The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts is opening an “Exist and Resist” show tonight in protest of the inauguration of Donald Trump. The gallery opening follows protests throughout the day and comes a day before the Women’s March planned for downtown.
The gallery will showcase a number of political art pieces — one projects Trump on a stick held by the angel of death alongside bloody dollar bills, while another has him as the face of a joker card.
A room next to the gallery has been turned all white for “Illusions,” a show happening concurrently with “Exist and Resist” where more than a dozen artists dressed in white will paint the room with help from attendees dressed in black.
The room will start empty and covered in white paper. Then 16 artists will enter and start performing, making music, and painting the walls.
The show is “a response to what is happening,” says Adrian Arias, an artist and curator of the show who immigrated from Peru and has lived in the United States for 16 years. Arias, who is putting on “Illusions” for the ninth time, is “disappointed for this new government, especially for the treatment against immigrants,” he said.
“We are all immigrants, we have people from Chile, Peru, Spain, Bolivia, and also our roots, roots of people who were born here. There are roots from other countries,” he said. “And we have women, women protesting because Donald Trump hates women.”
“For us, the show is to say we are not afraid,” Arias said, adding that he fears not only for his immigrant friends but also for artists as a whole, given reported plans to cut the national art budget. “For us, this is our revolutionary act to keep painting.”
The gallery opening starts at 6 p.m. tonight and will go until 9:30 p.m.