ALMAAHH Announces Open Call in Celebration of Writer Jorges Luis Borges

by Jessica Fuentes July 29, 2023

Advocates of a Latino Museum of Cultural and Visual Arts & Archive Complex in Houston, Harris County (ALMAAHH), in partnership with Casa Cultural de las Americas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and fostering the diverse culture and arts of the Americas within the United States, has announced an open call for Texas-based Latino artists. 

A black and white photograph of Jorge Luis Borges with Dr. Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth at the University of Texas in Austin.

Jorge Luis Borges with Dr. Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth at The University of Texas at Austin in 1982. Photo by Larry Murphey.

The open call is in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Jorge Luis Borges’ first publication, Fervor de Buenos Aires, a collection of poems. Mr. Borges, who was a 20th century Argentinian writer, poet, philosopher, and translator, had an immeasurable impact on the Spanish-language and international literary field. He also has a unique connection to Texas, as he served as a visiting professor at the University of Texas in Austin in 1961 and later as a lecturer from the 1960s to the 1980s.

A scanned handwritten page with text by Jorge Luis Borges.

Jorge Luis Borges, ”Texas” (page 1). From the manuscripts collection at the Harry Ransom Center.

Texas-based Latino artists are invited to submit a proposal to create an artwork that relates to a theme from Mr. Borges’ writings; the work must include a bust of the writer, which will be provided by ALMAAHH. Some themes that artists may consider are, according to the open call, mirrors, labyrinths, libraries, tigers, chess, Kabbalah, mythology, Buddhism, tango, dreams, Vikings, blindness, algebra, Nordic sagas, Argentine pampas, the rose, and death. 

Selected artists will be notified and will be able to pick up their bust of Mr. Borges by Friday, August 25. Finalized sculptures will be delivered to ALMAAHH by Tuesday, November 28. The artworks will be displayed at the Borges and Texas gala, held at the Rice University Grand Hall on Wednesday, November 29. Artists will receive a payment of $1,500 from Casa Cultural de las Americas upon sale of their work. Any pieces that are not sold during the gala will remain in the possession of Casa Cultural de las Americas for a period of three months, during which they will be shown to other potential buyers. 

The application deadline to be considered for this opportunity is Wednesday, August 16. To apply, artists must register in the ALMAAHH Artist Census and send the following items via email to [email protected]:
– Name
– Address
– Email
– Website
– Social Media
– CV/Resume/Bio
– Statement of Interest (Why do you want to participate? What interests you from the Borges universe? What is your connection to the theme?) (250 words max.)
– Proposed intervention (Text 150 words max. / 3 images max)
*Please note all documents submitted must have the following file name format: LastName_Name_File_Number.

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