(From left) Eduardo Díaz, Deputy Director of The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino; Jorge Zamanillo, Director of The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino; Sylvia Orozco, Executive Director of Mexic-Arte Museum; and Paul Saldaña, Interim Board President of Mexic-Arte Museum, pose together after the welcoming tour at the Mexic-Arte Museum on July 12, 2022.
Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino Directors Visit Mexic-Arte
With excitement we welcomed our distinguished guests, Jorge Zamanillo, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino and Eduardo Diaz, Acting Deputy Director on July 12, 2022.
Our guests arrived just in time to see the important exhibition, Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960s to 1980s, that included thirty-threeartists in Austin, Texas during “El Movimiento” (The Chicano Civil Rights Movement). Exhibiting artists Mary Jane Garza, Luis Guerra, Victor Guerra, Alan Pogue Raul Valdez, Modesta Treviño, collectors Martha and Juan Cotera and Dolores and Gil Cardenas, members of the Board of Directors and Museum staff joined our tour and welcoming lunch. As we toured the gallery, artists spoke about their work and participation in the early developments of Chicano art in Austin. During the tour and the meeting between the two organizations, Mexic-Arte’s Board of Directors shared updates on exhibits, the permanent collection, and the building project. We also emphasized the mutual benefits from a relationship with the National Museum of the American Latino and Mexic-Arte. Both organizations are committed to share successes and participate in future collaborations.
We are honored to host Jorge Zamanillo and Eduardo Díaz. Their visit to Mexic-Arte shows their sincere intentions in working with us, sharing ideas, programs, and exhibits. The Smithsonian is one of the premier museums in the world; to have them as a resource is priceless.
“We are very impressed with the success and accomplishments Mexic-Arte has experienced and are proud to work with them in the years to come,” Zamanillo said. “We will both be sharing similar undertakings in the months and years to come and will be able to learn from one another — benefiting our patrons and providing a world class experience is what we both seek.”
Guests included Consul General of Mexico; Pablo Marentes; members Mexic-Arte’s Board of Directors; Interim President Paul Saldana; Vice President Elizabeth Rogers; Interim Treasurer Marta Cotera; Erwin Cuellar; Mark Zuniga, and former Board President Lulu Flores.
Jorge Zamanillo is the Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino. The new museum was established by Congress in December 2020. In legislation establishing the museum within the Smithsonian, Congress stated the purposes of the museum are “to illuminate the story of the United States for the benefit of all by featuring Latino contributions to the art, history and culture of the nation since its early history.”
Previously, Zamanillo was the Executive Director and CEO of HistoryMiami Museum. He began working at the museum in Miami in 2000 as the curator of object collections and, over time, organized several key exhibitions and programs; including renovating the museum’s permanent exhibition. Born in New York City, Zamanillo grew up in Miami and earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology at Florida State University in Tallahassee and his master’s in museum studies at the University of Leicester in Leicester, England.
Eduardo Díaz is the Acting Deputy Director of the National Museum of the American Latino. Eduardo Díaz was the director of the Smithsonian’s Latino Center for many years. He served as interim director of the National Museum of the American Latino and lead the development of the Molina Family Latino Gallery — the Museum’s first exhibition that opened at the National Museum of American History this year. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Eduardo was the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From 1981 to 1999, Eduardo served as the director of cultural affairs for the City of San Antonio. Eduardo earned a law degree in 1976 from the University of California at Davis, and a bachelor’s degree in 1972 in Latin American Studies at San Diego State University.
Mexic-Arte Museum’s Humanities Scholars Lecture Series Kicks Off
In July Mexic-Arte Museum began the Humanities Scholars Lecture series in conjunction with the current exhibition, Chicano/a Art Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas, 1960s to 1980s. This series of lectures with 10 humanities scholars focuses on a myriad of topics and themes related to Mexic-Arte’s current exhibition.
Art Talk #1 was given by Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco, an award-winning best-selling author, public historian, and film and museum consultant. Her presentation, A History of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Austin, 1691-1990, gives a history of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Austin, Texas. Her presentation gives an overview of Mexicans arriving in Austin, developing Barrios (Mexican neighborhoods), and the political, social, and economic environment surrounding and effecting this group of people in Austin.
The second presentation was given by Juan Tejeda, a musician, writer, ex-jefe danzante Mexica-Azteca, arts administrator, educator, activist, and editor. His presentation, titled A Personal Testimonio: The Convergence of the Chicano Movement, Chicano Studies and the Xicano/a Cultural Renaissance in Austin, Texas, 1972-1980 is a personal account of how Tejeda perceived and participated in the Chicano civil rights movement and Chicano arts movement in the 1970s.
The third presentation was given by Dr. Ricardo Romo, a respected urban historian. His presentation, The Origins and Evolution of Chicano Art: Perspectives on Texas and California, gives an overview of the motivations behind the Chicano civil rights movement, “El Movimiento,” from 1967-1985 that inspired Chicano artists to support this movement with their art. In his presentation, Dr. Romo gives examples of Chicano/a/x artists across the country including artists from Los Angeles, California; San Diego, California; Austin, Texas; and San Antonio, Texas.
If you were not able to watch these presentations live, you can find each of the presentations on our Facebook page.
July’s Changarrito Artist, Laura Clay
On Thursday July 28, 2022 Isabel Servantez, Mexic-Arte Museum’s Curator of Exhibitions and Director of Programs interviewed July’s Changarrito residency artist Laura Clay on Instagram Live. During the interview, Servantez and Clay discussed the artist’s motivations, art background, and art inspirations. If you were not able to watch the interview live, you can see the entire interview on Mexic-Arte Museum’s Instagram page.
About the Artist
Laura Clay is a Mexican-American abstract artist, having lived both in the United States and Mexico throughout her life. With this constant travel, she has had the opportunity to encounter and embrace many different lifestyles, contradictory beliefs and artistic influences. Laura Clay states that Mexico has given her tradition, history, and passion. The United States has provided structure, technique, and personal ambition. From Mexico, she has come to value community and family, from the United States, self-reliance. She has never felt the need to make a choice between cultures, she has learned to embrace the plurality of perspectives and this plurality colors all her aspirations and goals, especially those that relate to her art.
It is her desire to integrate in her paintings these personal contradictory and complimentary expressions. As with her Mexican-American heritage, she does not seek to resolve these issues in her paintings, on the contrary, to paint her multiplicity of truths.
Travel and the pursuit for creation have been constants in her life. She has “translated” these travels and studies into large-scale canvas paintings, with an abstract focus on color and movement as well as small detailed ink drawings.
As an artist it is her goal to not only discover a better “interpretation” for her artistic expression, but develop her own unique artistic language.
About Changarrito Program:
Changarrito is an art vending cart, conceptualized by artist Maximo Gonzalez as an alternative to the official gallery selection presented by the Mexican cultural authorities.
True to the Mexic-Arte Museum’s mission, the Changarrito is dedicated to the presentation and promotion of contemporary Latinx and Latin American art. Artists have the opportunity to sell their art on the Changarrito cart in front of the Museum (or an offsite location, as representative for the Museum during various Austin festivals). It expands the reach of the artist by presenting their gallery online, while allowing the option to sell merch over Instagram and receive 100% of the sale. For each Changarrito artist, the Museum acquires a work of art for its permanent collection.
Selections from the Permanent Collection
Amado Peña in the Permanent Collection
This month we are highlighting the artist Amado M. Peña Jr. (b. 1943), whose works from the Mexic-Arte Museum’s permanent collection are featured in our current exhibit, Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960s to 1980s. For decades, Amado Peña has worked as an artist and art educator. During the height of the Chicano Civil Rights movement, Peña created artwork, primarily screenprints, that were critical of the positions of the United States in its stance toward Mexican Americans.
Peña’s early works on paper reveal his knowledge of the indigenous cultures in the Southwest United States. Using a style that recalls the graphic forms, bold color, and dynamic composition of Chicano posters, Peña’s “La Raza” serigraph features the feathered serpent deity of ancient Mesoamerican culture. The term la raza (the people) became popularized during the Chicano movement to promote and celebrate the multiracial and ethnic heritage of Latinos in the United States. The connection to la raza can be seen in “Rosa Del Tepeyac” depicting the Virgin Guadalupe, an important figure in Latino heritage, the patron saint of the people. Set as a reminder that there is a protector of the Chicano movement. In “El Arco Iris” Peña again found inspiration from ancient Mesoamerican imagery to show a vibrant scene of animals gathering around a blooming plant. The text on the serigraph, “De colores es el arco iris que vemos lucir,” translates to “The color of the rainbow we see shine.” A statement to bring hope and pride to the Chicano movement. In “Wanted” Peña created a caricature of a Texas Ranger on a Poster, commentary on the corruption of the police force in Texas. This series of serigraphs are part of the Mexic-Arte Museum permanent collection and displayed in Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas.
Come and view them now until August 21st.
Welcome Amy Anderson, Registrar Associate!
Amy Anderson recently graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Masters in Museum Studies, where she completed her thesis on creating a standardized procedure manual for cataloging a collection. Through her education, Amy has realized her goal of working in the museum field. She loves being surrounded by art and history every day. Still, Amy also wants to contribute to the bigger mission of expanding education and creating an inclusive space for the community. Before entering her Masters program, Amy had the opportunity to work with the collections in several historic homes in her hometown of McKinney, TX, collection projects at the Dallas Museum of Art, and intern at the Mexic-Arte Museum in the education department. Outside of work, Amy enjoys seeking movies that she hasn’t already seen, learning useless trivia, and exploring Austin’s vibrant food scene.
Mexic-Arte Hosts Live Painting by Muralist, Raul Valdez
As part of the current Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960s to 1980s exhibition, Mexic-Arte Museum hosted live painting of a mural progression from local Chicano Muralist Raul Valdez. Valdez is one of the featured artists in the exhibit; he has been a prominent Austin muralist since the Chicano Movement’s during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. July 17th was the last live painting session, where lucky museum visitors got a chance to interact and share questions and thoughts with Raul. The mural is still on display until August 21st .
Screen It! Nuestra Lucha | Our Struggle Social Justice Art Summer Camp — A Success!
Education Associate Selene Bataille assisting two camp attendees in screen printing their posters. Photo by José Martinez.
The Nuestra Lucha | Our Struggle Social Justice Art Summer Camp concluded this month at Akins High School. Attendees learned screen-printing basics as the medium to print their compositions which dealt with a social issue to raise awareness. These personal statement posters will be exhibited in the “Teen Section” by the Central Austin Public Library for a whole year alongside reproduction prints from the Mexic-Arte Museum’s permanent collection. A reception will be held for the students and their families at the library in September.
Best to Selene Bataille!
Goodbye to Artist Educator and Education Associate Selene Bataille! Selene worked with Mexic-Arte Museum’s Screen It! program since 2018. Selene was instrumental to the growth and progress of Screen It! teaching in a multitude of classrooms and helping to expand Mexic-Arte’s outreach. Selene is leaving Mexic-Arte Museum to pursue her master’s degree in Print Media at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. We wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors!
Joanne Ortega is a recent Texas State University graduate, where she completed her masters in Mass Communication. Her professional project, titled Screen to Self: How the Portrayal of Latinx Women in Latinx Films Informs How They See Themselves, is a multimedia project that consists of a short documentary, photographs, interviews, artwork, and a short book. Growing up, Joanne has always had a passion for art and has found ways to include it in her educational and professional career. Joanne studied abroad in London for printmaking and graphic design; she was able to immerse herself in the city and experience various museums in Europe. She has an undying love for her culture and is excited to work at Mexic-Arte. When she isn’t at work, Joanne enjoys tending to her plants, watching films, walking her dog, and traveling.
Blue Star Museum
Blue Star Museums is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, in collaboration with the Department of Defense and museums across America. Mexic-Arte Museum, a collaborator in the Blue Star Museums program, offers free general admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and up to five family members—including U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, and NOAA Commissioned Corps—from Armed Services Day May 21st, 2022 through Labor Day, September 5th, 2022.
For all free and discounted military tickets, present ID in person at admissions desk. Sundays are free admission for all!
New in the Mexic-Arte Museum Store: Chicano/a Books!
New in the Mexic-Arte Museum Store: Chicano/a Books!
Check out our Chicano/a books from Arte Publico Press! Available both in-store and online.
Exhibition and Art Education Programs Support: 3M, AeroMexico, Ampersand Art Supply, Applied Materials, Austin Convention Center, Austin Independent School District Creative Classrooms, Charles Beckman, Michael Best, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Brown Foundation, Brown Distributing Company, Dr. Frank Cardenas, City of Austin Community Youth Development Program, Clay Imports, Endeavor Real Estate Group, Fonda San Miguel, Tom Gilliland, Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, Juan J Gutierrez and Rosa K Gutierrez, H-E-B, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, GTOPS, Hendler Flores Law, Humanities Texas, Junior League of Austin, JP Peace Love & Happiness Foundation, Ann McEldowney, Mindpop, National Endowment for the Arts, Ingrid and James Taylor, Mike Taylor, Michael Torres, Serie Print Project, Morgan Stanley, Efficient Steel, Bettina & Travis Mathis, Elizabeth Rogers, Juan Antonio Sandoval Jr., Rosa Santis & Pedro S[[[S Services, Marina Sifuentes, Susto Mezcal, Texas Mutual, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Delia Sifuentes, Texas Gas Service, Texas Commission on the Arts, Tribeza, Univision 62, Univision Radio, Lola Wright Foundation, and Jane & Manuel Zuniga.