November 14 - January 30, 2021
“The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) is pleased to announce the opening of the virtual exhibition Latinx Museum in Houston? November 14, 2020. The exhibition is curated by Benito Huerta and ends January 16, 2021. It can be found on the HMAAC website, hmaac.org, under “Exhibitions Now and Then” on the menu.
It has been ten years since then Houston City Councilman James Rodriguez told the opening audience at the HMAAC/Johns Hopkins symposium The African Presence in Mexico “that the time for Houston to support a Latinx museum was right around the corner.”
HMAAC CEO Emeritus John Guess, Jr. feels this conversation is still relevant. “Perhaps,” he said, “more than others in the Houston cultural community, HMAAC is sensitive to the need for spaces where people of color control their narrative and are not interpreted by others. We feel such spaces make Houston a stronger community.”
During the ten years since Rodriguez’ statement, HMAAC has mounted five Latinx exhibitions, which the museum would still have done if there existed a Latinx museum. And during that time the large number of Chicano, Mexican American, Latin American, Latino/a artists working in Texas has continued to grow, integrating into and enriching the cultural fabric of the state. Austin has Mexic-Arte Museum and the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, Chicago has the National Museum of Mexican Art, Dallas has the Latino Cultural Center, Los Angeles has the Museum of Latin American Art and La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, New York has El Museo del Barrio, San Francisco has the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, but what does Houston have? This is the question (issue/problem?) that is posed conceptually by the Houston Museum of African American Culture.
The virtual exhibition reflects the exhibition HMAAC asked curator Benito Huerta to imagine for a gallery in a Latinx museum. Originally planned for a gallery in the HMAAC building, COVID-19 forced schedules to be rearranged and this exhibition to be in perhaps a more fitting virtual space giving it more
independence and accessibility. Exhibition artists, representing diverse media and presenting a wide spectrum of ideas, include Jesse Amado, Richard Armendariz, Debra Barrera, Margarita Cabrera, Carlos Donjuan, Gaspar Enriquez, John Hernandez, Cesar Augusto Martinez, Gabriel Martinez, Diana Molina, Delilah Montoya, Arely Morales, Celia Alvarez Munoz, Andrew Ortiz, Giovanni Valderas, and Vincent Valdez. They conduct their practices in cities throughout the country.
According to curator Benito Huerta, “The diversity of ideas and media testifies to the wide range of work being created in contemporary art. The work in the exhibition needs no explanation; as a matter of fact, the artists’ statements along with the works speak eloquently for themselves. They do not need an interpreter — what they need are viewers and a context to engage in a conversation with the work.” Huerta will be giving a curator talk in November via Zoom.
Latinx Museum in Houston? is made possible through the generous support of The Houston Endowment, HEB, Cecily Horton, Eddie Allen and Chinhui Juhn, and the Board of Directors of The Houston Museum of African American Culture.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE
The mission of HMAAC is to collect, conserve, explore, interpret, and exhibit the material and intellectual culture of Africans and African Americans in Houston, the state of Texas, the southwest and the African Diaspora for current and future generations. In fulfilling its mission, HMAAC seeks to invite and engage visitors of every race and background and to inspire children of all ages through discovery-driven learning. HMAAC is to be a museum for all people. While our focus is the African American experience, our story informs and includes not only people of color, but people of all colors. As a result, the stories and exhibitions that HMAAC will bring to Texas are about the indisputable fact that while our experience is a unique one, it has been impacted by and has impacted numerous races, genders and ethnicities. The museum continues to be a space where a multicultural conversation on race geared toward a common future takes place.”
Lecture: December 12, 2020 | 2–3 pm
Virtual presentation by Benito Huerta, via Zoom. Meeting ID: 432 800 0515, Password: 4807HMAAC
4807 Caroline St.
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