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Traction: Art Talk with Delilah Montoya

Image credit: Delilah Montoya; Delilah Montoya, Jackie Chavez (2006), photograph
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
online event
Presented by: 
Institute of the Arts and Sciences

A conversation with artist Delilah Montoya on her groundbreaking art practice.

For artist Delilah Montoya, transforming the past is a communal act in which revered symbols and their mystical and spiritual qualities are reborn in photographic representation. Montoya's image-making quest is about the discovery and articulation of Chicano culture, as well as the icons which elucidate the dense history of New Mexico. Her work is an autobiographical exploration that has far reaching implications for both her community and the preservation of its unique history. She states, "As a Chicana artist, my work, interpreted as an alternative to the mainstream, stands as a personal statement that evokes an identity." Montoya’s Traction: Art Talk will cover her groundbreaking artistic practice, with formats ranging from large, colorful photographs to intriguing assemblages of gauche, printing, and photography, and topics such as women boxers, contemporary Casta portraits, sacred heart collotypes, and a mural-sized Guadalupana installation.

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Free and open to the public
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Delilah Montoya was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1955. Her early work was inspired by Cartier-Bresson's notion of “decisive moment.” Soon thereafter, this documentary method gave way to alternative approaches that incorporated mark-making and graphic skills with photographic processes. Currently, Montoya is an emeritus professor at the University of Houston in the School of Art. She has lectured at the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe, the Albuquerque Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, and the Wight Gallery at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2021, she was honored with the U.S. Latinx Art Forum (USLAF) Latinx Artist Fellowship. Montoya is an Artadia awardee, as well as a recipient of the Richard T. Castro Distinguished Visiting Professorship. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States, including New Mexico, Texas, New York, and California, as well as internationally in Puerto Rico, Russia, Japan, France, and Mexico. Montoya's work also resides in the Smithsonian Collections. Several of her pieces were in the monumental traveling exhibitition Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation.