What is the Latinx Artist Fellowship?
The first program of its kind, the Latinx Artist Fellowship is a $50,000 award to 15 of the most compelling Latinx visual artists working in the US today. Over the initial five-year commitment, 75 artists will be awarded a total of $3.75 million.
The Fellowship is administered by the US Latinx Art Forum (USLAF) in collaboration with the New York Foundation for the Arts and supported by the Ford Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; a combined commitment of $5 million will support the Fellowship, administration, and capacity building at USLAF.
The Fellowship launches the Latinx Art Visibility Initiative, a three-part program led by the Mellon and Ford foundations; later phases will provide support to museums committed to collecting and studying Latinx art and will develop partnerships with scholars and students studying Latinx art and artists.
What is the US Latinx Art Forum?
Established in 2015, the US Latinx Art Forum (USLAF) supports the creation of a more equitable art world by championing artists and arts professionals dedicated to Latinx art through research, studio practice, pedagogy, and writing. USLAF generates and supports initiatives that benefit an intergenerational network of over 450 members and advances the vitality of Latinx art within academia, art institutions, and collections.
What is Latinx?
Latinx is an inclusive, gender nonbinary term. We define Latinx/o/a as a person of any race, ethnicity, and/or Latinx-identity affiliation who is of Latin American/Caribbean descent and who is born in the United States or is a long-term resident of the US and its territories. We favor the broadest definition of Latinx, inclusive of: Afro-Latinx, Asian-Latinx, Chicanx, Cuban American, Dominican American, Hispanic, Indigenous, Mexican American, Mestizx/a/o, Puerto Rican, etc.
Who are the 2021 Latinx Artist Fellows?
Designed to reflect the diversity of the Latinx community, the Fellowship is also intergenerational, with an equal representation of emerging, mid-career, and established artists.
The inaugural cohort includes queer and gender nonconforming artists from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds who work across the nation: Elia Alba, Celia Álvarez Muñoz, Carolina Caycedo, Adriana Corral, rafa esparza, Christina Fernández, Coco Fusco, Yolanda López, Miguel Luciano, Guadalupe Maravilla, Carlos Martiel, Michael Menchaca, Delilah Montoya, Vick Quezada, and Juan Sánchez.
How were the Fellows selected?
The Fellows were selected by a jury of art historians, scholars, and curators at partner organizations. The jurors evaluated more than 200 nominees recommended by invited external nominators with expertise in Latinx art. The jurors were: Rita Gonzalez (Terri and Michael Smooke Curator and Department Head of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Marcela Guerrero (Assistant Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York), Cesáreo Moreno (Visual Arts Director and Chief Curator, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago), Rodrigo Moura (Chief Curator, El Museo del Barrio, New York), Sylvia Orozco (Co-Founder and Executive Director, Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin), Mari Carmen Ramirez (Wortham Curator of Latin American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), and Yasmin Ramirez (Art Historian, Scholar, and Independent Curator).
Why is the Fellowship necessary?
Although the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture and USLAF both support Latinx artists with grants, there is not currently a larger financial award or fellowship to validate US Latinx visual artists. Latinx people account for nearly 20 percent of the total US population, yet Latinx causes and organizations receive only 2 percent of philanthropic funding. From 2013 to 2019, annual funding to Latinx arts and culture dropped from $39 million to $13 million (see https://latinxfunders.org/).
The Fellowship, and the larger Latinx Art Visibility Initiative, are designed to address the intersection between the lack of philanthropic support, academic attention, and market representation for Latinx art and artists.
At its heart, this Fellowship is a long-overdue opportunity to lift up Latinx artists—to provide them with necessary financial support, expand and secure their place within American art history, and encourage the growth of patronage.
How can I learn more?
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