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MOLAA unveils new Afro-Latinx art exhibit

Long Beach Museum of Latin American Arts unveiled a new art exhibit focusing on Afro-Latinx culture that will be on display through April.

The exhibit, titled “I Am: New Afro-Latinx Narratives,” was created as part of the MOLAA’s 2021 Afro-Latinx Festival. The festival, which first began in 2019, aims to have people “learn more about the diversity of Afro-Latinx experiences directly from artists, scholars, and community organizers,” according to MOLAA’s website.

In a curatorial letter, Chief Curator Gabriela Urtiaga, who also curated MOLAA’s “HERland” exhibit, said the Afro-Latinx exhibit displays the influence of African culture within Latin American countries as well as the “rich culture that resulted from that union.”

“This transnationalism in the Americas has been silenced for centuries and has been violently interrupted by a system of power that excludes the Other,” Urtiaga said in the letter regarding the exhibit. “From a perspective of diversity, a journey through history, and an endless experience marked in bodies by stories and experiences, we research the representation and questions generated through an artistic practice committed to its past, present, and future.”

The exhibit contains three art series, two pieces of video art and four photographs along with interviews directly from the artists, according to Urtiaga in an email.

The artists involved in the exhibit include Victoria Santa Cruz, Alexandre Arrechea, Patricia Encarnación, Carlos Martiel and Liliana Angulo Cortés.

Portrait photo of Contemporary Artist, Alexandre Arrechea (Cuba, 1970).
Contemporary artist Alexandre Arrechea (Cuba, 1970). His work, which ranges from large-scale installations, sculptures and watercolor drawings, is currently on display in “I Am: New Afro-Latinx Narratives.” Photo courtesy of Solimar Salas and the Museum of Latin American Art.
Portrait photo of Visual Artist, Patricia Encarnacion (Dominican Republic, 1991)
Portrait photo of visual artist Patricia Encarnacion (Dominican Republic, 1991). Some of her work is currently on display in “I Am: New Afro-Latinx Narratives.” Photo courtesy of Solimar Salas and the Museum of Latin American Art.
Portrait of Performance Artist, Carlos Martiel (Cuba, 1989).
Performance artist Carlos Martiel (Cuba, 1989). Three photos of his performance art is on display at “I Am: New Afro-Latinx Narratives.” Photo courtesy of Solimar Salas and the Museum of Latin American Art.
Portrait Photo of Visual Artist, Liliana Angulo Cortés (Colombia, 1974).
Visual artist Liliana Angulo Cortés (Colombia, 1974). Her work is currently on display in “I Am: New Afro-Latinx Narratives.” Photo courtesy of Solimar Salas and the Museum of Latin American Art.

However, unlike the “HERland” exhibit, MOLAA will not have an interactive virtual exhibit for “I Am: New Afro-Latinx Narratives,” according to the museum’s Chief Curator.

“We are creating online exhibitions, where I invite different artist from Latin America and Latinos to share with us the knowledge, experience in each artwork,” Urtiaga said via email. “In ‘I Am: New Afro-Latinx Narratives,’ I invited contemporary artists to participate in a dialogue with the MOLAA Collection.”

“I Am: New Afro-Latinx Narratives” is currently on display on MOLAA’s website. While the museum remains closed to the public, those interested can still book virtual tours for MOLAA exhibits.

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