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The Arts Scene: Christie Tirado mixes aesthetics and politics

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“While some of us have the luxury to work from home and self-isolate, this is not case for our nation’s farmworkers,” writes artist Christie Tirado about these essential workers that “harvest our food and keep our shelves stocked with fresh produce.”

Tirado is currently showing her work at the Boxx Gallery in Tieton in an exhibit called “Gráfico del Campo — Cultivating the Yakima Valley / Cultivando el Valle de Yakima.”

She says that “these workers have always played a vital role in our country and now more than ever, eyes need to be opened, ears need to listen, and their voices need to be heard — conversations need to get started about their safety and well-being.”

Tirado is an artist and art teacher in Yakima. She has degrees from the University of Washington and Heritage University and is a recipient of the Larry Sommers Fellowship from Seattle Art Prints.

A statement from the Boxx Gallery says “Christie Tirado ... is passionate about working with children and the community to support their education and realities through the arts. ... Tirado is currently focusing on illustrating different perspectives of the work conducted by Mexican farmworkers laboring in the Yakima Valley agricultural industry. By intentionally bringing together diverse realms, she mixes aesthetics and politics, within the personal and social.”

Tirdao’s artwork has been featured and collected throughout Washington state, including by Washington State’s Art Commission, Davidson Galleries, Gallery One, Larson Gallery and Boxx Gallery.

This exhibition of 25 works will be at the Boxx Gallery until Tuesday. Tirado says 25% of sales will go to the United Workers for Justice Union “because I want this new organization to be recognized in this Valley, and also what it is doing for the agricultural community.”

Also, as a policy of the Boxx, 30% of sales will go to the Highland Food Bank.

• David Lynx is executive director of the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley College. He writes this weekly column for SCENE. Learn more at www.larsongallery.org.