Monterey Museum of Art celebrates Chicanx artistry and California's agricultural legacy
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Monterey Museum of Art celebrates Chicanx artistry and California's agricultural legacy
Roberto Gutierrez (b. 1943), Trees on Lorena Street, 2008. Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 in. The Durón Family Collection.

MONTEREY, CA.- The Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) is set to captivate audiences with its Winter Exhibition Series which showcases California's rich agricultural history and the vibrant Chicanx community.

'Seeing Chicanx: The Durón Family Collection' delves into the diverse narratives of the Chicanx community through an array of expressive art forms. This exhibition, running from January 18 to April 28, 2024, features a dynamic collection that speaks to the heart of Chicanx identity and experience in modern America. It's a vivid representation of the community's resilience, creativity, and cultural richness.

During the Chicano Movement (1965-1980), individuals of Mexican heritage fought for cultural reclamation and resistance. As an act of solidarity, Armando and Mary Salinas Durón began collecting artworks that celebrated the local Mexican-descent communities, preserving their identities and historical narratives. This exhibition, drawn from The Durón Family Collection, offers a comprehensive journey through Chicanx art from the 1900s to the present. Displayed in various media – including paintings, drawings, photography, and sculpture – Seeing Chicanx uniformly paints a vivid picture of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Region's art scene. Featured artists include established figures like Patssi Valdez, Shizu Saldamando, Judy Baca, Gilbert "Magu" Luján, and many more.

Curated by Karen Mary Davalos

Karen Mary Davalos, professor of Chicano and Latino Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, is a leading scholar in Chicana/o/x art history, with four books, numerous articles, and curatorial projects. Her recent book, Chicana/o Remix: Art and Errata since the Sixties (NYU Press, 2017) is informed by life history interviews with eighteen artists, a decade of ethnographic research in southern California, and archival research examining fifty years of Chicanx art in Los Angeles since 1963. In 2016, she launched with Dr. Constance Cortez (UTRGV), the search tool, Mexican American Art Since 1848, which compiles nearly 20,000 records from existing digital collections at libraries, archives, and museums. She serves on the board of directors of Self Help Graphics & Art, the oldest Chicana/o/x – Latinx arts organization in Southern California.

Simultaneously, the three supporting shows pay homage to California's agricultural heritage. From the poignant visual photographs of Dorothea Lange to the personal reflections of Joe Ramos, these exhibitions, 'Mixed Up – Connected: Joe Ramos Photographs', 'Dorothea Lange: 1935-1942', and 'Harvesting California: From the WPA Era to the Present', each offer a unique lens into the lives and landscapes that have shaped California’s agricultural narrative.

Together, the Winter Exhibition Season offers a multifaceted journey through art, history, and culture – to provide an unparalleled exploration of the intersections between Chicanx artistry and the broader context of California's agricultural evolution.

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