Just before dawn on September 16th, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo began his routine of ringing the church bell to call worshippers to service in the small town of Dolores, Guanajuato. However, on this morning he delivered a different message: “Mexicanos, Viva Mexico!” This grito, or cry, is the hallmark of the day that Mexico revolted against the Spaniards. Mexico’s Independence Day is now celebrated with cheerful revelry that begins on September 15 in zócalos throughout Mexico.
Sandria Hu was in the zócalo of Mexico City on September 15, 2003. The town square was a hub of activity, and Hu was taken by the passion and excitement of the day. Upon her return to Texas, she sought to create an artwork that captured the essence of the emotions of the day – that captured the time and place. Hu’s portfolio boasts many landscapes, but here she was confronted with translating the cultural landscape to abstraction. In September 15, El Grito, Hu conveys her memory of the festive day with the shadows of a tree at dusk. Color, excitement, and contrast were the things that strongly affected the artist, so she captured this image as she saw the trees from the top of a building.
Sandria Hu is a Professor of Art at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She received her B.A. and M.A. from San Diego State University before completing her M.F.A. at Stanford University. She has received numerous awards and grants for her artwork and has been awarded the Fulbright Fellowship on multiple occasions. The Hawaiian-Chinese artist primarily creates oil/mixed media paintings or uses the Chine-collé printmaking technique. Hu participated in Serie XII, creating the print Xalapa.