In the 32 years since the release of Sandra Cisnero‘s The House on Mango Street, the book has become required reading in schools throughout the United States. Now, the coming-of-age novel – an important contribution to Chicana feminist literature – has also inspired an art exhibit at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
Through short, vivid vignettes, Esperanza Cordero’s story unfolds as she navigates Chicago’s Latino neighborhoods. While filled with heavy moments – such as Esperanza’s sexual assault – the book also touches on culture, family, and female sexuality. These themes and many more are present at the The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community exhibit. The art pieces don’t perfectly match up with Cisnero’s book, but through the same central subjects, the pieces tell of urban Latino life in the US. Curated by Cesáreo Moreno – Visual Arts Director at National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago – the exhibit includes more than 50 artists, including Carmen Lomas Garza, Alex Galindo, and Favianna Rodríguez.
A few of Cisneros’ items are also on display. “You don’t expect in your lifetime that you are going to see your boots in a museum, or your typewriter or your desk,” she said to the Associated Press. This week, Cisneros visited the exhibit.
But for those who can’t head to New Mexico, you can at least check out what’s on display below:
The House On Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community will be open to visitors of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St. S.W., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, until September 25.