Calvin College art professor Mandy Cano Villalobos chose pale pink thread to embroider the nearly 400 white shirts in her recent exhibition, Voces, which ran at the college’s Center Art Gallery.
She chose pale pink because that is the color of the sun-faded crosses lining the highways in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Each was erected in memory of a woman who was murdered there.
Calvin College's Mandy Cano Villalobos stands before her artwork, titled Voces.
In Voces, each white shirt represents a woman and is embroidered with her name.
The exhibition commemorates the women killed in Chihuahua, Mexico’s largest and northernmost state, which shares a border with Texas.
“A lot of women are being killed there, and their murders are directly linked to their being women,” said Villalobos, who has taught at Calvin since 2009.
Most of the victims have been raped, beaten, and tortured, their bodies discarded in the desert or along the highway.
“I’m very much interested in bringing to light these women, who have worth,” said Cano Villalobos.