Latinx Museum in Houston? A Core Sample Gallery - Virtual Exhibition November 14, 2020 - January 30, 2021
The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) is pleased to announce the opening of the virtual exhibition Latinx Museum in Houston? November 14, 2020. The exhibition is curated by Benito Huerta and ends January 16, 2021. It can be found on the HMAAC website, hmaac.org, under “Exhibitions Now and Then” on the menu.
It has been ten years since then Houston City Councilman James Rodriguez told the opening audience at the HMAAC/Johns Hopkins symposium The African Presence in Mexico “that the time for Houston to support a Latinx museum was right around the corner.”
HMAAC CEO Emeritus John Guess, Jr. feels this conversation is still relevant. “Perhaps,” he said, “more than others in the Houston cultural community, HMAAC is sensitive to the need for spaces where people of color control their narrative and are not interpreted by others. We feel such spaces make Houston a stronger community.”
During the ten years since Rodriguez’ statement, HMAAC has mounted five Latinx exhibitions, which the museum would still have done if there existed a Latinx museum. And during that time the large number of Chicano, Mexican American, Latin American, Latino/a artists working in Texas has continued to grow, integrating into and enriching the cultural fabric of the state. Austin has Mexic-Arte Museum and the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, Chicago has the National Museum of Mexican Art, Dallas has the Latino Cultural Center, Los Angeles has the Museum of Latin American Art and La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, New York has El Museo del Barrio, San Francisco has the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, but what does Houston have? This is the question (issue/problem?) that is posed conceptually by the Houston Museum of African American Culture.
The virtual exhibition reflects the exhibition HMAAC asked curator Benito Huerta to imagine for a gallery in a Latinx museum. Originally planned for a gallery in the HMAAC building, COVID-19 forced schedules to be rearranged and this exhibition to be in perhaps a more fitting virtual space giving it more independence and accessibility. Exhibition artists, representing diverse media and presenting a wide spectrum of ideas, include Jesse Amado, Richard Armendariz, Debra Barrera, Margarita Cabrera, Carlos Donjuan, Gaspar Enriquez, John Hernandez, Cesar Augusto Martinez, Gabriel Martinez, Diana Molina, Delilah Montoya, Arely Morales, Celia Alvarez Munoz, Andrew Ortiz, Giovanni Valderas, and Vincent Valdez. They conduct their practices in cities throughout the country.
According to curator Benito Huerta, “The diversity of ideas and media testifies to the wide range of work being created in contemporary art. The work in the exhibition needs no explanation; as a matter of fact, the artists’ statements along with the works speak eloquently for themselves. They do not need an interpreter -- what they need are viewers and a context to engage in a conversation with the work.”