February 18, 2021, San Francisco, CA–SOMArts’ 11th Curatorial Residency season continues with CARAVANA: Mobilizing Central American Art (1984 – Present), launching Wednesday, March 10–April 15, 2021. Curated by Fátima Ramírez, Mauricio Ramírez, and Josué Rojas, CARAVANA: Mobilizing Central American Art (1984–Present) is a multidisciplinary traveling exhibition that centers U.S. Central American artists living in California as well as across the United States. This exhibition examines their lived experiences in relation to the impacts of mass migration, family separation, and the legacy of political action and solidarity with the people of Central America.
As Salvadoran curators raised in the U.S. after their parents fled the Civil War, Fátima Ramírez, Mauricio Ramírez, and Josué Rojas drew inspiration from the 1984 Artist Call Against U.S. Intervention, which mobilized thousands of artists across the U.S. to join in the solidarity movement with the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. This call led to the creation of the PLACA murals at Balmy Alley and the Sanctuary Movement in San Francisco.
Exhibiting artists include renowned Bay Area muralist Juana Alicia, whose large scale projects weave together themes of social justice, human rights, and our relationship to land as a means to imagine a more just and humane world. Painter Kiara Machado, and visual artist, filmmaker, muralist, and educator Michelle Angela Ortiz connect their creative practices to uplift the stories of under/misrepresented Central American communities from Southern California to Pennsylvania. Along with curating the exhibition, Josué Rojas joins the roster of artists with works that “harness the dialectical quality innately found in art.”
The exhibition launches with a free, virtual opening reception on Thursday, March 11, 6:00–8:00 PM PST featuring DJ Femme Papi, Kiara Machado, Ozi Fedome, Dr. Oriel Maria Siu, and Maya Chinchilla. Through storytelling and discussion, the virtual opening reception invites exhibiting artists to speak truths, and in turn, humanize the experiences of a community who has been the subject of racist, xenophobic representation perpetuated by institutions of power.
RAICES MIGRANT(ES) is a two part storytelling and art workshop that will take place on Friday, March 26 and Friday, April 9, 4:00–6:00 PM. These virtual workshops invite migrant youth from CARECEN’s Raices program to dig deeper into personal and family stories of migration, and Central American history, identity, and resilience. Raices youth are offered an exciting opportunity to publish their first person testimonios in the bilingual legacy newspaper, El Tecolote.
Public programs conclude with a free, virtual screening of Las Madres de Berks on Tuesday, April 13, 4:00–5:30 PM PST. Directed and produced by Michelle Angela Ortiz, this groundbreaking documentary tells the story of four Central American mothers who were detained for two years with their children at The Berks County Residential Center, a family prison in Pennsylvania.
CARAVANA: Mobilizing Central American Art (1984–Present) uplifts Central American creativity, resourcefulness, and self-determination. Through the virtual gallery experience and programs, curators this exhibition affirms the importance of cultural production and power in building international solidarity.
Alicia María Siu
DJ Femme Papi
Juan R. Fuentes
Kiara Aileen Machado
Maria Ester Garcia
Marina P. Wong
Michelle Angela Ortiz
Oriel Maria Siu
Rebeca Abidail Flores
The programming for this exhibition is done in partnership with
Public programs are free and all-ages unless otherwise stated
CARAVANA: Mobilizing Central American Art (1984–Present)
Exhibition run: March 10–April 15, 2021
Virtual Gallery on view: March 10, 2021
The second exhibition of SOMArts’ 11th Curatorial Residency season, CARAVANA: Mobilizing Central American Art (1984–Present) centers Central American artists who examine their lived experiences in relation to mass migration, family separation, and the legacy of political action and solidarity with the people of Central America.
To learn more, visit: https://somarts.org/event/caravana
Virtual Opening Reception & Artist Discussion
Thursday, March 11, 6:00–8:00 PM PST
Celebrate the virtual opening reception of the exhibition with DJ Femme Papi, performances by Grupo Folklorico Maíz, poetry performed by Maya Chinchilla, an artist discussion with Kiara Machado, Ozi, and Dr. Oriel Maria Siu, who will also be reading her recently published book “Rebeldita the Fearless in Orgeland.”
To learn more, visit: https://somarts.org/event/caravanaopening/
RAICES MIGRANT(ES) Storytelling Workshops, closed event
Friday, March 26, 4:00–6:00 PM PST
Friday, April 9, 4:00–6:00 PM PST
These free, virtual writing and art workshops focus on our stories of migration, Central American history, identity, and resilience by participants ages 14-24 years old. This is a closed event reserved only for migrant youth from CARECEN’s “Raices” youth program.
To learn more, visit: https://somarts.org/caravanaworkshop
Take Action! Mobilizing Towards Family Reunification
Film Screening “Las Madres de Berks” documentary and Q&A with award-winning artist Michelle Angela Ortiz
Tuesday, April 13, 4:00–5:30 PM PST
Las Madres de Berks documentary (30 min) shares the testimonials of four Central American mothers who were detained for two years with their children at The Berks County Residential Center, a family prison in Pennsylvania, and have since been released and reunited with their children.
To learn more, visit: https://somarts.org/event/caravanafilm/
ABOUT SOMARTS CULTURAL CENTER
SOMArts Cultural Center, founded in 1979, cultivates access to the arts within the Bay Area by collaborating with community-focused artists and organizations. Together, we engage the power of the arts to provoke just and fair inclusion, cultural respect and civic participation.
SOMArts plays a vital role in the arts ecosystem by helping activate the arts citywide. We do this by providing space and production support for non-profit events, as well as fairs and festivals throughout the Bay Area, and offering a robust program of art exhibitions, classes, events and performances that are affordable and accessible to all. SOMArts’ exhibition programs receive critical support from the San Francisco Arts Commission and The San Francisco Foundation, and are sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.
SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan Street—between 8th and 9th—within 2 blocks of 101, I-80, Muni lines and bike paths.
For public information call 415-863-1414 or visit somarts.org. Stay connected by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.