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El Museo's Bienal extends to The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and Lehman College Art Gallery
Gerard Ellis, Backyard (tarde de desastres II) is on view at Lehman College Art Gallery.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- El Museo del Barrio opened two satellite exhibitions this month. Hosting El Museo’s Bienal: The (S) Files 2011 are The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and Lehman College Art Gallery, featuring new artists not yet seen in the exhibition at El Museo. Artist talks at each venue will complement the experience. This expansive biennial consists of the most innovative, cutting-edge art created by Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American artists currently working in the greater New York area; this year's edition has spread all over NYC, showcasing a record 75 emerging artists in seven different venues.

Opened on September 13, 2011, The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) features artists from Northern Manhattan and elsewhere in NYC. This exhibition concentrates on local graffiti writers and their newer "canvases," with a focus on artists of various generations and their contemporary contributions to street aesthetics. Their art explores the re-use of found objects and non-traditional materials including street signs, cardboard, toys, stainless steel, street posters, wood, and plastic bags.

Featured artists at Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance
TOOFLY/María Castillo, J. Manuel Mansylla, FEEGZ/Carlos Jesús Martínez Domínguez, MARE139/Carlos Rodriguez, Antonia Pérez, Edwin Gonzalez-Ojeda, Rider Ureña.

Curators Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Trinidad Fombella, Elvis Fuentes have chosen the street as focal point of this year’s biennial deliberately, to call attention to the direct effect of economic and political crises in art production. “Social tensions as well as economic limitations have historically pushed artists to employ their urban environment as creative setting as well as a source for materials,” explains Fuentes. “The (S) Files 2011 foregrounds both Latino artists who have been involved in New York street art movements like graffiti since the 1970s and others who due to current circumstances are taking on the street for the first time to produce their art.”

The artists featured at Lehman College Art Gallery share an affinity for illustration and the narrative force of images. The exhibition itself becomes a picturesque walk through the city, a catalogue of people, objects, out-fits, daily and imaginary cityscapes. The urban environment is the setting for social and political exchanges of all kinds, and a place of compelling crossings—symbolic and real. When the street becomes the starting point, the images don’t just portray urban scenes. They also depict details that often translate into the global remains of consumer society, the resilience of urban dwellers, or the tools for a crime.

Featured artists at Lehman College Art Gallery
Patricia Belli, Alexis Duque, Gerard Ellis, Felipe Galindo, Julio Granados, Jonathan Harker, Gisela Insuaste, Sandra Mack-Valencia, Leonor Mendoza, Carlos N. Molina, Felix Morelo, Ohne Titel, VJ Demencia.

These two venues are part of a larger roster of collaborating organizations that were selected by El Museo to reflect its institutional mandate to make Latino art and culture available to people of all backgrounds throughout the city. Other collaborators include BRIC Rotunda Gallery, chashama at the Donnell, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Times Square Alliance. The artists featured in The (S) Files 2011, whose backgrounds span almost every Latin American country, hail from multiple neighborhoods across New York City including Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.

El Museo del Barrio | The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance | Lehman College Art Gallery | Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance | canvases | TOOFLY/María Castillo | J. Manuel Mansylla | FEEGZ/Carlos Jesús Martínez Domínguez | MARE139/Carlos Rodriguez | Antonia Pérez | Edwin Gonzalez-Ojeda | Rider Ureña |  |

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