Allentown to host traveling Smithsonian exhibition

Allentown, PA—This summer the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley will celebrate the extraordinary creativity of Latino artists by presenting Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, a major collection of modern and contemporary Latino art on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Opening on Sunday, June 26, and continuing through October 2, the exhibition presents eighty-nine works by seventy-one artists who participated in various artistic styles and movements. Fifth Street will be closed in front of the Museum on opening day as Hector Rosado y Orquesta Haché performs outside while inside the Museum admission is free noon–4 p.m., a panel discussion with Our America artists happens at 1 p.m., and free tours in both English and Spanish are led starting at 2 p.m. (For a schedule of all programing related to the exhibition, see bottom of attached press release.)

OUR AMERICA--Castillo 47 Chevy
Oscar R. Castillo, ‘47 Chevy in Wilmington, California, 1972, printed 2012, inkjet print. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment. © 2012, Oscar R. Castillo

Artists featured in the exhibition—which begins in Trexler Hall and continues upstairs in Scheller, Rodale, and Fowler Galleries—reflect the rich diversity of Latino communities in the United States, including those of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican descent as well as other Latin American groups with deep roots here. By presenting works by artists of different generations and regions, the exhibition reveals recurring themes among Latino artists. (For complete details of the exhibition, go to and click on the Our America banner.) “The relationship between Latino art and the larger world of American art in the post-War period is not simple or clear cut,” said E. Carmen Ramos, curator of the exhibition and of Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, who will be in Allentown to speak about Our America on September 11. “Some artists, influenced by the activism of Latino civil rights movements, turned away from pure formalist discourse to tackle the pressing issues of the day. Others artists wholeheartedly embraced abstraction. An even larger group inhabited multiple worlds, infusing avant-garde modes with politically and culturally engaged themes.”

Carlos Almaraz, Night Magic (Blue Jester), 1988, oil. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of GloriaWerner. © 1988, Carlos Almaraz Estate
Carlos Almaraz, Night Magic (Blue Jester), 1988, oil. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of GloriaWerner. © 1988, Carlos Almaraz Estate

Artists featured in the exhibition are ADÁL, Manuel Acevedo, Elia Alba, Olga Albizu, Carlos Almaraz, Jesse Amado, Asco (Harry Gamboa Jr., Gronk, Willie Herrón and Patssi Valdez), Luis Cruz Azaceta, Myrna Báez, Guillermo Bejarano, Charles “Chaz” Bojórquez, María Brito, Margarita Cabrera, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Melesio “Mel” Casas, Leonard Castellanos, Oscar R. Castillo, José Cervantes, Enrique Chagoya, Roberto Chavez, Carlos A. Cortéz, Marcos Dimas, Ricardo Favela, Christina Fernandez, Teresita Fernández, iliana emilia garcía, Rupert García, Scherezade García, Carmen Lomas Garza, Ignacio Gomez, Ken Gonzales-Day, Hector González, Luis C. “Louie the Foot” González, Muriel Hasbun, Ester Hernandez, Judithe Hernández, Carmen Herrera, Carlos Irizarry, Luis Jiménez, Miguel Luciano, Emanuel Martinez, María Martínez-Cañas, Antonio Martorell, Ana Mendieta, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Delilah Montoya, Malaquias Montoya, Abelardo Morell, Jesús Moroles, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Pepón Osorio, Amado M. Peña Jr., Chuck Ramirez, Paul Henry Ramirez, Sophie Rivera, Arturo Rodríguez, Freddy Rodríguez, Joseph Rodríguez, Frank Romero, Emilio Sánchez, Juan Sánchez, Jorge Soto Sánchez, Rafael Soriano, Ruben Trejo, Jesse Treviño, John M. Valadez, Alberto Valdés and Xavier Viramontes. 

  • An audio tour of select works in Our America is available online at or by phone at 610-628-2232. 
  • An exhibition catalog is available in the Museum Store for $40 and includes essays by scholar Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and curator E. Carmen Ramos.
  • For updates and images from the show, follow the Museum on Twitter and Instagram (#OurAmerica) at @AtownArtMuseum and on Facebook at AllentownArtMuseum. 



Our America is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by Altria Group, the Honorable Aida M. Alvarez, Judah Best, The James F. Dicke Family Endowment, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, Tania and Tom Evans, Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, The Michael A. and the Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello Endowment, Henry R. Muñoz III, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank. Additional significant support was provided by The Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Support for “Treasures to Go,” the museum’s traveling exhibition program, comes from The C. F. Foundation, Atlanta. Our America has been supported at the Allentown Art Museum through the generosity of the Air Products Foundation, the Amaranth Foundation, the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, the Century Fund, the County of Lehigh, the Estelle Browne-Pallrand Charitable Trust, the Harry C. Trexler Trust, the Julius and Katheryn Hommer Foundation, the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation, the Rider-Pool Foundation, Rodale, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and our Museum Friends. 

About the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley

The Allentown Art Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that participates in the cultural, educational, and economic life of the Lehigh Valley. Defined by a unique combination of tradition and innovation, our collections, educational partnerships, collaborative and community based programs, and exhibitions are dedicated to inspiring the broadest possible public engagement, access, and service. For more information please visit 

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. Its National Historic Landmark building is located at Eighth and F streets N.W. in Washington, D.C, above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (closed December 25). Admission is free. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website:

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Information provided by:
Chris Potash
Manager of Marketing and Public Relations
Allentown Art Museum
31 N. Fifth Street
Allentown, PA 18101