Representation Through Arte Latino Now

It started at Queens as a visual arts project to promote local Latino/a/x artists. Arte Latino Now, the brainchild of Dr. Michele Shaul and Dr. Siu Challons-Lipton, now furthers and deepens the visibility of Latino/a/x artists in the Charlotte area and beyond. Dr. Shaul, director of the Center for Latino Studies and a professor of Spanish, says she remembers when “there was a point in time where you couldn’t get published if you were doing Latino/a/x scholarship.” 

*Art work by Catalina Gómez-Beuth https://www.catalinagomezbeuthart.com/

Starting as a passion project, Arte Latino Now was originally a locally based curation of art by individuals that identify as Latino/a/x aimed at creating a space to represent the multifaceted nature of Latino/a/x art. Arte Latino Now has become a 10-year-old project, and it has now evolved into a nationwide platform for Latino/a/x artists. Dr. Shaul stresses that “submissions from all over the country expanded us from just visual art to even more.” 

As submissions continued to roll in, Dr. Challons-Lipton, professor of Art History, and Dr. Shaul recognized that Arte Latino Now could become more than just a platform for visual art. It could be a space for individuals to see themselves represented. The expansion from strictly visual art to a space that explores music, literature, dance, and more has allowed the project to blossom. This expansion has allowed Arte Latino Now to achieve their goal of “highlighting the wide range of performance and production in the broader [Latino/a/x] community,” Shaul says.

She has also relied on her “passion project” in her Spanish classes here at Queens as a teaching supplement. “By showing students the diversity that exists within the Latino/a/x community,” she says, students are able to engage more deeply with the content. It also provides students a space to further their learning on their own behalf. 

Basing Arte Latino Now out of Queens has allowed the Queens community a space to blend with new cultures, ideas, and representations. It has also given students and community members a space to see themselves represented – a key mission of Arte Latino Now. 

Arte Latino Now exists on its online platform for the foreseeable future. Discover its current virtual exhibition, performances, and readings at centerforlatinostudiesquclt.dropmark.com/945645

To view the Facebook page, please find them at https://www.facebook.com/ArteLatinoNowAtQueensUniversityOfCharlotte

To learn more about the Latino studies at Queens, go to queens.edu/about/centers/center-for-latino-studies.html

by Chase Mauerhan

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