mejia-Krumbei’s work from 1998 titled “Suite of Silence.”
Every single art piece in this series featured quilts and textiles that were hand made by Colombian women.
Mejía-Krumbein would then use their work and create art from them.
The series reflects on the way women are treated and aims to give a voice to the voiceless.
Normally identified as “women’s work,” these pieces were meant to speak up and go against the male-dominant world.
Her art brings to light problems that are often ignored.