Whether art is trying to lift society or condemn it, the relationship is fundamental in explaining what and who we are.Artist Miguel A. Aragon, 2012
In conjunction with the NEA Big Read project participation at UA Little Rock, the exhibit Estamos Aquí (We Are Here) will be on display in Gallery III in the Fine Arts Building.
Estamos Aquí (We Are Here) features contemporary serigraphs by artists exploring their Hispanic and Latin American culture and heritage. Artists printed the silkscreens at Coronado Studios in Austin, Texas. UA Little Rock owns the Serie Project Portfolio, which chronicles seventeen years of this residency workshop.
The resulting portfolio of prints speaks to the duality of Latino and Chicano artists living and working across the United States and in other countries, exploring their celebrations, sorrows, challenges, popular culture, and personal experiences.
Featuring vivid colors and sometimes startling imagery, the works in Estamos Aquí (We Are Here) encourage audiences to ask questions about the nature of cross-cultural exchange and discover how artists find their voice through personal stories and experiences that become part of the artistic process.
The wealth of visual language drawn from diverse traditions—including family and religious symbols, political motifs, Mexican Lucha Libre wrestling matches, video and performance art, neighborhood (barrio) themes, and Mexican graphic traditions—enlivens the aesthetic dialogue of the exhibition.
Selected from a larger Serie Project portfolio housed at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the works featured represent the first seventeen years of the project. Established in 1993, Chicano painter and printmaker Sam Coronado (1946-2013) of Coronado Studios provided his workspace and equipment for an Artist-in-Residence program where underrepresented artists learn serigraphy. The residency featured artists from diverse ethnic and professional backgrounds, but is especially known for fostering contemporary printmaking within the Mexican-American and Latino community.
A traveling exhibition, Estamos Aquí (We Are Here) featuring works from the Serie Portfolio was curated by Brad Cushman, Gallery Director, UA Little Rock. The exhibit toured from June 2013 – May 2017. The exhibit returned to campus this summer. It was hosted at 17 venues in 10 states including: Illinois, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Washington.
Juan Miguel Ramos, Virtual Tejanos, 2002, Screenprint, 16 x 22 in, A/P Edition of 50
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