Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 12 from 6:30pm to 10pm
AltaMed Health Services, the nation’s largest community health centers, has partnered with the Cultural Institute of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, DC, to present: Before the 45th | Action/Reaction in Chicano and Latino Art at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington DC from September 5 – December 29, 2017.
The exhibition examines how Southern California-based Chicano and Latino artists worked tirelessly in an effort to shed light on the economic, political, and social injustices their communities faced. Comprised of artworks from the AltaMed Art Collection, this exhibition illustrates how these themes are still relevant in our world today.
“Art is a form of visual story telling that transcends language and cultural barriers,” said Cástulo de la Rocha, President and CEO of AltaMed Health Services. “It’s a powerful documentation of history and has the capacity to inspire future generations to not repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Beginning as early as the 1970s, artworks from each succeeding decade will demonstrate the ongoing dialogue that was shaped by Chicano leaders of the time and has been carried on by their successors, all of whom share a connection with their Mexican heritage. Notably, the time span will cease at the year 2016, as the exhibition aims to place a prominent question mark on
the types of artworks created and subject matters to be conveyed in the foreseeable future.
“Back in the 1990s, we started giving more thought to how visual art could play into our care environment and remind our community members – employees and patients alike – of the ideas and concerns that gave rise to the movement for community health,” de la Rocha said. “We carefully select the art that decorates the walls of our clinics to provide a sense of comfort
and familiarity. As Southern California evolves and our service areas see demographic shifts, we place extra care into making sure that the foundation of our organization, the people who gave us reason to open in 1969, are never forgotten.”
The exhibition will feature emerging, mid-career, and established Chicano and Latino artists from Southern California, such as Carlos Almaraz, David Botello, Enrique Castrejon, Carmen Lomas Garza, Roberto Gil de Montes, Yolanda Gonzalez, Roberto Gutierrez, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Gilbert “Magu” Lujan, Ramses Noriega, Man One, Jose Ramirez, Miguel Angel Reyes, Vyal Reyes, Frank Romero, John Valadez, Patssi Valdez, George Yepes, and more.
“We continue to support local and emerging artists by providing exposure to their work in our clinics,” said de la Rocha. “Additionally, we bring artists into our senior care programs to teach classes because we know that art has the potential to reduce stress and depression, alleviate the burden of illness and heal emotional injuries.”
Curated by Julian Bermudez, the AltaMed Art Collection is comprised of nearly 1,000 works, including prints, paintings, photographs, drawings, sculpture, and mixed-media. The works in the collection reflect the diverse communities served by AltaMed through themes such as family life, celebrations, work, friends, socio-political issues, Los Angeles, LGBTQ, popular culture and history.
The Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington is located at 2829 16th St NW. To learn more about the exhibit, visit www.instituteofmexicodc.org or call (202) 728-1628.