The Galeria Mitotera is a home for local artists in and around South Tucson. It provides a safe space for artists to grow as they display the art.
The representation of that art in the community is important to Mel and Melissa Dominguez. The couple started Galeria Mitotera in 2018 as an opportunity to expand the space in which Mel Dominguez creates and sells his art.
Mel Dominguezs art career made strides after his partnership with the Tucson Tamale Co. His art was featured in its own section in the original location of the restaurant until it closed in 2018. He and his wife decided that in his next journey with Galeria Mitotera, it would be centered around promoting a space for others to learn and grow.
Dominguez had felt his connection to art from an early age. As a child, I just felt like visually it was the easiest way to communicate to people of all ages, he said. It was either a part-time job or a hobby, but his commitment was fueled in 2010 by what was happening around him.
I had a regular job, until SB1070 came up and it gave the opportunity to police officers where if you look like me, they were able to stop us and ask for papers, and because of that, I was moved back into being a community artist, said Dominguez.
It was the controversial law and an unrelated near-death experience that motivated him to bring his attention to the value of the messages his art communicates to the people in areas like South Tucson. Now, he has Galeria Mitotera for his work and others in the community with a similar passion.
We really focus on having artists that reflect our community, which here in the city of South Tucson is indigenous and Chicano and Mexican community here, said Melissa Brown Dominguez.
The Galeria Mitotera also hosts vendor markets along 28th Street. With the heat, its been a while since their last one. Coming up on November 3rd, they will be hosting their annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration. There will be vendors along with the reveal of this years special art exhibit: Alebrijes.
We thought of the tree of life and Alebrijes and Dia de Los Muertos, its all very meaningful together. And Alebrijes is a fun, vibrant way to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, said Melissa Dominguez.
The event will be held from 6-9 PM and will feature a selection of local artists. Anyone looking for more information or to stay updated with events can follow them on Instagram @galeriamitotera or visit their website at galeriamitotera.com.