Our First Artist Talk

The Galleria at the YWCA is pleased to host our first Artist’s Talk on Thursday, November 10th from 6:00-7:30 pm. Featuring  Karen Hymer and Alejandra Platt-Torres.

The Galleria at the YWCA is a space of celebration: a gathering place to celebrate art, ideas and community. The Galleria also defines our mission statement: eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice and freedom for all. Exhibiting artwork and hearing women’s voices as they explain their thoughts and ideas about the world viewed through their artistic interpretations is a way to empower women.  Their interpretations and voices are on display, and invite discussion. That’s the focus of these talks: hearing opinions, ideas and artistic expression.

As the curator for the Galleria, I search for artists whose work balances elements of our mission statement and a strong visual presence. Sometimes these artists are well known to the community, nationally and internationally. Other times they are just beginning their art careers, and exhibiting their work is a valuable experience in many ways-selling work, gaining exposure and gaining confidence in their own artistic abilities. This is so important to me. As an artist myself, I have found that so often there is a sense of competition between artists. My view is that there is enough room for everyone and we must help one another. We are all in this together, and I am proud that the Galleria can have a positive impact on so many artists lives here in Tucson.

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the artists and talk to them about their process, inspiration and ideas about art, and to discuss their interpretations of the world.

Karen Hymer , a native Tucsonan, is the Photography Program Specialist at Pima Community College.  Though trained as a traditional photographer, Hymer is skilled in various techniques, including Photo Polymer Gravure, Lumen Prints, and Digital printing.  Her body of work on display, “Botanicals”, grows out of her concern for the environment and exploring native desert plants, creating luminous Etching and Lumen prints on this subject.  Hymer will discuss her process and technique on this body of work.

Hymer is widely exhibited. Recent venues include The Phoenix Art Museum (Phoenix, AZ), The Los Angeles Center of Photography (Los Angeles, CA), Soho Photo Gallery, Site Brooklyn, Alex Ferrone Gallery, The Washington Print Foundation (Washington, DC), The Center for Photographic Arts (Carmel, CA), The Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO), and Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (Athens, GA).  Her work is in several public collections, including the Center for Creative Photography and the Polaroid International Collection.

Alejandra Platt-Torres was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico and currently lives in Tucson. She works as a free-lance photographer.

Platt-Torres will discuss her work exhibited at the Galleria, “In the Name of God”, large gelatin silver prints featuring portraits of Indigenous People of Mexico. Platt-Torre’s desire to discover her roots led her to photograph her people, which turned into a seven year project. She travelled through Mexico from 1993 until 1999, photographing people of every indigenous group in Mexico.  These soulful portraits document and honor her ancestors, and helped her discover her own indigenous roots and family history.

Platt-Torres is the recipient of numerous grants in Mexico and the United States, and has exhibited her work extensively and internationally, including  Arizona State Museum, Confluencenter, University of Arizona, Exhibit, Conferences, Digital Projection and Installation, A World Separated by Borders, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 2013,  Fiestas del Pitic, Installation, Digital Projection, A World Separated by Borders, Hermosillo, Sonora, México, 2012,  Instituto Cervantes Sidney, Embassy of México in Australia, In the name of God, Sidney, Australia, 2011. Mexican Institute, Embassy of México in Denmark, In the name of God, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2009



Valerie Galloway

Valerie Galloway was born in France in 1963, to an American father and French mother, and has lived in many places, including France, Germany , Hawaii, California, Maryland, New York City, and currently in Tucson.  While in New York City she worked in advertising for the photographer, Peter Arnell and in fashion photography as a studio manager for Enrique Badulescu.
She received her BFA in photography from the University of Arizona in 1987 and has been a working artist ever since.  Some of her works include hand made mirrors using her photographs of cityscapes, the desert and nudes as well as photographic and upcycled jewelry.  In addition, she is a painter and all around creative personality.
Galloway has been commissioned by many prestigious organizations to create awards and gifts, including the Yellowstone Park Foundation, Sundance and Pima Community College.  Her handmade photo mirrors and photo jewelry have been carried at Etherton Gallery, Verve Gallery of Photography Santa Fe, International Center of Photography, Center of Photography, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Barney’s NY, and the Tucson Museum of Art.
Galloway works at the YWCA of Southern Arizona as the Galleria Curator and Shop Manager.


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