XicanX: New Visions
On the first floor you’ll experience, “XicanX: New Visions.” This national exhibit curated by Dos Mestizx (Suzy González and Michael Menchaca) challenges previous and existing surveys of Chicano and Latino identity-based exhibitions. Artworks from 34 artists expands upon how Latinx artwork can be established across ideological borders; freely expressing a new wave of images and voices in a post-internet era.
The XicanX Art Movement consists of artists from a variety of
regions, genders and backgrounds, not necessarily with Mexican origins. This
exhibition especially highlights the women, queer, immigrant, indigenous and
activist artists who are at the forefront of this movement. With roots in painting, murals and printmaking, the XicanX movement expands to
include new media, video and installation-based art making. Per Dos Mestizx, these artists are
not afraid to use their voices, and often comment on and/or question
socio-political issues, identity and contemporary civil-rights through a
Artists include Xandra Ibarra, Yvette Mayorga, Efren Ave, Eric J. Garcia, William Camargo, Lisette Chavez, Nabil Gonzalez, Celeste De Luna, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, Jesusa Marie Vargas, Audrya Flores, Lisa Guevara, Kalli Arte Collective, Yvonne Escalante, Daphne Arthur, Michael R. León, Alan Serna, Xavier Robles Armas, Joel "rage.one" Garcia, Josie Del Castillo, Arleene Correa Valencia, Ben Cuevas, Lilia Berenice Hernandez Galusha, Robert Martinez and Erick Iniguez.
Los Maestros: Early Explorers of Chicano Identity
Then, head up to the second floor to see “Los Maestros: Early Explorers of Chicano Identity.” This exhibition focuses on "three of the underrepresented artists" central to the early Chicano arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s: Jesse Almazán, José Esquivel and Rudy Treviño. All three artists were members of Con Safo, San Antonio’s first Chicano arts collective. However, the works included in this exhibit highlight their unique contributions and histories as individual artists.
Excluded from mainstream galleries and
museums, these artists began to organize their own groups, exhibitions and
galleries, interweaving their shared artistic aspirations with commentaries on
the social movements of the time. Many were employed as commercial artists,
graphic designers and sign painters. However, their passion was for fine art.
Together, they opened new doors for one another and for future generations, and
entered into an uncharted exploration of Chicano art, politics and identity.
Centro Cultural Aztlan is the curator of the Los Maestros exhibition. The organization’s Executive Director, Malena Gonzalez-Cid, began developing plans for the exhibition in 2018 through a series of interviews with the featured artists. Centro Cultural Aztlan was founded in 1977 and has been serving San Antonio for 43 years with a mission of preserving, developing and promoting Chicano and Latino art and culture.
Both exhibits run through June 28, 2020.