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Garza, Carmen Lomas 1948-

Garza, Carmen Lomas 1948-

Personal

Born 1948, in Kingsville, TX. Ethnicity: "Mexican." Education: Texas Arts and Industry University, B.S., 1972; Juarez-Lincoln/Antioch Graduate School, M.Ed., 1973; San Francisco State University, M.A., 1981.

Addresses

Home and office—P.O. Box 881683, San Francisco, CA 94188-1683. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Artist and illustrator. Worked variously as an administrative assistant and curator. Exhibitions: Solo exhibitions staged at San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

Awards, Honors

Texas Bluebonnet Award, Texas Library Association, 1990, for Family Pictures; Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award, 1996-97; Pura Belpré Honor Book designation, American Library Association, 1990, for Family Pictures, 1997, for In My Family, and 2000, for Magic Windows; Skipping Stones magazine Book Award, and Américas Award Honor Book, both 2000, both for Magic Windows; Carmen Lomas Garza Primary Center named by Los Angeles Unified School District Board, 2007.

Writings

Family Pictures/Cuadros de familia (picture book), Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1990, reprinted, 2005.

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A Piece of My Heart/Pedacito de mi corazon: The Art of Carmen Lomas Garza, New Press (New York, NY), 1994.

In My Family/En mi familia (picture book), Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1996.

Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas (picture book), Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1999.

Making Magic Windows: Creating Papel Picado/Cut-Paper Art with Carmen Lomas Garza, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 1999.

Sidelights

Texas-born artist Carmen Lomas Garza is committed to celebrating the history and culture of the Mexican-American community of the southern United States. Garza taught herself the tenets of art and drawing at a young age and was heavily influenced by the artwork of her mother and grandmother. As she noted in the artist

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statement on her home page, she was encouraged by the 1960s Chicano movement to devote her creativity "to the depiction of special and everyday events in the lives of Mexican Americans." As an artist, Garza is well celebrated in the Mexican-American community in addition to being known nationally; she has also created commissioned works for the San Francisco International Airport and the San Francisco Water Department.

Garza's self-illustrated books for children, which include In My Family/En mi familia, Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas, and Family Pictures/Cuadros de familia, are based on the artist's memories of growing up in South Texas. Garza often depicts close family members, such as her mother, grandmother, and grandfather, tending to daily household chores. For instance, in Magic Windows Garza portrays her grandfather watering his garden while her mother is in the kitchen, cooking. The illustrations for Magic Windows are designed to make the reader feel as if they are glimpsing family scenes through stained-glass windows. Family Pictures also highlights the family setting and includes paintings with "rich detail"—as noted by Kent Anderson and Ken Marantz of School Arts—for its ability to portray "family bonds and vital community support." Annie Ayres, writing in Booklist, described In My Family as a "family album" that "shares the artist's memories of the Hispanic cultural experience."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 1996, Annie Ayres, review of In My Family/En mi familia, p. 503; May 1, 1999, Annie Ayres, review of Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas, p. 1592; March 15, 2000, review of Magic Windows, p. 1342.

Booklinks, January-February, 2006, April Whatley Bedford and Roxane Cuellar, review of In My Family, p. 25.

Horn Book, November-December, 1996, Maria B. Salvadore, review of In My Family, p. 760.

Publishers Weekly, February 22, 1999, "Window of Creative Opportunity," p. 97.

School Arts, May-June, 1995, Kent Anderson and Ken Marantz, review of Family Pictures/Cuadros de familia, p. 42; September, 2005, Rebecca J. Martin, review of Family Pictures, p. 60.

School Library Journal, November, 1996, Rose Zertuche Trevino, review of In My Family, p. 134.

Skipping Stones, March-April, 1997, Dick Keis, review of In My Family, p. 7; May-August, 2000, Beth Erfurth, review of Magic Windows, p. 7.

Texas Monthly, June, 1994, review of A Piece of My Heart/Pedacito de mi corazon: The Art of Carmen Lomas Garza, p. 80.

ONLINE

Carmen Lomas Garza Home Page,http://www.carmenlomasgarza.com (August 9, 2007).

San Jose Museum of Art Web site,http://www.sjmusart.org/ (August 9, 2007), "Carmen Lomas Garza."

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