SF State Puts the Art in Heart

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- Protests and other forms of free speech have made headlines, but some members of society have chosen to live by a timeless adage — “a picture speaks a thousand words.”

Cynthia Beltran-Islas, a studio art major, believes the election pushed herself and her peers to focus on political and social topics in their work.

Beltran-Islas recently partnered with a friend to produce a documentary about the day-to-day experience of people who identify as Latin American, queer, or both-a topic she’s passionate about because she places herself in both categories. A crowd gathered to watch the film and several stayed afterward to give feedback, which is something she values.

“Artists are very empathetic,” said Beltran-Islas. “We want to engage emotionally with people.”

As an immigrant from Tijuana, Mexico, Beltran-Islas said she has always felt self-conscious in the U.S. due to her accent and appearance. However, she admitted she feels even tenser since last November despite the fact that she now lives in San Francisco, a sanctuary city.