This July, the Bronx Museum of the Arts is presenting two distinct exhibits showcasing art from New York City.
With, ¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York, the museum is leading a multi-site exhibition on the radical Puerto Rican social activist group, highlighting the movement’s visual elements.
Bronx Calling: The Third AIM Biennial, shows off the work of 72 New York-based artists who have participated in the museum’s collaborative residency program, called Artists in the Marketplace.
The exhibit on the Young Lords in New York, who were concentrated in East Harlem and the south Bronx in the 1960s, explores the group’s fight for reforms in health care, public health, housing, employment and policing.
Similar exhibits are on view at El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem and Loisiada Inc. on the Lower East Side.
The museum combined art related to the movement with photographs, literature from the group, documentary video and other memorabilia to convey the multiple facets of the group’s activism, such as the women within the group.
Highlights include front pages from the Young Lord’s newspaper ‘Palante’ and prints from the Taller Boricua.
“It’s about the intersection of art and activism,” said adjunct curator Yasmin Ramírez.
Viewers get a sense of the iconography that came out of the movement, which has continued to inspire artists.
“They had a very big impact on the visual culture of New York,” said Ramírez.
The materials, which are both visually compelling and educational, expand people’s view of the social movements in the late 60s, said guest curator and scholar Johanna Fernández.
“One of the reasons the exhibit is important is it reorganizes our perception and understanding of what happened across the country and in New York,” she said.
¡Presente! is on view at the Bronx Museum from July 2 through October 15.
The exhibit, a biennial show of the museum’s Artist in the Marketplace residency, highlights the work of dozens of emerging New York-based artists.
The AIM program, which provides up and coming artists with an education in the business side of art, has been run from the Bronx Museum for almost 35 years.
“The museum’s had a long history here with emerging artists,” said museum director Holly Block.
The artists chosen for the program meet weekly to discuss things like copyright law, gallery representation, grant writing and marketing, and gain access to important resources.
“It’s a very practical program,” said Laura Napier, independent curator and AIM alum.
In addition, the artists receive the support of the museum and each other.
“It was a really fantastic opportunity to form a community,” said Napier.
The curators looked to include pieces that are particularly representative of the artists’ work, said Hautey Ramos-Fermin, the museum’s curator of education.
The pieces in the exhibit include sculptures, paintings, photography, video and multimedia works on a myriad of themes.
“The artists are so diverse,” Ramos-Fermin.
For many of the artists, the show is the first time their work has been displayed in a museum, an incredibly important milestone in their career, said Ramos-Fermin.
“This is a big opportunity,” said Napier.
Bronx Calling is on view from July 15, when there will be an opening reception, through September 20. More information can be found at www.bronx