By Jeannine Perez
The Arts in Loreto: Lizette Unzuna is Doing What She Loves
We all see our worlds differently…each through his own unique lens of culture, beliefs and experiences. I recently interviewed Lizette Inzunza, a quiet, very talented woman who helps us see the worldviews of others through art.
Lizette Inzunza is Directora of Social, Civic, and Cultural programs in Loreto. We gather on our Plaza for dances, gymnastics, music, holiday fiestas, food, and fun. The Arts become our answer to difficult times felt around the world and also here.
Exhibits in two rooms of our Municipal change each month; there have been more than 20 exhibits since our mayor’s election. No two exhibits are alike, ranging from abstracts escaping their frames to a seventeen year old boy’s intricate drawings, professional paintings done in vivid Mexican colors, and water colors by retired Americans who can still live in luxury. We shudder over violent Revolution paintings and smile over nature drawings done by school children. The ribbon-cutting ceremony, viewing of exhibits and simple refreshments are anticipated and well-attended. Strong art and the voices of people from contrasting backgrounds and cultures become windows allowing us to view the world through the eyes and passions of others.
Lizette has lived in Loreto since 1988, raising her son (also an artist), teaching classes, volunteering, and always, painting, painting, painting. She tells me she’s always loved art, but never dreamed it could become her career. On a science track, with chemistry her major, art was a hobby while doing something else “important.” However, each book margin and notebook was crowded with doodles and drawings. At graduation, ready to begin her science career, her teacher praised her art talent and said many available careers are open to talented artists. Lizette scoffed, but the next day, he brought her a list of art careers.
That teacher changed her life.
Lizette smiles, noting that she still struggles, while most of her classmates are now doctors or in science careers. However, she’s doing what she most loves to do….art.
At that time Lizette’s favorite subjects seemed to be landscapes and still-lifes, particularly those with chilies She still enjoys painting them, but says her favorite subjects now are strong, capable women, and also she loves pangas (Mexican fishing boats), because, she says, pangas have souls and feelings, and she captures that as easily as the emotions in the women she paints. Some paintings of mermaids or angels, contrast darkness with light, and she did a series on the Mexican Revolution, and we felt the dangers and losses of that period.
I asked about her own favorite painting and which was hardest to paint. She said her favorite was of three angels (again, darkness vs. light). The hardest was begun several months after suffering a violent attack near the border, when she feared she might die. She didn’t cry and decided to paint the attack and her feelings, but began to cry, couldn’t stop, and couldn’t finish that painting. I remarked that perhaps it was complete, allowing her release of tears.
My last question was about future ambitions and hopes. Lizette longs to travel, see and experience new things, while keeping her base in Loreto. Wherever she goes, Lizette will take along her gentle patience, sharing talents and visions, and always will impact the lives of others. Lizinsol@hotmail.com
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