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‘Rewarding’ work on exhibits: 2 projects by Jodie Herrera are part of 8th ‘Bridge’ event

Despite two ongoing projects, Jodie Herrera isn’t overwhelmed in the least.

The Taos-based artist has exhibits opening at the Harwood Art Center on Sept. 8.

The exhibits are part of the Harwood Art Center’s 8th annual “Bridge: Arts & Social Justice” event.

Herrera will present “Duality,” which showcases portraits of three local women and their stories of resilience. The other exhibit is “Missing Persons” and is a community-generated installation developed by Herrera and Collin Troy.

Herrera says the installation references and recreates a post-disaster missing persons wall, expressing what is missing in our community and in the world, while inspiring viewers to create a better future.

“I started working on the project July of last year and Collin came on board ‘Missing Persons’ in January,” Herrera says. “I have been working on both projects simultaneously, but it hasn’t been overwhelming. It’s been more rewarding then anything else. We have met so many wonderful people, and it has been such a pleasure and honor collaborating with everyone at Harwood, especially Julia Mandeville and Staci Drangmeister.”

Herrera says “Duality” is part of an ongoing project that she’s been working on for the length of her painting career.

“Essentially, my inspiration and intention is to honor and celebrate the resilience in woman,” she says. “I work with woman that have persevered through traumatic and difficult experiences, and I convey their stories visually through symbolism within the paintings and a written description that accompanies each painting. By telling the stories of the women I have the honor of working with, I hope my paintings can provide a source of strength and inspiration for others.”

Herrera says the inspiration behind “Missing Persons” is the overwhelming political climate we are in, the need to do something about it and the desire to provide a platform for others to become active, as well.

“(It) is a community-generated art installation developed by my collaborating artist Collin Troy and I,” she says. “We held multiple art workshops at community events throughout the last year and invited people to create ‘Missing Persons’-style posters. … After the installation is taken down, we will be sending the posters to our Senators.”