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Gallery Features Exhibition on The Traditional
Mexican Game of Loteria

Posted September 15, 2003

HOLLAND – The gallery of the De Pree Art Center at Hope College will feature an exhibition of Jill Hartley’s and Teresa Villegas’s variations on the traditional Mexican game Loteria, beginning Monday, Sept. 29.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Mounted in collaboration with the Tulipanes Latino Art and Film Festival, the exhibition will feature an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 3, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a children’s program including a game of Loteria. The event will also feature a lecture by artist Teresa Villegas, “La Loteria: An Exploration of Mexico” at 5:30 p.m.

The traditional Loteria originated in Italy, moved to Spain, and finally came to Mexico in 1769. Initially played by the colonial Mexican elite, it was eventually embraced by all social classes. The game is very similar to American Bingo, with some differences. In Bingo, a number with an associated letter is randomly chosen from a rotating drum, while in Loteria, a card with a colorfully illustrated image is drawn from a special deck.

The board (tabla) has a random pattern of images matching those found on the cards. The announcer gives an improvised short poem or familiar phrase alluding to the image on the card. Satire and references to contemporary events and politics are often a part of the word play involved; in fact, the linking of images to social commentary has existed since the inception of the game.

Jill Hartley is an American photographer who resides in both Paris and Mexico City. She has produced a series of photographs that are based on the traditional list of Loteria themes but draw images from contemporary life as she has encountered it in her travels in Mexico.

Teresa Villegas received her education in the fine arts at the University of Arizona at Tucson, where she continues to live and work. She has created a series of paintings that are variations on the traditional Loteria images. Her themes reflect contemporary Mexican icons.

The exhibition will run through Saturday, Nov. 8. The gallery’s regular hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11-12, because of the college's Fall Break.

The De Pree Art Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. The gallery is handicapped accessible.

Additional information may be obtained by calling (616) 395-7500.

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