Michael Anthony García an artist and curator based in Austin TX. I have been living and working here for almost thirteen years and feel that this community has had a profoud impact on my artistic career. Some of you may be familiar with another exhibition I curated at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in the spring of 2010 with Los Outsiders. I am humbled to announce that I have been honored with the task of curating this year’s iteration of Mexic-arte Museum’s YLA (Young Latino Artist) exhibition series.
This exhibition series has played a big part in my artistic life in one way or another since I’ve lived here in Austin and was very anxious to take the reins. The excitement of opening this exhibition up to international artists, regardless of the extra budgetary constraints this adds, actually helped me develop the concept for this collection of works.
I have selected an amazing group of artists to not only show their own work, but to collaborate on new artistic endeavors making their world debut in this exhibition. The selected Texas artists hail from Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. This year other cities represented are Bogota, Colombia as well as Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico. Keep an eye out here for the press release with a full list of the artists involved.
As you can imagine, opening up the exhibition to international artists adds a bit more of a strain to the budget we are working with at the museum. That is where you can be a part of this creative endeavor to help redefine what is presented as “Latino Art” and help foster extended communities and connections amongst artists.
The idea of “community” has various interpretations. At it’s core, it is about groups of people working together directly or in parallel and under a social contract, be it implicit or not. That idea is the centerpiece of “YLA 18: Con / Juntos,” this year’s iteration of the annual Young Latino Artist (YLA) Series at Mexic-Arte Museum. The title, which means “With / Together,” reinforces the importance of the joining of ideas and of individuals with a common cause, while also referencing the idea of conjuntos, a group of musicians collaborating and unifying their talents to create beautiful music for the public to partake.
Even with the YLA series’ inherently constraining eligibility for inclusion (being Latino within a particular age parameter), these limitations create an opportunity to explore and/or create community in different ways. Much like our true cultural reality, this community is comprised of individuals from our various Latino nationalities and cultures, gender identities, and sexual orientations.
This exhibition is about nurturing a diverse community of individuals while paying reverence to a shared common space. The selected artists collaborated and opened their homes and studios to each other, sometimes across the globe via the internet, to create many of the works in this exhibition. From many voices, stories and ideas, a community is formed and compose a common song in “Con / Juntos.”
Please, help us reach our goal to make this a cultural focal point in this year’s arts calendar and expand the ideas of “Latino Art” and community for the city of Austin.
If anything, please help us get the word out about this campaign.
Thank you so much for your time, attention and assistance in sharing with your own networks!