Latino/a Visual Imaginary: Intersection of Word & Image

February 19 - May 14, 2010

Opening Reception

Saturday, February 19, 6-8pm

Meet many of the artists and celebrate the exhibition opening at 516 ARTS with live music with Frontera Bugalu. The Frontera Bugalu ensemble combines popular afro-latin styles with the border sound, including Mexican and South-American cumbias, merengues and rancheras. Their music highlights the roots of Latin music, as well as composers from the El Paso, Cd. Juarez, and borderland areas, with arrangements of songs composed by historical figures such as Perez Prado, Fito Olivarez, Rigo Tovar as well as little known composers from El Paso’s past, such as Don Tostis.

Artist Talk with Pepón Osorio & Amalia Mesa-Bains

Sunday February 20, 1pm

Join The Albuquerque Museum and 516 ARTS for a talk with very special guest artists Pepón Osorio from Philadelphia and Dr. Amalia Mesa-Bains from San Francisco. Best known for his large-scale installations, Pepón Osorio merges conceptual art and community dynamics, emphasizing the exhibition space as an intermediary between the social architecture of communities and the art world. Amalia Mesa-Bains, a pioneer of altar-based installations, draws upon ancient and cross-cultural altar-building traditions while engaging contemporary theories of loss, cultural and psychological ruins, and the possibilities of resistant cultural memory. This event takes place at The Albuquerque Museum, 2000 Mountain Rd. NW, 505-243-7255,

Latino_a Imaginary Image

Each and Her - Reading by Valerie Martínez

Saturday, March 5, 2pm

Each and Her is a book-length, collage poem that addresses the murders of over 500 women in Juárez, Mexico since 1993. The poem engages with works of contemporary Mexican poets, photographers, and painters; American theologians; Latin American and Chicano writers; Martínez’s own memories of traveling to Juarez as a young girl, as well as facts about the maquiladora industry and the cultivation of roses. It is a wide-ranging poem, which reckons with femicide in its relation to memory, geography, literature, and religion.

Free admission

The Cutting Edge - Papel Picado workshop

Saturday, March 12, 10am-noon

Papel Picado (literally perforated paper) is a 300-year old Mexican folk art. This style of paper cutting derives from the interaction of Pre-Columbian, European and Asian materials and traditions. Now it is most recognizable in the tissue-paper banners decorating Mexican fiestas and ceremonies while combining an eclectic history of (New) Mexican and Chinese origins, foreshadowing the language of stencil art, and finally bridging an analog form of drawing and cutting images with an almost digital sense of positive versus negative space. 
Kai Margarida-Ramírez de Arellano is an Albuquerque-raised, New York-based artist who combines the tradition of Papel Picado with pop culture and political subject matter. She blends Chicano and Puerto Rican aesthetics and creates intergenerational collaborations to (re)tell her personal, family, and cultural history. She will lead a workshop discussing the history of this art form as well as providing step-by-step instruction on designing and cutting your own Mexican-style paper cuts. 
Info/register: 505-242-1445,


Gallery Talk

Saturday, March 12, 2pm

Join Curator Dr. Holly Barnet-Sanchez and artists Kai Margarida-Ramirez and Elena Baca for a talk in the gallery about the exhibition Latino/a Visual Imaginary: Intersection of Word & Image at 516 ARTS, focusing on the connectedness between contemporary Latino arts and literature. Barnet-Sanchez says “The relationships between the visual, literary and performing arts are especially close and intertwined within Latino communities across the country. Many visual artists are also writers, musicians, performance artists and actors. This project explores the role of narrative as visual, verbal and textual within the lived Latino/a experience.” The exhibition features the work of exceptional women artists including Dr. Amalia Mesa-Bains, Viva Paredes, Kai Margarida-Ramirez, Elena Baca and Yreina Cervantez.

Free admission.


516 WORDS Reading

Saturday, March 26, 8pm

516 ARTS presents an evening of poetry and music in the gallery, featuring New Mexico Latina poets Cathy Arellano, Andrea Serrano, Jessica Helen Lopez, Georgia Santa Maria and Maria Leyba.
Free admission.

March events are part of the Women & Creativity series organized by the National Hispanic Cultural Center. For more information, visit


East Coast/Southwest—Latino Literary Imagination

Thursday, April 14 - Sunday, April 16

Conference at multiple locations. For information, call 505-277-0564 or visit


Conference Reception at 516 ARTS

Friday, April 15, 6-8pm

Celebrating East Coast/Southwest—Latino Literary Imagination conference, with live music, open to the public.

images above:

The Curandera's Botánica by Amalia Mesa-Bains

Drowned in a Glass of Water (detail) by Pepón Osorio

My Pocha Tongues by Viviana Paredes