The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas Presents Scherezade García and iliana emilia García Visual Memory: Home + Place

By Editorial Team on September 23, 2019

Thu, 26 September 2019 - Sun, 08 March 2020

Memories Afloat by Scherezade Garcia. Courtesy of the OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas.
Reception: Thursday, September 26 from 6pm to 8pm

The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas and the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the OAS present Visual Memory: Home + Place, an exhibition by multimedia artists Scherezade García and iliana emilia García. Curated by Olga Ulloa Herrera and Adriana Ospina, this mid-career survey explores how each artist reflects upon constructed notions of human geography and history in a creative multidisciplinary approach. Generating a provocative and incisive rethinking about the possibilities of visual memory, they engage with timeless universal concerns and amplified questions on global migration, settlement, and the spaces we occupy.

Developed in close collaboration with the artists, Visual Memory: Home + Place features important works in a wide range of media—paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, and installations—some not previously shown. The exhibition is accompanied by amply illustrated companion volumes with interviews and essays.

iliana emilia García has been using the chair as her personal tool/star/instrument related to tradition and visual history; and one of the most public of signs, the heart, as the symbol to represent the intimate side of a communal activity as it is to feel, to remember and to interpret. She intends for these icons to tell history and to remember it; precisely humans’ basic need of emotional comfort, and our sense of loss and gain. To her, it is a constant search, not for answers, but for a certain satisfaction, and of an alleged reason of tradition when we believe to have one through the repetitions of patterns, which lead to an apparent safety.

iliana Emilia García was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1970, and was absorbed by the arts from an early age under the tutelage of the painter Nidia Serra and Professor Elias Delgado. She graduated in Graphic Design at Altos de Chavón / The School of Design, an institution affiliated with Parsons The New School of Design in New York in 1989, at which time she was awarded the Ruth Vanderpool Scholarship for her portfolio. She continued her studies in Parsons, where she graduated in 1991 with a BFA in Communication Design.

Since then he has been actively developing her work with mixed media, drawings, installations, and video art. Her works have been exhibited in numerous halls, galleries, and museums, including: Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, DC; Queens Museum, New York; The World Bank in Washington, DC; Merengue: Visual Rhythms at the OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas; Joan Guaita Art, in Spain, and many other places. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, which also collects her personal papers / files in their Latin American Archives; The Museo del Barrio in NY, the León Center and the Museum of Modern Art in the Dominican Republic, other institutions and numerous personal collections.

Scherezade García’s work inhabits a baroque universe of different worlds of aesthetic planes. Through her work, she becomes a storyteller. Her visual narratives generate energy, alluding to the emotional physicality of artmaking; and there is the urgency of a concept to keep alive. The physical and emotional experience of drawing is essential to her process. Through her drawings, she creates beauty with lines. The process of drawing gives rise to visual codes which lead her to spontaneous compositions and intriguing meanings at once. She works in drawing, painting, installations, artists’ books, and video animation. Through these different media, she creates contemporary allegories of history, colonization, and politics.

Scherezade’s fascination with the social human experience since the “discovery” of America and its multifarious results is an essential part of her discourse. This fascination has led her to such themes as the causes and consequences of migration, the mestizo and barroquism as consequences of colonization, the inversion of traditional beliefs of salvation, and the questioning of religious and social uses of the notion of paradise. She creates her allegorical narratives by appropriating and transforming symbols and objects that have included life jackets, inner tubes, suitcases, mattresses, tends, umbrellas, religious icons, and newspaper clippings.

Scherezade García was born in Santo Domingo. As a child she became involved in the arts by participating in projects that involved mural painting with visual artists Elias Delgado and Nidia Serra. She studied at Altos de Chavon / The School of Design, an affiliate of Parsons School of Design. In 1986, she moved to New York as a student at Parsons The New School of Design, where she obtained the Parsons Institutional Scholarship and the Dana Foundation Work Grant. Her work as a fine arts artist has been continuously exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean since 1990. Her work frequently evokes memories of faraway home and the hopes and dreams that accompany planting roots in a new land. Garcia’s work has been shown at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, El Museo del Barrio in NYC, The Housatonic Museum of Art in Connecticut, and El Museo de Arte Moderno in Santo Domingo. Her solo exhibitions have included “Paradise redefined” at Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx; “Island of many Gods” at the Salena Gallery, and “Theories of Freedom” at The Humanities Art Gallery at Long Island University in Brooklyn.

The exhibition has received major support from the Secretariat of Hemispheric Affairs of the Organization of American States, the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the OAS, and the FAMA | Friends of the Art Museum of the Americas.

Additional support for the catalogs has been provided by: Reginald García Muñoz and Iliana Ubias Renville, Tony Hernández, Carlos and Olga Herrera, Family García Matos, José Miguel Gómez, Pedro Cerón, Andrés Sánchez, Juan Victor Arámboles, Gilberto Cardenas and Dolores García, and Susan Delvalle.

Additional funding for the exhibition has been provided by: Ercilia Hernández, Jennifer Fleming, Ana-Ofelia Rodríguez, Berenice Barinas, José Vidal, Erick Ríos, Joanne Flores, V. Cybill Charlier, Manon Slome, Zeneida Moreno, Daisy Auger-Domínguez, Lilly Dollenmayer, Cecile Chong, Jennifer Lawrence, Alison Meares Cohen, Julia Santos Solomon, Ilonka Ubiñas, Jennifer Favorite, Reyin Leys, and Carolynn Sheehan.

The AMA serves as the principal instrument of cultural diplomacy of the OAS. AMA’s mission is founded on the notion that the arts are transformative for individuals and communities. This guiding principle promotes the core values of the OAS by providing a space for cultural expression, creativity, innovation, dialog, and learning, while highlighting themes such as democracy, development, human rights, justice, freedom of expression, and innovation. AMA’s work draws on contemporary art to showcase a constructive vision of the future of the Americas via local and hemispheric cultural exchange.

Accessibility: AMA’s first floor is wheelchair accessible by appointment, with a ramp that can be installed at the back entrance to the museum. There is a gravel pathway leading to the back entrance. There is one half-step leading from the first room into the first-floor galleries. There is a flight of winding stairs leading to the museum’s second floor. Restrooms are located on the second floor.

The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas is located at 201 18th Street NW. For more information on accessibility, or to make an appointment to visit, please contact 202 370 0147 or