Nevada State Museum exhibit looks at Mexico’s rich embroidery tradition

Pano familiar by Romeo Sigüenza, one of the pieces on display in Family Flowers/Flores Familiares.
Rebecca Snetselaar

Embroidery’s lineage dates back B.C., with different cultures establishing or adopting unique and elaborate patterns over the centuries. One such legacy, Mexico’s rich textile embroidery—passed down as a family vocation among generations—is portrayed in Family Flowers/Flores Familiares at the Nevada State Museum, an exhibit that details the work of Las Vegas resident Romeo Sigüenza, who learned the craft as a child in Southern Mexico. It’s a compelling display of Sigüenza’s beautifully detailed work, accompanied by a loose storyline of his family tradition that touches on the religious and spiritual symbolism in the birds and flowers.

Garments feature the dynamic interplay between color and pattern, particularly in the traditional huipil—a tunic commonly worn by indigenous Mexican women. Also on display is the Sigüenza’s family collection of intricately embroidered outfits, including a colonial-style wedding dress and other vintage garb traditional to Mexico.

The bilingual exhibit, developed by Rebecca Snetselaar with the Nevada Arts Council (working in conjunction with UNLV and the Nevada State Museum), is a fascinating and personal glimpse into a waning tradition, dating to the days when clothes were designed to last and craftwork had historic meaning.

Family Flowers/Flores Familiares Through December 31; Fri-Mon, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; $10. Nevada State Museum, Springs Preserve, 486-5205

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