100th birthday of Frida Kahlo celebrated
Her memory is alive in the Valley, too. Fans of the artist can join the Phoenix Fridas Saturday at a birthday celebration in her honor at Changing Hands Bookstore, which has books on Frida Kahlo and a number of gift items that feature her.
The afternoon event will showcase the work of several members of the Phoenix Fridas, a tribute group of nine female artists, and feature visual presentations on the life and work of Kahlo.
Group member Carmen de Novais said, "We didn't want the day to pass (without recognition) here in Phoenix. It is important for women, especially young women, to pass on the legacy of . . . using creativity like Frida in (Hispanic) culture. We get caught up in female stereotypes like cleaning and neglect doing artwork."
Several of the Phoenix Fridas will display and sell their own art inspired by the late artist, among them paintings, which will exhibit at Changing Hands through July.
Novais will show her jewelry, including beaded mandalas, decorative geometric pieces, that pay homage to Kahlo. Lucia Madrid created several crafts that are mindful of Kahlo's strength and popularity, including a serving tray with a collage of Kahlo photos.
"I think she is a culture here; A lot of people know about Frida Kahlo," Madrid said. "She is a female artist who deserves her attention because she was not just (painter) Diego Rivera's wife . . . She did her own thing."
Kathy Murillo, also a Phoenix Frida member, will demonstrate the making of a Frida Kahlo-inspired necklace. The author and freelance craft designer will provide materials for others inspired to create their own, too.
For the staff at Changing Hands, the birthday celebration also is a cultural experience for those unfamiliar with Latino history.
"(The Valley) is largely a Hispanic area, and we love to feature people of Latino heritage when opportunity presents itself like this," said Pinna Joseph, marketing and events director for the bookstore. "I think it's going to be so much fun and educational too."
Madrid said she hopes more people can come to appreciate Kahlo's art, and its expression of her physical and emotional pain.