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Gallery Beso Maya

Kaira Portillo 

El Observador

 When the doors opened Summer 2013, it was a dream come true for Yadira Cazares, a talented and accomplished visual artist (check out her art at who yearned for more. The Chicana wanted to empower fellow artists, “I opened the gallery because as an artist myself, I never felt welcomed by galleries, so this was my chance to design a welcoming and inclusive space for all, but especially to support blossoming Latino artists.”

Galeria Beso Maya is located in Oakland’s Dimond District; the evening gallery hours are friendly to working people with day jobs: Tuesday- Thursday, 6p-9pm. It is also open on Saturdays from 1p-5pm and by appointment. Although starting and maintaining a small business presents many challenges, Yadira shares the positives that have come to life through this endeavor, “I have definitely been learning what kind of mental strength and volition you must have to open a business that is entrenched in non-profit models.”

“But having this art gallery equips me with the opportunity to influence peoples’ minds about the importance of artists within society.  And it has been amazing to network and build with the community- seeing artists grow, expand, and push forward with their vision has been so rewarding.  I believe that self-expression heals and has transformative value.”

Currently, Galeria Beso Maya is showcasing: Mole, Mezcal, and Art, featuring the work of Lamberto Roque Hernandez, an Oakland based artist and educator.

Using natural pigments such as dirt, mushroom, and mole sauce, Hernandez honors his ancestors from Oaxaca, Mexico and the Renaissance painters whom made their pigments out of necessity. His work reflects his daily life, pulling influences from ancient memories, dancers, abstract lines and images representing Zapotec Cosmology.

Closing reception: 

Mole, Mezcal and Art Saturday, June 7th 5pm-9pm3224 Fruitvale Avenue, Oakland, CA



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