National conference to explore Latino art in Chicago, U.S., abroad

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The Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), a University of Illinois at Chicago-based national Latino research consortium, and the Smithsonian Latino Center will host the fifth biennial Latino Art Now!, a conference examining issues related to contemporary Latino art in the U.S. and cultural influences from around the world.


April 7

  • Opening session, 3 p.m., Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
  • Kick-off reception, 5:30 p.m., Macy’s, The Narcissus Room, 111 N. State St., 7th floor (RSVP required via

April 8

  • Conference sessions, 9 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., UIC Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted St.
  • Reception, 6:30 p.m., National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St.

April 9

  • Conference sessions, 9 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., UIC Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted St.
  • Closing reception, 5:30 p.m., UIC’s Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center, Lecture Center B2, 803 S. Morgan St.


The three-day event will bring together an international mix of artists, scholars, museum professionals, collectors, critics and students for sessions exploring Latino art production in the U.S. and its relationship to contemporary art and visual culture.

Among the topics to be addressed are cultural identities, the role of art in neighborhood and economic transformation, cities’ function as critical spaces for globalization, contemporary growth of Latino visual culture, and Latino art collection.

Visit the Latino Art Now! conference website for full details on registration fees, agenda and presenters. Registration is online.

Conference highlights include:

  • The Chicago Conversation Series, supported by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust, presenting specific sessions centered on the city’s Latino art and its local and global impact.
  • A free opening day panel discussion (part of the Chicago Conversation Series) featuring artists Antonio Martorell (San Juan), Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (Chicago), Tania Bruguera (New York/Havana), Scherezade García (New York), and María Gaspar (Chicago).
  • Plenary lunch sessions exploring art as a catalyst for economic and social change, and new meanings of U.S. Latino art and Latin American art.
  • Spring of Latino Art, a conference-affiliated cultural series with an estimated 200 artists and more than 60 community-based exhibitions and events highlighting Latino art in Chicago.
  • Visits to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and UIC’s Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center.
  • Presentation of the Tomás Ybarra-Frausto Award to Carlos Tortolero, founder and president of the National Museum of Mexican Art.

The Inter-University Program for Latino Research consists of 25 university-based Latino research centers that aim to promote policy-focused research and advance the Latino intellectual presence in the U.S. Founded in 1983, the group supports research and programs that foster greater understanding of U.S. Latinos in politics, economics, culture, art, history and immigration.

The Smithsonian Latino Center ensures that Latino contributions to arts, sciences and humanities are highlighted and advanced through the development of public programs, research, museum collections and educational opportunities at the Smithsonian and its affiliated organizations across the U.S.

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