Minga Opazo’s Provocative Take on Textiles Today

September 19 – October 31, 2020
Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery

Untitled, recycle clothing weave, 22”x29”, 2020

Siempre más, recycled clothing, 30”x4”, 2019

Mejor que sobre que falte, recycled clothing, 10”x18”, 2020

After postponing Minga Opazo’s exhibition, Siempre Más / Always More, in July due to COVID-19 , we are now thrilled to announce that this vibrant exhibition of colorful, textile works will finally open on September 19 through October 31. Visitors are invited to view the exhibition on Saturdays, 1:00 to 4:00 pm and by appointment. The artist will be present on September 19 & October 24. (Self-screening, masks, and social distancing are required.) A live, online Conversation with Minga Opazo and Yessica Torres of Dab Art Gallery (LA) will take place on Friday, October 2 at 5:00 pm. *details to be announced*

In Siempre Más / Always More, Opazo explores the relationship of textiles to climate change, contemporary industrial textile production, and Chilean textile history. A fourth-generation craftsperson from Chile, Opazo exposes the unsustainable and dehumanizing practices of international textile production through large-scale weavings and installations made of found and recycled textiles.

For centuries, textiles for clothing in Chile were created by human hands using natural materials. These craft traditions shaped Chilean culture, providing work, artistic expression, and a sense of identity to local communities. With the invention of polyester, Lycra, and nylon, and the dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet (from 1973 to 1990), Chile’s doors opened to the free market; mass-produced garments flooded in. Natural dyes and hand looms were replaced by artificial dyes, machines, and dehumanizing assembly lines. Opazo’s series, Mejor Que Sobre Que Falte (Better Too Much Than Too Little), refers to the resulting glut of discarded, chemically infused garments, which cannot be absorbed back into the natural world and are now being buried under Chilean soil.

Siempre Más / Always More includes wall sculptures, installations, and a new, site-specific weaving outdoors on the 2nd story porch railing of the Architectural Foundation, facing Victoria Street. This temporary installation highlights the fact that while the colors of used clothing will fade, the clothing will never completely disintegrate. Opazo comments, “We live in an era of excess, we consume and throw away. We don’t see the massive amount of overproduction in our everyday life, it’s invisible to us, tucked away.”

Minga Opazo received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (2020) and her BA from University of California Berkeley (2015). She maintains a weaving studio in Ventura and another in Joshua Tree for large scale installations. She was Artist-in-Residence at the Banff Art Center (Canada), the Acre Residency (Wisconsin) and the Haystack Mountain School (Maine), had solo shows at Dab Art Gallery (LA), the CAM Studio Gallery (Oxnard), and large public installations at the HUD Gallery and the Museum of Ventura County.

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara has been enhancing our community’s appreciation of the built environment since 1983. The AFSB Gallery is located in the historic Acheson House at the corner of Garden and East Victoria Streets in Santa Barbara. Regular gallery hours are Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and weekdays by appointment.