Latino Artists in The Spotlight
by Meredith Cutler
For those of us living in Boston’s MetroWest region, it’s a given that for the best pupusas, or to catch a Capoeira practice, a visit to Framingham is a sure bet. The town is a known enclave of Latino businesses, from hole-in-the wall taco stands to Columbian bakeries to Brazilian … everything. But “Latino,” this pan-ethnic label of a population predicted to claim the US majority by 2070, can be hard to pin down.
To help us access the enormity of the Latino identity and the idea of “Latini- zation” today from an art world stand- point, enter Framingham’s Fountain Street Fine Art (FSFA). This summer, FSFA hosts the New England edition of “We Are You Project International,” a traveling exhibition of 36 contempo- rary Latino artists and poets with roots in over a dozen Latin American nations. Launched in 2012 by artist Raúl Villarreal with a show at New York City’s Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba House, the We Are You initiative was envisioned as a spotlight on the contributions of U.S.-Latinos within America’s history in the context of socio-political struggles for civil rights, tolerance and freedom. It is the first comprehensive, 21st Century, coast-to-coast exhibition of its kind, as well as the first traveling exhibition hosted by FSFA.
Gallery co-director Marie Craig revis- ited how FSFA first connected with Villarreal about 18 months ago: “We were thinking about how to tap into local diversity and get our neighbors to meet each other. I researched and found this ready-made exhibition and we started to talk.”