UIC to develop online gallery of Latin American, Latino art

Hull House Postcard

Ceramic artist Jesus Torres creates pottery at Hull-House in the early 1930s. Photo: Wallace Kirkland, UIC, Jane Addams Memorial Collection

UIC will develop a Chicago-centric online collection of Latin American and Latino art with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The $20,000 grant will support the Latino Art Now! Virtual Gallery, showcasing work by Chicago-based Latin American and Latino artists from the 1930s to the present.

The project by the UIC-based Inter-University Program for Latino Research, in partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center, supports Latin American and Latino art history while giving greater visibility to contemporary art, says the principal investigator, art historian Olga Herrera, director of the inter-university program’s Washington, D.C., office.

“Although Latino and Latin American art in the last 10 years have made significant strides, the art production of the Midwest, and in particular Chicago, continue to be conspicuously absent in the U.S. art historical canons, major exhibitions, publications, classrooms and narratives,” said Herrera, author of Toward the Preservation of a Heritage: Latin American and Latino Art in the Midwestern United States.

Herrera and fellow project investigator Maria de los Angeles Torres, professor of Latin American and Latino Studies and executive director of the inter-university program, see the virtual gallery as a resource for middle and high school students and teachers.

The project will be introduced next April when the inter-university program and the Smithsonian center host the Latino Art Now! conference in Chicago. The three-day event, partially funded by the Boeing Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, will include a retrospective exhibit of Chicago Latino art, neighborhood arts events and panel discussions.

The Inter-University Program for Latino Research is a national consortium of 25 university-based Latino research centers.


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