&gallery solo exhibition “Darlings” showcases Bethzaira Lopez


Annika Rogozin

Bethzaira Lopez’s solo &gallery exhibition “Darlings” features hyper-feminine aesthetics with psychedelic color schemes. The display is open to visitors until July 9.

As summer begins, &gallery showcases another solo exhibition with longtime artist Bethzaira Lopez. 

Lopez is one of the artists who has worked with &gallery for many years. She is a residential artist who partners with &gallery and sells in the retail space.

“Growing up, I was very much inspired by Western cartoons, anime and Lisa Frank,” Lopez said. “But nowadays, I just like to focus on very hyper-feminine aesthetics and even incorporate some psychedelic touches to it as well. It’s a soup of a lot of things that inspire me.”

Lopez has been drawing since she was 3 years old. But it was during her time at Pima Community College while studying physical therapy that a teacher in her art classes reassured Lopez that she could make a career out of art. By the time she was 22, Lopez decided to make her art into a serious career.

“I feel honored, just [by] the fact that &gallery gave me the opportunity to just have their space to show my art. People are coming out to see what I do; it’s sometimes hard to believe. I’m just happy that people enjoy what I do,” Lopez said.

Lopez is currently focusing on expanding her own online shop, especially clothing. She also wants to do more galleries as well.

Hanging jellyfish art pieces adorn Bethzaira Lopez’s solo &gallery exhibition “Darlings.” Cynthia Naugle, the owner of &gallery, encourages local artists to have solo exhibitions to be personal with their creations and self-expression. (Annika Rogozin)

Cynthia Naugle, the owner of &gallery, was approached by Lopez to do a solo show. Naugle agreed, as Lopez is an artist she had wanted to work with on an exhibition for a while. Naugle often jokes that &gallery is always changing as well due to the monthly exhibitions.

“I love doing solo exhibitions because it gives the artist a chance to really express themselves and do a whole theme on their own with their art. It gives the artist a chance to go all out with their art and really show off and be personal with their art, too,” Naugle said. “Solo shows are always awesome to do, and it is really cool to see a whole body of work inside of the gallery from one person. This one with Bethzaira [Lopez] was really cool.”

Upcoming plans Naugle has for &gallery include an art sale in July, a “Lord of the Rings” art show in August, a secret show in September, a lore show themed around Universal Monsters in October and a solo show showcasing artist Kayla Ballesteros.

Volunteer Yolie Contreras has been a longtime fan of Lopez’s art. “The Reflection Box” was one of her favorite pieces as it was an immersive piece built by the artist.

“I just felt really calm, and I wanted to have it. If [only] I could have access to it every day and just immerse myself. I love that it has this blend of music and art all in one. It’s just so calming for me,” Contreras said.

&gallery is located at 419 N. Fourth Ave. Bethzaira Lopez’s solo exhibit “Darlings” is open to visitors until July 9. Store hours for the summer are 12-5 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 12-6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 12-7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The gallery’s art meetups will also start back up on Thursdays in July from 5-7 p.m.

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