DePaul Art Museum > About > Latinx Initiative

Latinx Initiative

DePaul Art Museum’s Latinx Initiative formalizes the museum’s ongoing efforts toward fostering Latinx representation and participation in museum exhibitions, collections, and public programs. The initiative is a multi-year research inquiry focused on artists of Latinx heritage living and working in the United States.


“The goal is to change art history, to make sure that the range of artists and experiences in the United States in 2020 are adequately represented in our collection and exhibitions,” says Julie Rodrigues Widholm, former DPAM Director and Chief Curator. “We want to expand not just representation, but participation so that everyone feels empowered to be a contributor to contemporary culture." 


DPAM’s Interim Director, Laura-Caroline de Lara adds, “As we consider the future of the museum field and our relevance to our city’s and university’s diverse communities, our hope is that initiatives like ours at DePaul Art Museum will become commonplace, rather than newsworthy, as we continually adopt steps and principles around inclusion and equity that, all along, should have been the driving forces behind each of our organizations.”


The Latinx Initiative includes curatorial research and exhibitions, as well as collection and community-building, and cultivating opportunities for student engagement. From January 7–August 15, 2021, the entire museum will be dedicated to LatinXAmerican, an intergenerational group exhibition featuring nearly 40 Latinx artists from Chicago and beyond. The exhibition assesses the presence and absence of Latinx artists in DePaul Art Museum’s collection, and reflects efforts to build in this area as part of this multi-year initiative to increase the visibility of Latinx artists and voices in museums, working towards equity and lasting transformation. 



Under the initiative, the museum will seek to expand its holdings of work by Latinx artists, building on work currently represented in the collection by artists such as Candida Alvarez, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Martín Chambi, Ester Hernandez, Harold Mendez, Graciela Iturbide, Angel Otero, Diego Rivera, and Edra Soto. Works recently acquired in the past months by Chicago-based artists Maria Gaspar, Melissa Leandro, Nicole Marroquín, Yvette Mayorga, and others, will be featured in the upcoming exhibition.


Efforts related to the Latinx Initiative will be interwoven into the museum's programming and other exhibitions throughout the next three years, with the goal of creating a strong foundation for this work to continue at DPAM well into the future.


DPAM uses the term "Latinx" as a nonbinary, gender-inclusive alternative to Latino or Latina for people of Latin American heritage living primarily in the United States. The term acknowledges people who identify along the gender spectrum. The “x” is a variable that is intended to signal support for marginalized individuals. It is important to note that not every artist in our upcoming exhibitions or programs identifies as a Latinx artist, some prefer national, racial, and/or ethnic designations of identity. DPAM respects and supports all forms of self-identification.

Click here to read the press release.