The premiere of the Latinx Initiative project brings Latinx representation to the DePaul Museum
The DPAM project hopes to encourage the representation and participation of Latinx heritage artists who live and work in the United States.
"LatinXAmerican" or the "Latinx Initiative," is a project that aims to make visible and encourage greater participation of Latinx artists within the gallery and museum circuits. The low representation of Hispanic artists and Latino art in the collections of U.S. museums caught the attention of the former director of the DPAM, Julie Rodrigues Widholm, who conceived the project and carried it out with a diverse team.
Initially, the project aimed to give Latino creators visibility by increasing the number of artists in the museum's exhibitions. But considering that according to the 2019 census, 28.8 percent of Chicago's population is Latino, and that about 17 percent of DePaul's student body in 2019 was Latinx — the largest minority group on campus — the former museum director realized that the institution needed to take a broader, longer-term approach to generate greater impact.
The Latinx Initiative is an intergenerational group exhibition that features nearly 40 Latinx artists from Chicago and other cities. The exhibition reflects on the presence and absence of Hispanic artists in the DePaul Museum of Art collection. The show runs from January 7 to August 15, 2021, and although it begins virtually, museum officials hope that the exhibition can be visited in person before it closes.
Although the exhibition has a collection of important artists such as Martín Chambi, Ester Hernández, Cándida Álvarez, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Harold Méndez, Graciela Iturbide, Ángel Otero, Diego Rivera and Edra Soto, the museum has recently acquired works from Chicago artists such as Maria Gaspar, Melissa Leandro, Nicole Marroquin, Yvette Mayorga, among others that have been added to the collection.
The project is committed to a change of focus in the future of museums, galleries, and, eventually, the art world. Under principles such as inclusion and equity, it urges cultural institutions to become involved with diverse communities and the social fabric so that artists feel accepted, recognized, and able to contribute to contemporary art. communities and the social fabric so that artists feel accepted, recognized, and able to contribute to contemporary art.