Conversations with a Curator: Chicanx Art from the 1970s to the Present

OCTOBER 15, 2020 American Federation for the Arts


On Thursday, October 15, the AFA presented a panel discussion with three leading curators of contemporary Latin American and U.S. art.


In a historical moment in which current political discussions about Chicanx and Latinxs’ rights in the United States are clouded by pervasive racist rhetoric, we need more than ever to promote Latinx art in its rich multiplicity to dispel misconceptions about these cultures. This panel aims to defy closed definitions of Chicanx art, reflecting its dynamic and ever-expanding complexity.


Featured panelists:


Marissa Del Toro | Independent curator and art historian

Marissa Del Toro is currently an independent curator and art historian. She is guest curating the upcoming exhibition, Cruising the Horizon: New York at The Latinx Project in Spring 2021. She was recently the DAMLI Curatorial Fellow at Phoenix Art Museum from 2018-2020 where she was the project manager for the exhibition catalog and mid-career survey of Teresita Fernández: Elemental,co-organized with Pérez Art Museum, Miami. Originally from Southern California, she received her BA in Art History from the University of California, Riverside. She holds her MA in Art History from the University of Texas, at San Antonio, with an overall focus on the modern and contemporary art of Latin America and the U.S.

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill | Independent art historian and curator, modern and contemporary art


Cecilia Fajardo-Hill is a British/ Venezuelan art historian and curator in modern and contemporary art, specializing on Latin American art, currently based in Southern California and New York. Fajardo-Hill holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Essex, England, and an MA in 20th Century Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England. Fajardo-Hill was co-curator of Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Brooklyn Museum, NY, Pinacoteca, Sao Paulo, 2017-18. She is editor of the upcoming book Remains Tomorrow: Themes in Contemporary Latin American Abstraction, on post 90s abstraction in Latin America, and co-editor of a book on 20th and 21th – century art Guatemalan art, an initiative of Harvard University and Arte GT 20/21, Guatemala.

Gilbert Vicario | Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and The Selig Family Chief Curator, Phoenix Art Museum


Gilbert Vicario is Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and The Selig Family Chief Curator at the Phoenix Art Museum since October 2015. Gilbert has over 20 years of curatorial experience having worked at institutions as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Upcoming exhibitions include Stories of Abstraction: Contemporary Latin American Art in the Global Context. His most recent exhibition Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist, includes stops at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Palm Springs Art Museum in California. Vicario is a graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (M.A., 1996) and the University of California, San Diego (B.A., 1989).

Moderated by:

Andrew Eschelbacher | Director of Curatorial Affairs, American Federation of Arts


Andrew Eschelbacher joined the American Federation of Arts in February 2019 after a Chester Dale Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to coming to New York, he was the Susan Donnell and Harry W. Konkel Associate Curator of European Art at the Portland Museum of Art (Maine), where he curated numerous innovative projects and served as co-project manager for the development and opening of the David E. Shaw and Family Sculpture Park. He holds a Ph.D in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park; an M.A. in Art History from Tulane University; and a B.A. from Davidson College in French Language and Literature.