Dr. Sylvia Lee, Pima Community College Board of Governors member, District 3 and her mother, Sofia Lee, are named the 2013 Corn Mothers at the opening reception of the Return of the Corn Mothers exhibit hosted by Pima Community College West Campus.

 “It is an honor for me and my mother, Sofia Lee, to be among such a distinguished group of women of the Southwest. As the great-granddaughter of a Chinese immigrant and Arizona pioneer, I am proud to share my story and source of inspiration,” remarks Sylvia Lee. 

Return of the Corn Mothers exhibit runs April 24 to August 29, 2013. The Southwest multi-generational and multi-cultural photojournalist exhibit features the portraits and stories of 34 Corn Mothers from Arizona, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico. Eight Arizona Corn Mothers are honored. Arizona Corn Mothers Barbara Clark, Anne Zapf, Judy Newland and Raven Mercado have artwork displayed in the exhibit. The opening reception program features five Pima Community College students who were selected to recite their poems and stories after a call for submission of creative writing. The students are Brenna Mirano-McSpadden, Elizabeth Hullar, Jill Pierce, Ken Rosburg and Ashley Cuen.

The exhibit is based on the Pueblo myth of the Corn Mother, the giver of life. This legendary entity is important to the Pueblo cultures and synonymous with Mother Earth, who represents growth, life, creativity and feminine aspects of the world. The Return of the Corn Mothers exhibit is an opportunity to celebrate women from the Southwest who have earned the respect and admiration of their communities for leadership, activism and creative endeavors. The exhibit is the creation of Renee Fajardo, Chicano/a Studies Program faculty member and coordinator of the Journey Through Our Heritage Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Todd Pierson, an award-winning master photojournalist, traveled from desert to canyon to mountaintop to capture women in their home environment.

Organizing the exhibit is PCC West Campus executive assistant to the president, Geneva Escobedo, who is one of the featured Corn Mothers. David Andres, gallery director for the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery and the Student Art Gallery is instrumental in installing the exhibition.

  • What: Pima Community College's "Return of the Corn Mothers" photojournalism exhibit
  • Where: PCC West Campus Student Art Gallery, 2202 W. Anklam Road, Building A, second floor. West Campus is just west of downtown.
  • When: April 24-August 29
  • Gallery hours: Mondays-Fridays, 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Admission: Free and open to the public.
  • Information: 520-206-3110, gescobedo@pima.edu

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