Latin American and Latino Art in LA

Latin American and Latino Art in LA

Samin Champion, Staff Writer

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is an event hosted by the Getty Foundation that explores and celebrates Latin American and Latino art in SoCal. PST: LA/LA is the successor to the event called Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1945-1980.  

Getty’s Media relations supervisor Julie Jaskol said that in 2011 the Getty created PST: Art in Los Angeles 1945-1980. “It looked at the Los Angeles art world after the world war and it was a big collaboration of over 60 exhibitors, it ranged from Santa Barbara to San Diego and Palm Springs and it was a very successful initiative.”

James Cuno, president and CEO of the Getty Trust says that the topic for this PST was chosen as  Latin American and Latino art for two reasons. “One, there is the historic connection Los Angeles has to Latin America,” he also explains that “the other is the demographics of this soon-to-be Hispanic city.”

A study from the Los Angeles Times notes ,“the new tally, released in late June, shows that as of July 1, 2014, about 14.99 million Latinos live in California, edging out the 14.92 million whites in the state.”

With this bold and creative initiative, Southern California museums embed itself even further into the community of California by identifying and humanizing one of its many minority groups currently under attack in an attempt to honor their culture.

Jaskol continues, “We hope to add a huge sector to art history, one that looks at Latin America. I think in this country we tend to think that our history begins and ends with Europe and New York, and we hope that historians will now also look at Latin American artist.”

A curator of one of PST: LA/LA ‘s more prominent exhibits, Cecilia Fajardo-Hill says, “what is happening is a result of what’s been happening academically over the last 20-something years.”  She adds, “I think it’s the U.S. recognizing the incredible relevance of Latin America and Latino culture on our continent.”

While the reason for the museums teaming up was to celebrate Latino and Latin American culture the events, the museums aren’t just limited to that, the California African-American Museum will be participating in the events of PST: LA/LA. The event involves more than 70 cultural institutions and stretches from San Diego to Palm Springs.

In light of this event, it’s important to realize that it’s not only limited to those of Latino descent, it’s a way to unify and connect the occupants of Los Angeles. This event should be used to deepen our history and cultural connections not only as individuals, but as a community.

PST: LA/LA will be celebrated for four months with performances and exhibitions which officially began on September 14th in the SoCal area.

“Our hope is that this isn’t a one-off,” said Cuno. “This isn’t the end of the story—it’s just the beginning.”