Interviews

 E. Carmen Ramos is associate curator for Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Currently she is organizing the 2013 exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, which will present selections from SAAM’s pioneering collection of Latino Art and consider how Latino artists recalibrated the major themes of American national identity and participated in the country’s artistic movements. Before coming to the Smithsonian, she was assistant curator for cultural engagement at the Newark Museum in New Jersey and an independent curator. Dr. Ramos organized the exhibitions The Caribbean Abroad: Latino Artists and Migration (2003), America’s Pastime: Portraits of the Dominican Dream, Works by Freddy Rodríguez (2005), and A Mexican Museum of Modern Art: A Project by Franco Mondini-Ruiz (2007), among others. She served as co-curator for El Museo del Barrio’s 2007 Biennial, The S-Files, an on-going exhibition series that presents the latest contemporary art created by Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American artists currently working in the greater New York area.

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Juan Pineda is DC-based visual artist whose distinct style, also characterized as urban pop, combined with his connection to traditions resulted in unique mural work in the aera. Influenced by many great legendary artists and the controversial movement of graffit art. Pineda has built a personal portfolio with murals, graphic design, Illustration, concept drawing and video production. He has received the Proclamation Award from the City of Hyattsville for his mural entitled; “In Memory of Freddy”. Besides creating original work of art, he is also specilized in restoration and preservation of public art. In 2005, Pineda was recognized by The Washington Post for restoring the last and only remaining Latino outdoor mural in Washington DC, entitled; “A People without Murals Is A Demuralized People” 1977. Pineda consults and works closely with non-profit organizations and is represented by local art galleries.

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Since 2001, Nicaraguan artist Jorge Somarriba has been a full-time art teacher and an artist-in-residence at Norwood School. A professional artist since 1979 and an art teacher since 1988 in elementary and secondary education. Jorge has created over 50 interior and exterior multicultural mural paintings and mosaics in the Washington DC metro area, and posters on celebrating Diversity. In 1987 Jorge received the Mayor’s Art Award for Outstanding Emerging Artist bestowed by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Alma Thomas prize in painting at American University.

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Born in San Salvador, Karla Cecilia Rodas Cortez (Karlisima) is a renowned award-winning artist.Thanks to her mother, Karlisima began formal drawing and painting classes at the age of seven with Master Armando Solís. In December 1984, Karlisima  arrived with her siblings in the USA in Alexandria, Virginia, and the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area to be reunited with her mother. Her devotion to the arts has garnered her numerous awards including a recognition given by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for her contribution to the Arts as “a National Hispanic Heritage Pride” for her exhibit titled “Magic, Myth and the American Way.”  She has received numerous grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, as well as being featured as one of the ten most recognized Salvadoran-Americans in the book titled “Salvadorans in America.” Karlisima has exhibited extensively around the world, most recently in London, in July 2005, and in Germany in September 2005, and November 2006. Karlisima is a full-time artist.

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Joel Bergner is a mural/ street artist and educator whose work focuses on issues of culture, social justice, and telling the stories of those who have been ignored or misunderstood by society.Working primarily in spray paint, acrylic paint, stencil and mosaic, Bergner has created large public murals in US cities such as Washington DC, San Francisco, New York City, Baltimore, Chicago, and Newark, as well in Brazil, Cuba, Poland, El Salvador, and Peru. His mural projects often feature collaborations with human rights and youth-based organizations, most notably the International Rescue Committee, the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the Boys & Girls Club, and Amnesty International, who invited him to be a featured artist at their Human Rights Art Festival in 2010. Joel has also created public art projects based on his own research and interviews, including murals about the plight of global refugees, survivors of domestic violence, Afro-Colombians displaced by political violence, the Civil War in El Salvador and latino immigration. He was awarded the “Best Public Mural of 2004” by the mural arts organization Precita Eyes in San Francisco.

 

 

Documentary: Muralism DC, 15 min. Vimeo