The Getty Foundation has just announced the grant recipients for its next "Pacific Standard Time" project, an initiative to recover the historical record of art from across Southern California.
Three years ago, the huge arts collaboration examined the art scene in Los Angeles from 1945 to 1980. This time, the focus is on Latin American and Latino art. It's called "Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA" with $5 million in grant money going toward more than 40 exhibitions and events from San Diego to Santa Barbara.
Chon Noriega is the Director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, which was one of the planning partners of the project and a grant recipient.
Why the focus on Latin American and Latino art?
"As the Getty was looking to continue this as an ongoing series, I think it made sense to really look at the larger region within which L.A. has always been a part, which is Latin America. So it makes a lot of sense then to say well, as we focus on another area of art, this is one in which the city as a whole has some strengths that it can marshal to look comprehensively at something, but it’s also something that it can claim, in some ways, to be a part of."
Beyond art exhibits, what does the project include?
"There will be a number of other related programs that focus on performance, music, and even food.
I think it goes some way towards showing that arts are always integrated within our lives and they’re not just something that sits in a museum gallery protected by temperature and humidity controls.
Once you begin looking at the history of Chicano and Latino art in Los Angeles, you have to take in that concept that the arts are not just something that are part of high culture, they’re very much a part of day to day life, political struggles, and the creation of a sense of community."
What do you think the lasting impact of this project will be?
"To be able to have 40 or more exhibitions cutting across a wide range of approaches, historical time frames, cultural contexts, it's going to put to rest the notion that there's one thing to say about the cultural production of the hemisphere below the United States. Or even within the United States, [that there's] one thing to say about the Latin American-descent artists that are working here."