Vida, Muerte, Justicia | Life, Death, Justice

Latin American & Latinx Art for the 21st Century

OCTOBER 1 – NOVEMBER 27, 2021

Exhibition of Contemporary Latin American and Latinx Art Responds to Global Themes Relating to Life, Death and Justice at Ogden Contemporary Arts Center and Weber State University

Ogden, UT (August 10, 2021): This Fall, OCA Center hosts an exhibition of twenty-four Latin American and Latinx contemporary artists whose work responds to relevant themes in relation to social and racial justice. The exhibited artists offer local, national and international perspectives through multiple disciplines including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, performance, digital art and more. Vida, Muerte, Justicia is a collaboration between Ogden Contemporary Arts, Weber State University College of Arts & Humanities, curator Jorge Rojas and associate curator Maria del Mar González-González. The exhibition opens on October 1st at OCA Center and the WSU Shaw Gallery Project Space during Ogden’s First Friday Art Stroll from 6-9pm, with a VIP reception for OCA members from 4-6pm at OCA Center. Corresponding curatorial talks and programming will be held at WSU over the course of the exhibition. 

“Themes of life, death, and justice have been inextricably linked throughout history,” says Rojas, who is a Mexican artist, curator and educator based in Salt Lake City. “We’re looking at these concepts through the rich and complex lens of Latin American culture, which encompasses many countries, peoples and languages.” 

Rojas and González-González, assistant professor of global modern and contemporary art history at WSU, intentionally selected artists in various stages of their careers whose work responds to a number of current issues and movements including immigration reform, racial justice, femicide, Black Lives Matter and much more. The exhibited artists identify nationally as Mexican, Colombian, Chilean, Nicaraguan and Dominican, among others. Important conversations surrounding ethnic and gender identity within this community are also addressed, as artists in the show also self-identify as Chicano, Nuyorican, or Latinx. This group includes multiple international and museum-level exhibiting artists such as Harry Gamboa Jr., Guillermo Galindo, Tania Candiani and others. Prominent Utah artists include Andrew Alba, Nancy Rivera, Horacio Rodriguez, and Roots Art Kollective, who will paint a mural inside The Monarch as part of the exhibition. 

Latin American and Latino/Hispanic peoples make up the largest ethnic or racial minority in our country, as well as our local community, making this an especially significant exhibition for Utah and the art world at large. These artists have played a significant role in calling out social injustice on local, national and international levels, creating relevant work that inspires action and change. 

“As we look back on one of the most difficult years in recent history due to COVID-19 and global political and social uprising, this exhibition invites audiences to reflect on many of the issues that have taken center stage, as well as the movements that have united us to work toward justice,” says Rojas and González-González. “…By exploring connections between life, death, and justice, these artists and this exhibition aim to raise awareness, educate, build community, and inspire action, while providing space for reflection, mourning, and collective healing.”

Vida, Muerte, Justicia extends from OCA Center to Weber State University, where Galindo and Candiani’s work will be exhibited at the WSU Shaw Gallery Project Space in the Kimball Visual Arts Building. Curatorial talks and performances will also be held at WSU with the visiting artists, providing opportunities for students and community members to engage on the important topics brought forth through this exhibition. This theme extends to partner events throughout the community; please see additional information below for a full schedule of events and programming related to the exhibition.

-Kelly Carper, Art Writer

 

EXHIBITING ARTISTS

Andrew Alba

Blanka Amezkua

Tania Candiani

Ruby Chacon

Esperanza Cortes

Amelec Diaz

Alexis Duque

Patricia Espinosa

David Rios Ferreira

Guillermo Galindo

Scherezade Garcia

Las Hermanas Iglesias

Harry Gamboa Jr.

Roots Art Kollective

Tamara Kostianovsky

Jessica Lagunas

Shaun Leonardo

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz

Michael Pribich

Lina Puerta

Nancy Rivera

Horacio Rodriguez

Jaime Trinidad

Carlos Villalon

 

CURATOR: JORGE ROJAS

Born in Morelos, Mexico, Jorge Rojas is a multidisciplinary artist, independent curator, and educator. He studied Art at the University of Utah and at Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Rojas uses performance, visual art, and social engagement to examine cultural, social, and mediated forms of communication. His work and curatorial projects have been exhibited in museums and galleries nationally and internationally, including Museo del Barrio and Queens Museum of Art in New York; New World Museum and Project Row Houses in Houston; Utah Museum of Fine Arts and Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City; Ex Convento del Carmen, Guadalajara; and

FOFA Gallery at Concordia University, Montreal. In 2009, Rojas founded Low Lives, an international, multi-venue online performance festival, where he served as director, producer, and curator, worked with over 200 artists in 25 countries, and collaborated with directors and curators from more than 30 partner organizations in 12 countries. 

 

ASSOCIATE CURATOR: MARIA DEL MAR GONZÁLEZ-GONZÁLEZ

María del Mar González-González, PhD is an assistant professor of global modern and contemporary art history at Weber State University. Specializing in the fields of Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latinx art, with a research focus on the intersection of art and politics, her work investigates the interrelations among exhibitions, printmaking, and representation in the San Juan Graphic Arts Biennial and Triennial. Dr. González-González’s scholarly work and teaching interests extend to socially engaged practices, decolonization, the history of collecting and museums, and reprographic arts. Her academic writing has been published in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Caiana: Journal of Art History and Visual Culture of the Centro Argentino de Investigadores de Arte, and numerous art exhibition catalogs.

 

ABOUT WSU, COLLEGE OF ARTS & HUMANITIES

The Weber State University Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts and Humanities teaches students to excel as they seek, understand, question and express complexities critical to the experience of being human. Community events highlight student talent and allow audiences to engage with professionals in the industries we teach.

Lindquist College serves nearly 2,000 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students in Ogden, Utah. It offers degrees in Communication, English, Foreign Languages, Performing Arts, Visual Art and Design, and Film Studies. Learn more at weber.edu/arts-humanities.

CREDITS

This exhibition is made possible by: Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Weber County RAMP, Utah Office of Tourism, and Ogden City Arts

EXHIBITION EVENTS AND PUBLIC PROGRAMS

Exhibition VIP Preview for OCA Members (Invite Only)
Date: October 1st, 4-6 PM
Location: OCA Center, 455 25th Street, Ogden

 

Exhibition Public Opening
Date: October 1st, 6-9 PM
Location: OCA Center and WSU Shaw Gallery Project Space, Kimball Visual Arts Building

 

Performance: Guillermo Galindo
Date: October 28th, 6 PM
Location: WSU Allred Theater, Browning Center for Performing Arts

 

Artist Talk: Tania Candiani
Date: November 11th, 6 PM
Location: WSU Kimball Visual Arts Center, Lindquist Lecture Hall, room 120

 

Curator Talk: Vida, Muerte, Justicia: Making an Exhibition
Date: November 18th, 6 PM
Location: WSU Kimball Visual Arts Center, Lindquist Lecture Hall, room 120