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Alicia Cardenas honored as part of Denver exhibit

Cardenas was one of five people killed in a shooting spree in Denver and Lakewood.

DENVER, Colorado — A woman killed in a shooting spree that spanned through Denver and Lakewood is being honored at an exhibit. Alicia Cardenas is one of 22 new women that will be honored as part of the 'Return of the Corn Mothers' at History Colorado

The exhibit runs Sept. 16, 2022 through Sept. 10, 2023. It is a celebration of women whose lives and work embody the spirit of community, featuring a photographic exhibition and an anthology of a total of 70 women collected over the past 15 years. 

The exhibit itself focuses on women of the Southwest and their contributions. Cardenas is one of those women. 

"These are the women who are the heart and soul of their communities. Some of the women are the grandmas that took care of kids on the street. There is a whole wide range of how women contribute to our communities in ways that we don’t think about," said curator Dr. Renee Fajardo. 

Cardenas was integral in the indigenous community and elevating indigenous art forms that can be seen in murals throughout Denver, which is why she was nominated while she was still alive. Dr. Fajardo made the decision to continue to include her in the exhibit to honor her life and legacy. 

"So you will see her [painting] portrait here, among all of the [photo] portraits. That was in many ways the deepest way that we could really honor her memory and honor everything that she stood for, and honor the fact that she was beyond comparison a person that supported the rights of women, and against misogyny, and violence against women," said Dr. Fajardo. 

Denver artist Emanuel Martinez painted her portrait with oil, whereas the other women honored have photos as part of the exhibit. 

"I was very honored to have been to have been chosen to do the portrait. I included some elements in there, where I think relative to her spirit as an artist, and her spirituality," said Martinez. "She definitely had a strong passion for life and that really is one thing will remember her for." 

You can see the Corn Mothers exhibit by purchasing a general admission for History Colorado. The 22 new women will be honored at the exhibitions free opening reception on Friday Oct. 21, 2022. 


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