Cultivating Collections: Works by Latinx and Latin American Artists
The WCU Fine Art Museum collects contemporary art of the Americas and aims to represent American artists in the broadest sense of the term. When we use the term “American,” we are referring to North, Central, and South America. We strive for our collection to reflect the varied cultural landscape of the Americas by collecting and exhibiting artists who align with a multiplicity of cultural and national identities within this geographical framework.
One of the areas that the Museum seeks to expand is its holdings of work by Latinx and Latin American artists. At present, the Museum’s Latinx and Latin American holdings include works by artists who identify as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Colombian, Mexican, and Maya. The collection contains books, textiles, 2-D mixed media, and prints.
This area of our collection grew greatly in 2015 when the Museum turned it's attention to artists working in San Cristóbal de las Casas, a city in Chiapas, Mexico and the sister city of Asheville. Relationships were developed with several artist groups near San Cristóbal, including Taller Leñateros, a bookbinding and papermaking workshop made up of female Maya artists, and four communities of Maya fiber artists located in Chiapas and Yucatán state. Two exhibitions highlighted contemporary Maya artist books and textiles: Tomb to Taller in 2015 and Language of Weaving in 2016. Over 35 Maya weavings and artist books were purchased for the collection as a result of these projects.
Taller Leñateros is a community of Maya printmakers, papermakers, and book artists in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Enjoy a video tour of the workshop and explore some of their techniques and materials used to make artist books. Unlike traditional books, artist books are often published in small editions, though they are sometimes produced as one-of-a-kind objects that challenge the conventional book format and become sculptural objects.
The dynamic video tour from Taller Leñateros will be led in Spanish by two members of the collective, along with English subtitles.
Many of these objects are also featured in, Cultivating Collections: Works by Latinx and Latin American Artists, currently on display. View more of their work by taking our interactive 360° tour.
Cultivating Collections is a multi-year series of exhibitions that highlights specific areas of the WCU Fine Art Museum’s Collection, which includes over 1,800 works of art in a wide range of media by artists of the Americas. As the Museum’s holdings increase, either through donations or purchases, it is essential for the Museum to evaluate strengths, identify key acquisition areas, and also pinpoint where significant change is needed. LEARN MORE.