Thursday, February 21, 2008

Temple Press Article- LAS GALLAS


Art for social change
Friday, February 15, 2008
CONTACT: Kim Fischer <>

In conjunction with the Frida Kahlo exhibition currently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Temple’s University Community Collaborative of Philadelphia has partnered with the PMA to create a series of workshops for teenage girls. Through art, movement, creative writing, group discussions and film screenings, the workshops engage young women in an exploration of leadership, identity and the role of women in society.

Facilitating many of the workshops, which are held on Temple’s Main Campus, are members of Las Gallas, a Philadelphia-based, multi-disciplinary art collective. The name of the all-female collective stems from the feminization of the word gallo, which means rooster in Spanish.

Painter Michelle Ortiz works with workshop participants to silkscreen words onto shawls, which will be worn in the tradition of Frida Kahlo.

Photo by Natalia Smirnov
Painter Michelle Ortiz works with workshop participants to silkscreen words onto shawls, which will be worn in the tradition of Frida Kahlo. Selected by participants, the words hold personal meaning as sources of individual strength.

In one workshop, participants drew on Frida Kahlo’s penchant for wearing colorful shawls to fashion their own rebozos in a way that would signify individual notions of personal strength.

Said one participant, Inshira, a high school junior, “The program has given me new insight into art and myself.”

The series will conclude with a visit to the museum for a tour of the Frida Kahlo exhibit and the opportunity to share ideas with muralist Cesar Viveros, who will begin working on a Kahlo-inspired mural, “Viva la vida,” sponsored by the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

Plans for future collaborations between UCCP and PMA are currently under way. For more information on Temple’s UCCP, visit

Sunday, February 3, 2008

"LAS GALLAS" on the move

Saturday, February 2nd- Gallas perform at UPenn
Las Gallas performed at The Annenberg Theater at University of Pennsylvania for the MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Atzlán) Conference. We presented a melody of written works that gave the audience a taste of what we do.

Friday, February
1st- Special Reading- Frida and Me, Common Threads
Las Gallas presented a special reading at the opening reception for "Frida and Me, Common Threads" exhibition at the Projects Gallery. The exhibition featured works by four Latina contemporary artists, Galla- Michelle Angela Ortiz, Marta Sanchez, Doris Nogueira-Rogers and Marilyn Rodriguez-Behrle. The show and readings presented how all the artists related to Frida and her legacy.

January/ February- "Finding the Frida in Us" Leadership Workshops

Las Gallas are leading workshops sponsored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Education Department. The workshops are for young women to learn, be inspired and explore Frida Kahlo’s life and art.

We are working with high school students from various schools and college students who are part of the Youth Civic Engagement program of Temple University. We are providing interactive workshops in the arts to young women that will expand their understanding of the importance of the arts and how various forms are connected to one another and to daily life.

Throughout this creative process, the young women will be learning about Frida Kahlo’s life and how sometimes great leaders are people who you don’t notice, but they spur people to do something.

Las Gallas are overall exploring the Frida in us, How do we lead? Physically, visually, with the spoken and written word? What are the leadership qualities we all possess.