December 5, 2016 – January 7, 2018
Client: Anacostia Community Museum
Sq. Ft. 3600
Curator: Ariana Curtis
Assistant Curator: Lola Ramirez
The museum exhibit is organized in three areas: Civil Rights and Social Justice, Creating Homes and Constructing Communities, and Festival as Community Empowerment. The design of the exhibit articulates this organization by having the visitor pass through three gateways built in the gallery space. community access and public festivals, this exhibition explores the experiences of Latino migrants and immigrants in four U.S. metro areas: Washington DC, Baltimore, MD; Charlotte, NC; and Raleigh-Durham, NC.
Design Concept: The organization of the gallery is based on the curator's outline of three themes and each of these as gateways (Portales) to community building. The design places three gateways created with a large printed curtain and decides the room adorned with a portal that is covered with iconography and key imagery.
Fully bilingual Exhibit
The exhibit design found innovative methods of displaying English and Spanish without creating a hierarchy. It also employed the detachable text panels to manage the duplication of the text area. In this manner, we achieve a better balance between artifacts, images, and text in terms of wall space coverage.
Co-Creation with Local Artist
At Museum Environments we consider artist as partners and co-creators of the exhibit design process. We believe that their participation authenticates the voice of the exhibit.
(Left) Rosalia Torres-Weiner produced mural for the exhibit.(Center) Cornelio Campos is a self-trained painter from Cheran, Michoacan,Mexico who now resides in Durham, North Carolina. (Right) Artist Gabriela Lujan created a Day of the Dead altar in the “Festival as Community Empowerment” section.
“Gateways” received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Related programs are funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Established in 1967, the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum focuses on examining the impact of contemporary social issues on urban communities. For more information, call (202) 633-4820; for tours, call (202) 633-4844. Website: anacostia.si.edu.
Press reviews of the exhibit:
Washington Post: Using the term ‘Latinx,’ exhibition shows immigrants who merged into cultures of their new homes By Mark Jenkins
Washington Post: The Anacostia Community Museum proves regular folks can be just as interesting as famous ones By Sadie Dingfelder
Hola Cultura: Video interview with Smithsonian curator Ariana Curtis
Washington Hispanic: Smithsonian cuenta historia de los Latinos By Jossmar Castillo