LARD: Latino Arts Research Division

The Latino Arts Research Division (LARD) is an outgrowth of the initial project, the Latinx Artist Retreat. The project initiated as a two-day event held at the Chicago Cultural Center hosting over 75 local and national artists and arts administrators to discuss individual and collective dialogue between artists, educators, curators, and administrators. The project was organized into four discussion-based sections. The project was awarded a Propeller Grant and was supported by the Chicago Community Trust and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The retreat was held on May 19-21 at the Chicago Cultural Center and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. 

Fractures: Creating Around Devastation

Fractures: Creating Around Devastation featured artists, scholars, and policymakers in a two-day symposium centering ideas of ecofeminism, architecture, and water. Knowing that each of these areas touches all of our individual lives, voices in this symposium help understand how these urgencies are interconnected, and how creativity helps us imagine a future around devastating situations.

View the sessions: 

Collective Contours: Ann Lui and Angela Tillges

Fluid Fractures: Policy Language Problematics with Mari Margil and Jeremy Kagan

Sound and Language Landscapes with Elisa Harkins, Quese IMC, and Monique Verdin

Resisting Destruction/Constructive Actions with Shanai Matteson and Winona LaDuke

Each session featured a musical performance interlude presented by LAMPO

Andrea Bowers: Centro Sin Fronteras

The installation within the Andrea Bowers exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented selections from the archives of the grassroots organization Centro Sin Fronteras. The objects in the exhibition narrate the trajectory of activism in Chicago led by Emma Lozano and Elvira Arellano. The installation was featured in the New York Times' article Andrea Bowers: Her Activism Animates Her Art 


Art + Activism in Latin America

Inspired by the work of Andrea Bowers this talk considers the overlaps between art and activism in the context of Latin America. This talk is led by scholar Jennifer Ponce de Leon and convenes two artist collectives that consider activism, political art, and art’s power as a tool in advocacy. The collectives Frente 3 de Fevereiro and Iconoclasistas tackle social issues through different approaches empowered by civic engagement. The discussion challenges ways these relationships shift in different cultural contexts from Latin America to the US.

Public Archive

Public Archive was part of the Public Dialogue exhibition presented at the Arts Incubator at the University of Chicago. 

Over the course of three months, the public  and residents of the neighborhood were invited to share their stories and memories of the neighborhood. The oral history was captured as a digital archive and made accessible at the Arts Incubator. The stories culminated in a visual report that was presented to the University of Chicago.  The exhibition and archive explored the ever-increasing role that artists, creative professionals, cultural organizations, and anchor institutions play in the growth and fostering of communities.

Listen to the stories here.