Smithsonian Hosts National Forum on Latino Art

Latino Art Now! Conference Will Be Held in Washington, D.C., for First Time
November 1, 2013
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The Smithsonian Latino Center, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and The Inter-University Program for Latino Research headquartered at the University of Illinois at Chicago present the fourth biennial conference “Latino Art Now! Nuestra América: Expanding Perspectives in American Art,” Nov. 7–9 in Washington, D.C. Started in 2005, the conference examines the contemporary state of Latino art in the United States; this year’s program coincides with the exhibition “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art,” on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum through March 2, 2014.

Latino Art Now! will take place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, located on Eighth and F streets, Thursday, Nov. 7, and Saturday, Nov. 9, and at the National Museum of the American Indian Friday, Nov. 8. The conference schedule is available here; those interested in attending can register for free here.

Latino Art Now! is recognized as a leading national forum for artists, art historians, art professionals, educators, scholars, critics and art dealers. It explores U.S. Latino art and its relationship to contemporary American visual culture and art while advancing awareness, education, scholarship and knowledge in this emerging field of inquiry. “This conference provides an opportunity for scholars, collectors, curators and artists to actively engage on the current state of Latino art,” said Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center. “The Smithsonian’s hosting this conference is testament to the Institution’s commitment to elevate the presence of Latinos and our art nationally.”

The three-day event consists of panel presentations and moderated discussion on relevant themes related to Latino art in the U.S. The following topics will be explored:

  • New directions in Latino Art in the U.S.
  • Latinidad in American Art
  • Recent developments in the institutional framework of American and Latino art
  • The digital moment: art documentation and new scholarship
  • Latest reassessments of Latino art pre-1960
  • Critical evaluation of artistic production of emergent U.S. Latino communities
  • Current theoretical and cultural frameworks in the presentation and receptions of Latino art and visual culture

A keynote address will be delivered by E. Carmen Ramos, curator for Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Since 2010, Ramos has worked to expand the museum’s pioneering collection of Latino art, has written extensively on Latino art and has curated exhibitions at institutions such as the Newark Museum, El Museo del Barrio and Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art.

The Smithsonian Latino Center is a division of the Smithsonian that ensures that Latino contributions to art, science and the humanities are highlighted, understood and advanced through the development and support of public programs, scholarly research, museum collections and educational opportunities at the Smithsonian and its affiliated organizations across the U.S.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. Its Latino art collection, which was established nearly 40 years ago, represents a profound commitment to building a great national collection reflecting the rich contributions of Latinos in the United States from the colonial period to the present.  

The Inter-University Program for Latino Research is a national consortium of university-based centers dedicated to the advancement of Latino intellectual presence in the U.S. It works to expand the pool of Latino scholars and leaders and increase the availability of policy-relevant Latino-focused research.

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SI-441-2013