Of primary importance is my view of art as a serious and responsible vehicle for exploring issues of Chicana ideology. In my own evolving critical study, I question my identity as a Chicana in occupied America, and articulate the experience of a minority woman. I work to understand the depth of my spiritual, political, emotional and cultural icons, realizing that in exploring the topography of my conceptual homeland, Aztlan, I am searching for the configurations of my own vision.
"A social understanding has always been that a woman is not to witness, demonstrate or indulge in acts of violence. But these women, determined to box, turn their backs on these opinions." Delilah Montoya
The title of Delilah Montoya’s print, Smile Now, Cry Later, comes from an old barrio saying that refers to a person’s feelings while they’re doing something they shouldn’t. Initially, one will enjoy the feeling and smile, but eventually the consequences will cause one to “cry later.
Combining the artistry of photographer Delilah Montoya with an informative introduction written by professor and librarian María Teresa Márquez, Women Boxers: The New Warriors explores the world of las malcriadas, those women who challenge society's views of femininity, violence, and physicality.
Delilah Montoya was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1955. Art is synonymous with her quest to define herself as a Chicana living the perpetual tensions of a minority woman in the United States. Committed to exploring her Hispanic roots, Montoya has explored the icons of New Mexico, including the religious heritage of her "penitente" grandfather from the Las Vegas area. Her art weaves together her spiritual, political and emotional visions. Many of her images are intriguing assemblages comprised of painting, printmaking and photography.
Montoya has lectured at the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe, The Albuquerque Museum, The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, and the Wight Gallery at the University of California in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited throughout New Mexico, Texas, New York, California, Georgia and Mexico. Several of her pieces were in the monumental traveling exhibit "Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation."
Delilah Montoya, Associate Professor
Photography/Digital Media: The University of Houston School of Art
(Her education) Associate Degree, Metropolitan Technical College; BA, University of New Mexico; MA, University of New Mexico; MFA, University of New Mexico
Professor Montoya came to the University of Houston 2001 after teaching at both Smith College and Hampshire College for three years. Her work is grounded in the experiences of the Southwest and brings together a multiplicity of syncretic forms and practices from those of Aztec, Mexico and Spain, to cross-border vernacular traditions, all of which are shaded by contemporary American customs and values.
Montoya's numerous projects investigate cultural phenomena, always addressing and often confronting viewers' assumptions. Women Boxers: The New Warriors, a book project featuring a collection of portraits is such a project. Funded in part by the University of Houston Small Grants Program and Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County and was published though Arte Publico Press. The work was first exhibited during Fotofest 2006 at Project Row House, and later it traveled to Los Angeles, Santa Fe and Dallas where Charles Dee Mitchell reviewed it for Art in America.
Montoya's work has traveled with the International Center for Photography exhibition "Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self" and "Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum." Her work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institute, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her gallery affiliations are Andrew Smith Gallery, Patricia Correia Gallery, Photographs Do Not Bend and Redbud Gallery.
- Women Boxers: The New Warriors - by Delilah Montoya (Photographer) , C. Ondine Chavoya , Maria Teresa Marquez
- Digital Imaging Statement
Andre S. Belcher - Contributor