El Museo del Barrio
The S-Files is the first annual summer showcase exhibition featuring the most creative contemporary artists who have submitted work to El Museo del Barrio. Inclusive in scope, The S-Files will present artists who are both U.S.-born Latinos, as well as New York City-based Latin Americans from South and Central America, Mexico, and The Caribbean. These artists represent a wide range of backgrounds that include Brazilian, Chicano, Chilean, Colombian, Dominican, Mexican, and Puerto Rican cultures. An opening reception for the artists will take place on Thursday, April 8, from 6 to 9 PM.
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This year, The S-Files will highlight works in traditional genres (such as painting, drawing, and photography), as well as site-specific installations, audio and video pieces, kinetic works, fabric projects, and special off-site components.
Conceived as a response to the most exciting and original materials offered to El Museo each year, it is hoped that The S-Files will encourage future submissions from artists and draw attention to the Museum’s artists’ files as an important resource of Latino and Latin American art. In so doing, the exhibition will actively engage El Museo with young Latino/Latina artists each year by presenting their work in the only New York museum dedicated to Latino and Latin American art, and by taking an effective role in sponsoring the creation of new art.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a festival entitled Studio/Street/Site, which will also become an annual event both at El Museo del Barrio and in East Harlem. Artists from The S-Files will generate and participate in the festival programming, on-site exhibition, off-site programs, and events. Planning to date tentatively includes: a music series in El Museo’s entrance courtyard; open studio tours; mural walks through el barrio, with artist-drawn maps; and related satellite projects at other venues throughout the neighborhood, such as the gallery at Taller Boricua in the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center. Beginning in June, El Museo’s annual summer Thursday-night music series under the stars in the Museum’s courtyard will have a special S-Files focus.
Curated by Carolina Ponce de León, former Curator, El Museo del Barrio and currently Executive Director, Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco, and Deborah Cullen, Assistant Curator, El Museo del Barrio, The S-Files will occupy the Center, Court, Park, and East Galleries, as well as the Project Wall. A soft-cover catalogue will accompany the exhibition and will include an introduction by Susana Torruella Leval, Director of El Museo del Barrio, a cross-country e-mail "dialogue" by the two curators, and one page devoted to each of the 23 artists, featuring a full-page color reproduction of their artwork, a bilingual or trilingual artist’s statement, as well as a brief biography of each artist.
The S-Files is just one of many new innovative exhibition series introduced by El Museo in the past few years, including Contemporánea and Focos, all designed to introduce contemporary Latino/Latin American visual arts to Manhattan museum-goers. In this first year, The S-Files will launch the celebration of El Museo del Barrio’s 30th Anniversary.