An Oct. 4 book club event focused on Frida Kahlo (shown) will precede next summer's major exhibition of the famed artist's work on the College of DuPage campus.
An Oct. 4 book club event focused on Frida Kahlo (shown) will precede next summer's major exhibition of the famed artist's work on the College of DuPage campus.

GLEN ELLYN – Coinciding with Latino Heritage Month, the McAninch Arts Center announces a Book Club reading initiative around "Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist" by Celia Stahr. The MAC will present a live virtual discussion of Stahr's book at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4.

The discussion, hosted by MAC Director Diana Martinez, will include a Q&A with author Stahr, a news release stated. Tickets cost $10 and are on sale at AtTheMAC.org.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring attention to Stahr’s book," Martinez stated in the release. "I believe it will give our audience and area Frida Kahlo fans some interesting insights into the artist in advance of their visit to the ‘Frida Kahlo: Timeless’ exhibition coming to the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the MAC in summer 2021."

The Book Store of Glen Ellyn offers a 15% discount to anyone mentioning "Celia Stahr Book Club."

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo adored adventure, and in 1930 realized her dream of traveling to the U.S. to live in San Francisco, Detroit and New York. At age 23 and newly married to the already world famous 43-year-old Diego Rivera, she was at a crossroads in her life. This new place filled with beauty, poverty, racial tension, ethnic diversity, bland food and a vibrant music scene pushed Kahlo in unexpected directions. Shifts in her style of painting began to appear and cracks in her marriage widened.

“Frida in America” has been described as the first in-depth biography of these formative years spent in what Kahlo referred to as “Gringolandia,” a place Frida couldn’t always understand. But it was her feelings of being a stranger in a strange land that fueled her creative passions and an even stronger sense of Mexican identity.

“Frida in America” recreates the journey that made Señora Rivera the world famous Frida Kahlo. Stahr’s narrative is based on the diary of Lucienne Bloch, a woman who became Kahlo’s confidante in the U.S., as well as on correspondence between Kahlo and her family in Mexico.

Celia Stahr, who holds a doctorate, is a native of California who developed a love of art and culture through her experiences traveling to Cuba, Mexico, East and Southern Africa, Western Europe, China and every region of the United States. She has a background in modern and contemporary art history (with a particular focus on issues of race and gender), as well as in African art and the diaspora. Stahr is interested in artists who cross cultural boundaries and the political, social, artistic and psychological ramifications of such actual or imagined "border" crossings.

About 'Frida Kahlo: Timeless'

The exhibition, on view June 5 to Sept. 6, 2021, will be the largest Frida Kahlo exhibition in the Chicago area in more than 40 years, and is hosted by the Cleve Carney Museum of Art (CCMA) and the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage. It will feature a 26-piece collection on loan from the Museo Dolores Olmedo, as well as a multimedia timeline, more than 100 photographic images from the artist’s life, a family-friendly children’s area and a Frida Kahlo-inspired garden designed by Ball Horticultural Company, enabling museum-goers of all ages to grasp an understanding of Kahlo’s life and work through a variety of contexts.

The exhibition and related programming are organized by “Frida Kahlo: Timeless” Executive Director Diana Martinez in collaboration with Justin Witte, who curated the exhibit and is the CCMA curator.

For more information, visit frida2020.org and social media @CleveCarneyMuseumofArt.

The exhibition is presented by Bank of America and made possible through support from the College of DuPage Foundation, Milly and Alan Peterson, Ball Horticultural Company, Nicor Gas, Wight & Company, AeroMexico, the National Endowment for the Arts and the DuPage Foundation.

About the Cleve Carney Museum of Art

The late Cleve Carney provided a legacy gift to establish the Cleve Carney Art Gallery at College of DuPage. The gallery opened in 2014 with its inaugural exhibition, “Selections from Cleve Carney’s Art Collection.” The gallery will be expanding to a 2,500-square-foot museum, the Cleve Carney Museum of Art, scheduled to open next summer with the Kahlo exhibition. More information can be found at TheCCMA.org and on social media @CleveCarneyMuseumofArt.

DuPage County