Dr. Elaine Padilla, and Reneé Lotenero
The West Gallery is excited to present An Artful Reframing: Expanding Our ULV Story through an Inclusive Voice. An Artful Reframing is a collaborative effort among ULV researchers and acclaimed artists to present a more inclusive understanding of ULV’s history, heritage and identity, critically engaging our Church of the Brethren history, reckoning honestly with our predominantly white history, and highlighting stories that give shape to our diverse, multicultural and Hispanic Serving identity. An Artful Reframing brings together academic essays and artistic expressions that reframe our history and heritage, expand our understanding of who we are, and provide new possibilities for our institutional identity, vision, and future becoming.
Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, the West Gallery is featuring multiple researchers and artists who have contributed to An Artful Reframing. Our fourth exhibition features Dr. Elaine Padilla, Professor and Chair of Philosophy & Religion, LatinX/ Latin American Studies and artist Reneé Lotenero.
Dr Padilla’s research project is entitled, “Worlds In-Between: A Philosophical and Religious Study on Quotidian Encounters between the Church of the Brethren and Indigenous Tribes of the San Gabriel Valley.” Centered in the late 1800’s and early to mid-1900’s, Dr. Padilla’s project explores how the philosophy and religious worldview of the early Brethren could have been perceived by the native populations already residing in the area. Her project is focused on the “ways in which philosophical and religious content and events of the Church of the Brethren could serve as bridge or barrier to establishing relations with the indigenous populations or tribal groups of the San Gabriel Valley.” Prior to her research, early encounters between Brethren and indigenous communities had not been systematically researched and understood. Dr. Padilla’s research unfolds a complex story where Brethren figured as both bridge and barrier and provides a new starting place for present-day reflection for the University and the La Verne Church of the Brethren community, known for its progressive stance on peace and inclusion. Her project includes archival work on sermons, day-to-day religious activities of the congregation, and reflections in journals of the denomination. Further research will include written reflections/oral interviews with tribal leaders in the area.
Reneé Lotenero’s sculptural drawings map out blossoming topographies with precisely cut photographs and carefully choreographed building materials. Items like plaster and adobe are specific neighborhood references that signify the origins of the University of La Verne’s Hispanic serving roots. Lotenero’s geographical research revealed how generational growth and socio-economic development created opportunity and facilitated integration for a once underserved community.
Renée Lotenero earned a BFA from Art Center College of Design in 2002 and an MFA in Sculpture from UCLA in 2004. Lotenero has had solo exhibitions at McClain Gallery, Houston, raw & co Gallery, Cleveland, and Denk Gallery, Los Angeles. In 2008 she had her first solo museum exhibition at John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Her work has been featured in group shows such as “THING” at Hammer Museum; Interstitial at Pasadena Museum of Contemporary Art; Supercalifragilistic at La Ville Matte, Sardinia, Italy; and California Pacific Triennial at Orange County Museum of Art.