Laura Garza has been involved in the production of art since 1996. Since then she has approached her subjects from various angles in terms of media, subject matter and artistic strategy. Although she started out as a visual artist, and more specifically as a painter, she has progressively adopted a great variety of approximations in order to get her ideas across. Evolving and morphing into drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, installation, video, social art and performance, she has always been interested in experimentation and taking her work further.
Laura has also been very active in the educational aspect of art, being an art teacher at ITESO university in Guadalajara since 1999. She has devoted herself to coordinating a diploma course on Contemporary Art Theory and History at the ESARQ, taught by renowned lecturers, curators and theorists. She also co-directs the Artistic Residency program at Laboratorio de Arte Chapultepec. She co-developed and designed an undergraduate art program that has just recently been approved by the SEP, the Mexican federal government department of education.
More recently her art has leant towards the social aspect of culture and human rights; one of her recent projects consisted of working with survivors of breast cancer in order to create a collective mural piece made up of a mosaic of 40 individual paintings in which the women were encouraged to vent some of the emotions, good and bad, that accumulated during the traumatic experience of being a cancer patient and cancer survivor. The entire project was documented and shown on local TV by a local station.
She was also involved in teaching painting to HIV positive women who were the wives of Mexican migrants to the US who got the disease in the US and then gave it to their wives when they returned. Not only did they have to go through the ordeal of the disease, but they also had to face a society that turned their back on them, since they were often seen not as victims but as women who deserved that fate. During the workshop Laura helped them create painted banners that were displayed at a rally where they demanded that their rights be preserved.
Laura was invited by Amnesty International to design a performance commemorating the first anniversary of the infamous abduction of 43 students. She organized a parade with members of the university community at ITESO, assuming the roles of the 43 abductees by wearing paper masks with their portraits. The group marched around the university campus. For the second anniversary of the horrific event she coordinated the production of several murals that spoke of the tragedy, for whom nobody has been held responsible, and how the Mexican government has repeatedly dodged the public’s accusations and outrage.
One of Laura’s concerns has been the rights of women, especially of those living in vulnerable conditions in Mexico. Specifically, she developed an exhibition focused on the reproductive rights of women, and how Caesarean sections have become the norm for how women give birth in Mexico. Despite evidence to the contrary, health professionals in this country have maintained a permanent campaign against natural childbirth, arguing that it is unsafe, unhealthy, impractical and painful. The World Health Organization has stated that only a small percentage of deliveries require such measures, and that there is no reason to undergo such procedures in most cases. However, since it serves the interests of doctors, hospitals and other participants in public and private health services, most women undergo Caesarean sections believing it is the best option for them and their babies, while in fact poses a much larger risk of health problems and even death.
Other causes that Laura has created art projects for are international gun control, and protecting the rights of slave laborers in the apparel industry around the world (the Joined Sleeves project).