Is Latino art an integral part of modern American art? Presenting over one hundred major artworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Our America seeks to "recalibrate" enduring concepts about American national culture by exploring how one group of artists—those of Latin American descent and heritage—express their relationship to American art, history, and culture.
E. Carmen Ramos addresses the whole issue of the definition of "Latino art" and how this emerged within the context of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s as American artists of Latino descent (Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and, more recently, Dominican) began to give a tangible face to their culture and history.
Highlights include an installation altar by Amalia Mesa-Bains, the "recycled" films of Raphael Montañez Ortiz, and a 1960 geometric painting by Carmen Herrera. Other notable artists include Olga Albizu, Melesio "Mel" Casas, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Margarita Cabrera, Enrique Chagoya, Teresita Fernández, Ken Gonzales-Day, Luis Jiménez, Ana Mendieta, Pepón Osorio, Sophie Rivera, Freddy Rodríguez, and John M. Valadez, among many others.
Winner of first prize in the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) award for excellence, 2014
Author and curator E. Carmen Ramos is the Smithsonian American Art Museum's curator of Latino art. She has organized numerous shows, including the fifth biennial at El Museo del Barrio in New York City in 2007.
Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, PhD, the "grandfather" of this subject, and formerly associate director for creativity and culture at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, has written and published extensively on US/Latino cultural issues.