Earlier in the summer, Professor and Director of the Arts Administration Program, Dr. Pat Villeneuve and Doctoral candidate, Alicia Viera curated “Contemporary Latino Art: El Corazon De San Antonio”. The exhibition proudly presents 79 artists with strong ties to San Antonio’s Latin Arts community and features over 100 works of art. Centering on the people, places and things closest to the heart; real and imagined personalities from various communities, public and private spaces where people reside or gather, and culturally relevant objects found in day-to-day life, “Contemporary Latino Art: El Corazon De San Antonio” opened on May 9th.
Doctoral candidate Alicia Viera also serves as the Director of Cultural Programming for the Texas A&M University- San Antonio Educational and Cultural Arts Center, the location in which the exhibition is held. In preparation for the show, to allow the visitors to move more freely and to “direct their own experience” Viera had the layouts for the galleries reconfigured. Having pushed back the first floor entryway to make room for bilingual text, created an overall more open space within the center, which visitors could really interact physically with the exhibit.
The Curation of the exhibit utilized Dr. Villeneuve’s innovative method called the Supported Interpretation (SI), a model for visitor-centered exhibitions. She produced the SI model as a response to her personal concern that “general education in the United States has not given people the skills to make sense of art in satisfying ways.” As an experienced museum educator and scholar, Dr. Villeneuve is a committed audience advocate who has long supported the ideas of the constructivist museum, but has raised concerns over the limitations of constructivist museum practices. With the SI model, Villeneuve moves beyond the ideas of the constructivist museum and advances the educational function by making the museum the center of exhibition practice.
The members of the team who curated this exhibition were the following (in alphabetical order):
Overall, “Contemporary Latino Art: El Corazon De San Antonio” has been very well received by the community, even extending the exhibition through September 26th due to popular demand.