UA Little Rock to host ‘Estamos Aqui’ exhibit as part of community reading program

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host an exhibit that features artists exploring their Hispanic and Latin American culture and heritage through contemporary serigraphs, a printed design produced by means of a silkscreen.

The “Estamos Aqui (We Are Here)” exhibit will be on display in the UA Little Rock Art Gallery III from Oct. 11 to Nov. 10. The exhibit is part of the National Endowment of the Arts Big Read program, which encourages communities to engage in reading programs and events that broaden understanding of the world and region.

Big Read will run from Tuesday, Sept. 19, to Friday, Nov. 3, and will feature presentations, book discussions, film screenings, and related arts programming. Ottenheimer Library is the only library in Arkansas to receive the grant for the program this year.

In 1993, Chicano painter and printmaker Sam Coronado of Coronado Studios provided his workspace and equipment for an Artist-in-Residence program in Austin, Texas, where underrepresented artists could learn serigraphy. The residency featured artists from diverse ethnic and professional backgrounds, but was especially known for fostering contemporary printmaking within the Mexican-American and Latino community.

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. The serigraphs feature family and religious symbols, political motifs, Mexican “Lucha Libre” wrestling matches, video and performance art, neighborhood themes, and Mexican graphic traditions.

Delilah Montoya's 2007 screenprint, "Los Dos Corazones."
Delilah Montoya’s 2007 screenprint, “Los Dos Corazones.”

“Featuring vivid colors and sometimes startling imagery, the works in ‘Estamos Aqui’ 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,” UA Little Rock Gallery Director Brad Cushman said.

Curated by Cushman, “Estamos Aqui” is a traveling exhibit that has visited 17 venues in 10 states from 2013 to 2017.

The UA Little Rock Art Gallery is located in the Fine Arts Building. The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, contact Cushman at becushman@ualr.edu or 501.569.8977.

In the upper right photo, Quintin Gonzalez’s 2007 screenprint, “Chicano 15,” is among the works that will be on display in the “Estamos Aqui” exhibit at the UA Little Rock Art Gallery. 

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