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Contemporary serigraph exhibition features vivid imagery by Latino/Chicano artists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 3, 2016

TACOMA… Featuring vivid colors and sometimes startling imagery, the works in traveling exhibition Estamos Aquí (We Are Here) encourage audiences to ask questions about the nature of cross-cultural exchange and discover how artists find their voice through personal experiences that become part of the artistic process. 

The engaging exhibition, which opens Nov. 10 at the Washington State History Museum, features contemporary serigraphs by 40 artists who took an opportunity to learn a specialized silkscreen print technique during a collaborative Austin-based residency. Many of the artists are speaking from the Latino/Chicano perspective, and the resulting portfolio of prints expresses their celebrations, sorrows, challenges, popular culture, and personal experiences. 

A complex assemblage of ethnicity, cultural heritage and languages represents the American story connected by many strands that speak to universal themes. The subject matter in Estamos Aquí is as diverse as its creators, and it celebrates ideas like identity and sense of place. 

For example, Alec Dempster’s work, Maiz Moderno, is a statement on the cultural understanding that can come from the sharing of food. Artist Sandra Fernandez encapsulates the spirit of being a Latina mother and daughter within the context of society and the “new codes” she has learned by living in the U.S. 

The visual language drawn from varied traditions—including family and religious symbols, political motifs, the Mexican Luche Libre matches, neighborhood (barrio) themes, and Mexican graphic traditions—enlivens the aesthetic dialogue of the exhibition. In addition to 40 framed prints, Estamos Aquí is accompanied by fully bilingual gallery text and labels, as well as a short film that outlines the artistic process. 

The Washington State History Museum, located at 1911 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission for members is always free. Paid admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, students and active duty or retired military with ID, and free for children under 5. Patrons with a Washington Quest card can attend for $1 per person or $2 per family. Admission is free after 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month when the Museum stays open until 8 p.m. 

Estamos Aquí (We Are Here) is curated and organized by Brad Cushman, curator and gallery director at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), which sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 communities across the country every year. M-AAA is the oldest nonprofit regional arts organization in the United States. More information is available at www.maaa.org and www.eusa.org.