Evelyn Roman ’19, a major in sociology, decided to cap off her Beloit experience by giving back through art.
Evelyn Roman’19 had taken various studio art classes during her time at Beloit, and in her senior year was inspired to make a series of artworks honoring Latinx women who have made a difference in the world.
“As a woman of color, I wanted to start this project in regards to bringing awareness to women who have done so much change in the world, but are hardly recognized. I have particularly focused on four different women, Dolores Huerta, Lidia Aurora Carvajal, Sylvia Rivera, and Rigoberta Menchu who have all made an impact in society,” writes Evelyn.
“As a low-income, first generation, latina woman it is not easy to live in a world that was not built for you. I constantly fight everyday to battle the world around me and prove to them that this Latina will not give up. In the same way that these four women did not. They did whatever it took to make sure there was equality for all.
“Now, it is our turn to give back to them because since the beginning of time, women have been dehumanized and not appreciated enough, and failed to realize that these women are here to help us grow and further our success into making a positive change in this world.”
Evelyn approached Professor of studio art Scott Espeseth about starting a special project to make linocut portraits of the four women she was researching. Linocut is a relief printing process in which a sheet of linoleum is cut into a surface that can be inked and printed like a stamp. Evelyn had been introduced to the process in a relief printmaking class.
“Evelyn’s linocut portraits have a strong, graphic punch,” says Espeseth, “They mirror the boldness of these women who have taken action for social change.” The project evolved to incorporate mixed media collage, often framing the printed portraits.
Evelyn states, “As an artist, I have chosen to show my appreciation to these women through my printmaking skills. I have created four mixed media portraits on these four different women and contributed a little of what they have done into the piece. I personally picked these four women because in one way or another their differences have made my life or my loved one’s lives a lot easier. They hold a special place in my heart.”
Evelyn displayed her finished project in Pearsons Hall at the conclusion of her senior year. She is now a graduate student in the sociology program at Northern Illinois University and has been working with the Psychology department at the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Center.
Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta also known as Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist. She was born on April 10, 1930. Many of you may not know, but Dolores was partners with Cesar Chavez and is the co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which then turned into the United Farm Workers, which was a union whose grape boycott in the 60s compelled grape producers to enhance working structures for migrant. Dolores also contributed into organizing the Delano grape strike in 1965. Not only that, but Dolores has fought to make change in this world, socially and economically for farm workers. Additionally, She was the first Latina inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, in 1993. Dolores was selected on the selected on the basis of the changes she made that affected the social, economic or cultural aspects of society. Because of her actions and motivation, she has significantly nationally impact the results of change in this world.
Rigoberta Menchu is a Guatemalan political activist who fought for the rights of Guatemala's indigenous people. She was born to an impoverished household, and was raised in the the Quiche branch of the Mayan culture. As a teenager, Rigoberta Menchu participated in social reform activities through the Catholic Church, and became prominent in the women's rights movement. The Menchú family was accused of taking part in criminal activities and Rigoberta's father was imprisoned and tortured for allegedly having participated in the execution of a local plantation owner. After his release, he joined the recently founded Committee of the Peasant Union (CUC). Rigoberta then joined in 1979, which was the year that her family was arrested and killed. Rigoberta was the only one left in her family, but that did not stop her from becoming increasingly active in the CUC. She then moved to Mexico, which started her fight against oppression in Guatemala and for Indian peasant peoples' rights.
Sylvia Rivera is a mixed race Venezuelan-Puerto Rican trans woman, who was born on February 19, 1951. In 1969, Sylvia was a veteran of the Stonewall uprising, and became an advocate for all those who have been marginalized as the “gay rights” movement has mainstreamed. It is important to know Sylvia Rivera's name because she battled hard everyday against the exclusion of transgender people from the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act in New York City, and was a great activist for the rights of people of color and low-income queers and trans people.
Lidia Aurora Carvajal is a single mother of four children. She was born on April 18, 1976. She was raised by immigrant parents and brought to the United states at the age of four, where she had to quickly adapt to the American culture but at the same time had to remain loyal to her own. This woman is my mother, and I chose to bring awareness to her because of where I am right now.