The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC and The Americas Research Network (ARENET) present the world premiere of Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers / Soñadores + creadores del cambio. The exhibition will showcase for the first time in Canada the rich traditions of 33 Xicanx artists, whose art practices draw on their Mexican-American heritage and generations of activism that began as part of El Movimiento, the Chicano civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s in the U.S.
A celebration of the many Xicanx artists who have and continue to combine art and activism in the vital, ongoing fight for social justice for all.
Xicanx is jointly curated by Greta de León, Executive Director of The Americas Research Network, and Jill Baird, Curator of Education at MOA.
Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers
- When: May 12, 2022–January 1, 2023
- Where: 6393 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver
- Tickets: Available online
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“Xicanx” – the neutral grammatical gender of Chicano/a – is a term that transcends borders and gender to represent the lived, multigenerational experiences of Xicanx people’s personal, social and political activism. Largely identifying as Mexican American, Xicanx artists encompass many diverse backgrounds, including Mestizo/a (mixed ancestry with an Indigenous background), feminist, queer, non-binary, immigrant, and more.
Working across all artistic mediums, Xicanx artists began their activism through art in the 1960s and 70s, rooted in the wider U.S. civil rights movement, and remain essential to the movement towards social justice today, speaking to issues of borders and immigration, racism and hate crimes, identity and belonging.
Xicanx features artworks by 33 Mexican American artists from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, New York and Texas, most exhibiting in Canada for the first time. The exhibition is centered around five themes: neighbourhoods, identity, borderlands, home, and activism. The works span from 1970 to 2022, and encompass predominantly paintings and prints, but also sculptural works, multimedia, and a newly commissioned, site-specific altar installation with a spoken-word video component celebrating “Rasquachismo,” a term coined by eminent Chicano scholar Tomás Ybarra Frausto.
Each theme will be accompanied by quotes from Xicanx writers, scholars or artists, thereby centering the voices of the community as the authors of their own story. Representing an expansive collection of Xicanx works, diverse in form, aesthetic, and theme, the curatorial variety showcases an inherent strength in the movement’s diversity of thought, influence, and practice, while inclusive of their shared intercultural and intersectional identities.
The exhibition is accompanied by Xicanx Digital, an online platform with artists’ contributions and essays on Xicanx film, food, music and murals.
Related: Museum of Anthropology