As part of its mission to "increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas", the Americas Society curates a small gallery space on Park Avenue. The Society energetically follows the state of contemporary art in Latin America and brings influential emerging artists, and the issues they are confronting, to New York. The Society's efforts extend well beyond the gallery, with lectures, concerts, and classes that delve into Latin American and Caribbean culture. But the gallery remains the easiest introduction to the goals of the Society and serves as the thematic anchor driving other Society events. If what you see in an exhibit interests you, the Society will have several ways to continue the discussion. If not, wait for the next one.
...to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural herigate of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship
What You Will See
With its focus on contemporary issues, the society does not maintain a permanent collection of historic artwork. Rather, the gallery curates a series of art exhibitions, usually showcasing contemporary Latin American artists. Artists selected for exhibition are socially conscious and their work is often a controversial commentary on the political and economic challenges confronted by Latin Americans. The Society seeks to educate, so each exhibition is accompanied by a full calendar of lectures, tours, concerts, and films, expanding on the themes introduced in the small gallery. The gallery, located on the ground floor of the Park Avenue mansion that houses the rest of the Americas Society, is free, though the many associated events often request admission from non-society members.
Why You Should Go
As home to the United Nations as well as large immigrant communities, New York City is uniquely endowed with dozens of Societies, Houses and Committees focused on promoting cultural and political awareness of a particular country or region. As the countries of Latin America increasingly influence the global conversation, the art and culture produced in Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Chile and others become relevant on an international stage. Artists from these areas are no longer regional curiosities, but active participants in the global artistic conversations. The Americas Society brings evidence of this ongoing evolution to your doorstep. You may find your new favorite artist is a Caraqueno photographer or a Porteno experimental filmmaker.
Feliciano Centurion receives his first solo exhibition in the United States almost 25 years after his death. The Paraguayan artist reached his peak in the 90s combining traditional folk art with modern social activism. The majority of the works on display are delightful and colorful textiles featuring animated crabs, shrimp, and octopus. Also on view are sketches from the artist and personal philosophies embroidered onto pillows. It is a charming exhibition and brings long-overdue credit to an amazing artist.