Conundrum Press

Juliana Aragón Fatula Writes for Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit

April 11th, 2015  |  Published in Press

Last month, Conundrum Press poet Juliana Aragón Fatula joined Latino writers and scholars to contribute supplementary prose as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibition “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art.”

Juliana Aragón Fatula.

Juliana Aragón Fatula / Photo by Tracy Harmon

When the traveling exhibition arrived at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City at the end of March, Aragón Fatula and 12 other Latino writers and scholars created ekphrastic prose — prose that describes visual art — to accompany the pieces, thereby giving the art a voice and marrying the writers’ and artists’ works.

The Salt Lake City exhibition will be in place until June 28.

“(The exhibition) was created to give artists and writers with a common goal, a platform to start a conversation about what is American art,” Aragón Fatula said. “Latino artists have been left out of U.S. art history until now. As an educator it makes me proud to know we are changing history by including Latino Art as part of American Art at the Smithsonian.”

Aragón Fatula credited Francisco Aragon, director of the Letras Latina Institute for Latino Literature at the University of Notre Dame, with the idea of creating the exhibit.

“(It was) his idea to combine Latino artists with Latino writers and to create a conversation about what is Latino Art and to build a community of writers and artists with the same goal: to bring attention to the exhibit and to change the concept of American Art to include Latino art,” she said.

According to the Smithsonian’s website, the exhibition “presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-twentieth century.” The exhibition has been in Washington, D.C., Miami and Sacramento. After Salt Lake City, it will travel to Arkansas, Delaware, Florida and Tennessee.

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