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UMFA brings landmark Latino art exhibition to Utah

Joseph Rodríguez, "Carlos," from the series "Spanish" Harlem, 1987, chromogenic print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of the artist. © 1987, Joseph Rodríguez.

Feb. 3, 2015– “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art” brings to Salt Lake City and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) a dynamic gathering of more than 80 artworks from more than 60 leading modern and contemporary Latino artists from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Community members are invited to a free exhibition preview and celebration on Thursday, Feb. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the UMFA. The exhibition opens Friday, Feb. 6. 

This landmark exhibition explores the varied and deep links between Latino art and U.S. history, culture and art through work created since the 1950s, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge. “Our America” explores how Latino artists shaped the artistic movements of their day and provides insight into our nation’s past and unfolding present. 

“These are beautiful and important works of art that visitors won’t see anywhere else in our region,” says Gretchen Dietrich, UMFA’s executive director. “Especially in a community like ours, where the Latino population is significant and growing, this is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to experience stunning visual art while engaging each other in exciting conversations, learning and cultural exchange.” 

Artists featured in “Our America” played important roles in all the postwar American art movements, including abstract expressionism; activist, conceptual and performance art; and classic American genres such as landscape, portraiture and scenes of everyday life. The artists—of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican descent, as well as from other Latin American groups with deep roots in the United States—reflect the rich diversity of Latino communities in our country. 

The exhibition is organized by E. Carmen Ramos, curator of Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 


“Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art” is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by Altria Group, the Honorable Aida M. Alvarez, Judah Best, The James F. Dicke Family Endowment, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, Tania and Tom Evans, Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, The Michael A. and the Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello Endowment, Henry R. Muñoz III, Wells Fargo, and Zions Bank. Additional significant support was provided by The Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Support for “Treasures to Go,” the Museum’s traveling exhibition program, comes from The C.F. Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia.

The UMFA exhibition is presented by Zions Bank. Major sponsors: S. J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation, and the Ray, Quinney & Nebeker Foundation. Supporting sponsor: Wells Fargo. In-kind sponsor: Red Iguana. Community partner: Artes de México en Utah. 

Related Programming

Community Preview and Party
Thursday, Feb. 5 | 5-7 p.m. | FREE
Light appetizers provided by Red Iguana, contemporary Latino music by DJ Che. 

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Artist Talk
Friday, April 10 | 5 p.m. | FREE 

Evening for Educators
Wednesday, April 15 | 5:30-8:30 p.m. | FREE
This workshop, based on works in “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art,” helps prepare teachers to use the visual arts across school curricula. 

Third Saturday for Families: Design Your Own Poster
Saturday, April 18 | 1-4 p.m. | FREE
This family-friendly art-making celebration invites participants to use “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art” as inspiration for creating unique poster art. 

For More Information

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