Art, Music & Culture

Resistance as Power: A Curatorial Response to Under the Feet of Jesus – University of Oregon

The JSMA’s fourth “Common Seeing” exhibition supports the UO’s 2019-20 “Common Reading” of Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes. In the book, the resilient protagonist,13-year-old Estrella, works in the hot California grape fields while navigating the realities of first love, financial struggle, family separation, and illness. For more information about the “Common Reading,” including upcoming university events, visit commonreading.uoregon.edu. Two special loans from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) by artists Emanuel Martinez and Domingo Ulloa anchor the exhibition. Martinez created Farm Workers’ Altar (1967) for the Catholic Mass held in Delano, California, at which labor activist César Chávez broke his twenty five-day fast in 1968. Ulloa, “The Father of Chicano Art,” painted Braceros (1960) after visiting a labor camp in Holtville, California. From 1942 through 1964, the U.S. government invited agricultural workers from Mexico for limited-duration assignments to relieve the worker shortage caused by World War II. Ulloa presented a sobering view of the reality of life for these braceros (from the Spanish for “one who works using his arms,” implying manual labor), who experienced poor working conditions, crowded living quarters, and other challenges while employed in the United States. These special loans provide historical and cultural touchstones for Viramontes’s 1995 novel and…

Source: Resistance as Power: A Curatorial Response to Under the Feet of Jesus – University of Oregon

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Monday, October 14th, 2019 Art, Music & Culture No Comments

Ernesto Martínez’s short film “La Serenata” an award finalist

July 31, 2019—Ernesto Martínez’s short film, La Serenata, is a finalist in the Imagen Foundation Short Film and Web Series Awards.

You can support this film by voting below and inviting friends and family to vote as well (one vote per 24 hours). You could also watch the film at this site: https://www.imagen.org/vote/short-films/

Film synopsis: two parents struggle with their beloved Mexican musical tradition when their son requests a love song for another boy.  

Ernesto Martínez is an associate professor in the UO Department of Ethnic Studies. CLLAS supported Martínez’s work on this film and a related children’s book with its inaugural Latinx Studies Seed Grant.

Melissa Lozada-Oliva: CLLAS Latinx Heritage Month Events

October 9, 2019
10:00 amto11:00 am
4:00 pmto5:00 pm

A teach-in and poetry slam on campus

CLLAS Teach-In: Language and Poetry as Resistance, October 9, 10am-11am, Knight Library Browsing Room

CLLAS Latinx Heritage Month Poetry Slam by Melissa Lozada-Oliva, October 9, 4pm-5pm, 240C McKenzie Hall

Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a spoken-word poet, author, and educator. Her book Peluda (Button Poetry 2017) explores the intersections of Latina identity, feminism, hair removal & what it means to belong. She performs her poems in hundreds of universities & venues across the country. She also does workshops on incorporating humor into poetry & general creative writing classes. Lozada-Oliva is the co-host of podcast Say More with Olivia Gatwood and her work has been featured in REMEZCLA, The Guardian, Vulture, Bustle, Glamour Magazine, The Huffington Post, Muzzle Magazine, The Adroit Journal, and BBC Mundo. She lives in New York City.

Sponsored by CLLAS. Cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society and other UO units.

These events are part of the CLLAS two-year theme (2019-2021): “The Politics of Language in the Americas: Power, Culture, History, and Resistance.”

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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 Art, Music & Culture, Events No Comments

Nuestras Raíces Y El Arte

July 20, 2019
12:00 pmto5:00 pm

Location & Hours: https://jsma.uoregon.edu/location-and-hours

July 20 | 20 de julio
NUESTRAS RAÍCES Y EL ARTE
12:00pm to 4:00pm
JORDAN SCHNITZER MUSEUM OF ART, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON Una tarde de arte, comida, música y danza para celebrar una colaboración artística y comunitaria entre Huerto de la Familia, Latino Professionals Connect y el JSMA

Enjoy an afternoon of art, music, and food, celebrating Huerto de la Familia and its community partners Centro Latino Americano and Downtown Languages.  Generous support for this project is provided by Art Bridges.

Horario de actividades:

1 – 5 p.m.       
Comida de El Kora y actividades de arte – Sala de Conferencias Ford

Arte por Marina Hajek y Fernando Ortiz
Sala de Recepciones Papé

2 – 2:30 p.m.
Charla de artistas en español con Ofelia Guzmán and Esteban Camacho Steffensen

Galería Focus West, 2do piso

2:30 – 3 p.m.
Palabras de bienvenida y sorteo de premios
Sala de Recepciones Papé

3 – 3:30 p.m.
Ballet Folklórico
Sala de Recepciones Papé

3:30 – 4 p.m.
Charla de artistas en inglés con Ofelia Guzmán and Esteban Camacho Steffensen
Galería Focus West, 2do piso

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Música por Malanga
Sala de Recepciones Papé

El apoyo generoso para este proyecto fue provisto por Art Brigdes.

Schedule of events:

1 – 5 p.m.
Food from El Kora and art activities – Ford Lecture Hall
Art by Marina Hajek and Fernando Ortiz – Papé Reception Hall

2 – 2:30 p.m.
Artist talk in Spanish Ofelia Guzmán and Esteban Camacho Steffensen
Focus West Gallery, 2nd floor

2:30 – 3 p.m.
Welcoming remarks and door prizes
Papé Reception Hall

3 – 3:30 p.m.
Ballet Folklórico
Papé Reception Hall

3:30 – 4 p.m.
Artist talk in English Ofelia Guzmán and Esteban Camacho Steffensen
Focus West Gallery, 2nd floor

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Music by MalangaPapé Reception Hall 
Generous support for this project provided by Art Bridges
jsma.uoregon.edu/events/nuestras-ra%C3%ADces-y-el-arte

Saturday, June 15th, 2019 Art, Music & Culture No Comments

Ana Lara receives a 2019 Oregon Literary Fellowship in fiction

Recipients of the 2019 Oregon Literary Fellowship include UO assistant professor Ana-Maurine Lara, a CLLAS affiliated faculty member, in the category of fiction. Oregon Literary Arts said their out-of-state judges spent several months evaluating the 400+ applications they received, and selected thirteen writers and two publishers to receive grants of $3,500 each.

Ana-Maurine Lara

Bio
Ana-Maurine Lara, Ph.D., is a national award-winning poet and fiction writer. She is author of the fictional works Erzulie’s Skirt (RedBone Press, 2006), When the Sun Once Again Sang to the People (KRK Ediciones, 2011), and Watermarks and Tree Rings (Tanama Press) and the poetry book Kohnjehr Woman (RedBone Press, 2017). The first of her decade-long projects, Cantos, was released as a limited edition letterpress collection in Fall 2015. Lara is an assistant professor at the University of Oregon.

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Latinx album covers invite people to look at art in a new way

https://around.uoregon.edu/content/latinx-album-covers-invite-people-look-art-new-way

From Around the O / March 4, 2019—Music and art have long-shared a history of collaboration, from turn-of-the-century sheet music illustrations to the vibrant psychedelic album cover designs of the trippy ’60s and beyond.

A slice of that history has makes up the visual artistry of Latinx artists, who are the subject of an interactive exhibition at the UO’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art titled “Visual Clave: The Expression of the Latino/a Experience through Album Cover Art: 1940-90.” The installation features 40-50 original album covers that are, in some cases, paired with the original artwork that was created to produce the album cover.

The inspiration for the exhibit, and the culmination of more than a decade of research and collecting, is the 2005 book “Cocinando: 50 Years of Latin Album Cover Art”by Northampton, Massachusetts-based Cuban-American author, musician and artist Pablo Ygnasio. The result is a pared-down selection culled from a larger East Coast show that distills the essence of the Latinx experience in its many forms.

The co-curator of the exhibit is Phillip Scher, UO professor of anthropology and folklore and public culture and also divisional dean for social sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. Scher has collaborated with Ygnasio on projects since their college days together and explained that although the work is certainly diverse, much of what was produced for the mass market in the early days was largely controlled by big music industry companies like RCA, Decca and Capitol Records.

“Record producers and record labels understood the popularity of popular music — there had been a big mambo craze — they understood that it sold records, but they were still largely controlling the recording marketing and distribution process,” Scher said. “The artists might have been contracted, who themselves may not have been from the (Latinx) community.”

The exhibit hall

That began to change, however, in the 1960s and ’70s as Latin American musicians and emergent independent record labels such as Faniabegan to hand over more control to the musicians as well as to the artists who designed the cover art.

That also meant taking control of the messaging.

Latinx artists not only used albums as an outlet to express themselves artistically but also oftentimes as a means of conveying provocative commentary on Hispanic topics of resistance or issues of a political, economic or cultural nature.

“You begin to see covers themselves reflecting more of what the musicians want to say about their music, their community, their relationship to the American experience,” Scher said. “There’s a variety of ways in which taking control of the process of production yields really different artwork.”

Indeed, the exhibition, which is grouped by themes, embraces everything from dance and food, “Spanglish”, lowriders and borders, and life in the barrio to protest, resistance and spirituality, to name a few. A section celebrating female artists provides imagery and context to those strong Latinas who persevered, despite pressure to “stay out of the macho world of salsa and ranchera” and to not speak to women’s issues and perspectives.

Likewise, a 1971 Izzy Sanabria album cover designed for the iconic Willie Colónrecord “La Gran Fuga/The Big Break”, also known as the “Wanted by the FBI,” features a mug shot of Colón and uses satire to break negative stereotypes of the “bad Latino.” That includes humorous quotes such as “armed with a trombone and considered dangerous” and “Occupation: singer, also a very dangerous man with his voice.” Ironically, Colón went on to a career in law enforcement.

Although it’s not featured in this grouping, Scher cited an example of subtle messaging in popular crossover musician Desi Arnaz’ album Babalú. It’s unlikely that the predominently Anglo-American audience tuning in to the 1950s era comedy sitcom “I Love Lucy” suspected that Arnaz’ signature, conga-infused song was a ceremonial drumming ritual designed to invoke the spirit of Babalú-Ayú.

“What he is essentially approximating there is an Afro-Cuban religious ceremony, in which the spirits are invoked by calling them out and drumming in certain patterns to have the spirits arrive, to come to the ritual and participate,” Scher explained. “And sometimes that participation meant essentially spirit possession. People were singing that and had no idea what they were singing about.”

Because the exhibition also embodies multiple disciplines — Latin Americaninternationaland ethnic studieshistorymusicartfolklore, and anthropology— “the teaching potential is tremendous,” Scher said. As they view the artwork and peruse the program, museum visitors listen to piped-in Latin music selections drawn from each of the albums on display and can also take a turn at playing the claves, an important percussion instrument used in African, Brazilian and Cuban music.

Overall, Scher hopes that the takeaway for people is that they will think differently about pop cultural ephemera.

“For many people and for many ways, popular culture is a really viable way of communicating through artistic expression and reaching a lot of people, communicating the most pressing types of issues that confront a particular community,” he said.

Ygnasio and Scher will present a curator’s lecture, part of the CLLAS Spring 2019 Research Presentation Series, on April 11. The exhibition runs through April 21.

By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications

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Friday, March 1st, 2019 Art, Music & Culture, Funding, Research No Comments



Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies Gift Fund

Access the above link for giving to the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies Gift Fund. Online gifts may be made using the form available at this link; all gifts are processed by the University of Oregon Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization responsible for receiving and administering private donations to the University of Oregon.

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2019 Judge Yassmin Barrios Lecture / photos by Jack Liu

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