Monday, December 9, 2013

Smithsonian American Art Museum is Hosting an Exhibition on Latino Art


Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art

3rd floor North, American Art Museum (8th and F Streets, N.W.)
October 25, 2013 – March 2, 2014

Carlos Almaraz,  Night Magic (Blue Jester), 1988, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Gloria Werner © 1988, Carlos Almaraz Estate
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-twentieth century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s pioneering collection of Latino art. It explores how Latino artists shaped the artistic movements of their day and recalibrated key themes in American art and culture.
The exhibition presents works in all media by 72 leading modern and contemporary artists. Of the 92 artworks featured in the exhibition, 63 have been acquired by the museum since 2011, representing its deep and continuing commitment to collecting Latino art. Our America includes works by artists who participated in all the various artistic styles and movements, including abstract expressionism; activist, conceptual, and performance art; and classic American genres such as landscape, portraiture, and scenes of everyday life.. Latino artists across the United States were galvanized by the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. They created new images of their communities and examined bicultural experiences. Many critically probed American history and popular culture, revealing the possibilities and tensions of expansionism, migration, and settlement. Other Latino artists in the exhibition devoted themselves to experimentation, pushing the limits of their chosen medium. “Our America” presents a picture of an evolving national culture that challenges expectations of what is meant by “American” and “Latino.”
Artists featured in the exhibition reflect the rich diversity of Latino communities in the United States. Our America showcases artists of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican descent, as well as other Latin American groups with deep roots in the United States. By presenting works by artists of different generations and regions, the exhibition reveals recurring themes among artists working across the country.
The 72 artists featured in the exhibition are ADÁL, Manuel Acevedo, Elia Alba, Olga Albizu, Carlos Almaraz, Jesse Amado, Asco (Harry Gamboa Jr., Gronk, Willie Herrón and Patssi Valdez), Luis Cruz Azaceta, Myrna Báez, Guillermo Bejarano, Charles “Chaz” Bojórquez, María Brito, Margarita Cabrera, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Melesio “Mel” Casas, Leonard Castellanos, Oscar R. Castillo, José Cervantes, Enrique Chagoya, Roberto Chavez, Carlos A. Cortéz, Marcos Dimas, Ricardo Favela, Christina Fernandez, Teresita Fernández, iliana emilia garcía, Rupert García, Scherezade García, Carmen Lomas Garza, Ignacio Gomez, Ken Gonzales-Day, Hector González, Luis C. “Louie the Foot” González, Muriel Hasbun, Ester Hernandez, Judithe Hernández, Carmen Herrera, Carlos Irizarry, Luis Jiménez, Miguel Luciano, Emanuel Martinez, María Martínez-Cañas, Antonio Martorell, Ana Mendieta, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Delilah Montoya, Malaquias Montoya, Abelardo Morell, Jesús Moroles, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Pepón Osorio, Amado M. Peña Jr., Chuck Ramirez, Paul Henry Ramirez, Sophie Rivera, Arturo Rodríguez, Freddy Rodríguez, Joseph Rodríguez, Frank Romero, Emilio Sánchez, Juan Sánchez, Jorge Soto Sánchez, Rafael Soriano, Ruben Trejo, Jesse Treviño, John M. Valadez, Alberto Valdés, and Xavier Viramontes.
The exhibition is organized by E. Carmen Ramos, curator of Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Go behind-the-scenes with the museum's blog, Eye Level
The museum’s blog Eye Level features an occasional series highlighting artworks and new acquisitions that will be displayed in the exhibition.
Preparing for Our America: Imagining Migration, iliana emilia garcía's Chairs, August 15, 2013
Preparing for Our America: From Cuba with Love: The Influence of Cuban Posters on Latino Art, July 10, 2013
Preparing for Our America: Portraying Community in a Contested Field, December 13, 2012
Preparing for Our America: John Valadez’s Great American Streets, October 11, 2012
Preparing for Our America: Depicting Exile, September 6, 2012
Preparing for Our America: Raphael Montañez-Ortiz Deconstructs the Western, August 14, 2012
Preparing for Our America: Music and Abstraction, Works by Freddy Rodríguez, July 3, 2012
Free Public Programs
A series of free, public programs will be presented at the museum in conjunction with the exhibition. Several programs will be webcast; a schedule is available online.
Family Day—Sunday, September 15, 2013, 3–6 p.m. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with an exploration and demonstration of salsa music and dance
Artist Talk—Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 7 p.m. Bamboo Cinema, Blind Landscape, and Stacked Waters by Teresita Fernández. Part of the Clarice Smith Distinguished Lectures in American Artseries. Free tickets are required.
Screening—Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 6:30 p.m., “Peril and Promise” (1980–today) from the PBS documentary Latino Americans, followed by a panel discussion and book signing
Curator Talk—Friday, October 25, 2013, 6 p.m., What Is Latino About American Art? by E. Carmen Ramos
Family Day—Saturday, November 2, 2013, 3–11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Celebrate Día de los Muertos with crafts and educational activities for the whole family at "Day of the Dead" Family Day
Film Screening—Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Buena Vista Social Club
Artist Panel—Thursday, November 7, 2013, 6 p.m., Defining and Defying Latino Art: A Conversation with Five Artists; this discussion is presented as part of the conference Latino Art Now! Nuestra América: Expanding Perspectives in American Art. Free tickets are required.
Film Screening—Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 6:30 p.m.,  Born in East L.A.
Latino Art Now! Conference
The Smithsonian is hosting the conference Latino Art Now! November 7–9, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The conference is a biennial forum for artists, historians, scholars, and educators. Registration is required. Information is available online through the Smithsonian Latino Center.
National Tour
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art is available for tour after closing at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. If you are interested in hosting the exhibition at your museum, please visit our traveling exhibitions page for contact information.
Confirmed venues include:
The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami, Florida (March 28, 2014–June 22, 2014) 
Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California (September 21, 2014–January 11, 2015)
Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah (February 6, 2015–May 17, 2015)
Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock, Arkansas (October 16, 2015–January 17, 2016)
Delaware Museum of Art in Wilmington, Delaware (March 5, 2016–May 29, 2016)
The exhibition catalogue includes essays by Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, independent scholar; and E. Carmen Ramos, curator of Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The book is forthcoming in 2014.
Altria Logo
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by Altria Group, Aida M. Alvarez, Judah Best, The James F. Dicke Family Endowment, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, Tania and Tom Evans, Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, The Michael A. and the Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello Endowment, Henry R. Muñoz III, and Zions Bank. Additional significant support was provided by The Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Support for Treasures to Go, the Museum’s traveling exhibition program, comes from The C.F. Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia.

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