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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 31, 2003

(Mahwah) – Betsabee Romero, a Mexican artist who became obsessed with cars” and how they symbolize Mexico’s culture, economy, and world status, opens a one-person exhibition of intricately carved tire sculptures entitled Betsabee Romero: Sited Inside in the Kresge Gallery at Ramapo College of New Jersey Wednesday, February 19. An opening reception is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on February 19.

Sited Inside presents a unique assemblage of used tires in which Romero has etched in relief Aztec and Mayan art. In addition, Romero will exhibit related works on paper, including prints and photographs. According to Tobias Ostrander, an independent curator and curator of Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, Romero has taken discarded tires that no longer have a visible tread and carved into them, producing images that reference both contemporary and pre-Hispanic symbols. She uses these objects to print onto both delicate paper and into patches of dirt taken from the local contexts where these works are exhibited.”

According to Ostrander, Romero’s work with car tires simultaneously revives Meso-American traditions and critiques Western modernization associated with the wheel, cars, and rubber tires, by turning these objects into printing mechanisms.” Since the wheel is often described as the technical innovation of Western culture, says Ostrander, and supposedly marks its superiority over Meso-American culture, Romero turns this cultural myth on its head by showing that the Aztec and Maya in fact did use wheels and circular forms, but not on transportation vehicles. Circular forms were used in printing and sport activities,” Ostrander notes.

Ostrander says the reliefs that Romero has carved into the used tires focus on the opposite function of a real tire, usually associated with speed, and security. Tires wear down and in this case they try to recuperate memories, to recover the iconography erased by the technology of speed.”

The Kresge Gallery is located in the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts at Ramapo College. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 1-5 p.m. and Wednesday 1-7 p.m. For more information, please call Director of Galleries Sydney Jenkins, (201) 684-7147.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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