Connected Diaspora

Connected Diaspora

Bennington College

View of Connected Diaspora, 2023.

September 5, 2023
Connected Diaspora
U.S. Central American Visuality in the Age of Social Media
September 12–December 2, 2023
Instagram / Facebook / YouTube / Twitter

Connected Diaspora: U.S. Central American Visuality in the Age of Social Media is the first multimedia exhibition focused exclusively on U.S. Central American artists from across the nation. The exhibition casts light on a new generation of artists whose voices have built a creative community that transcends state lines and borders. With works ranging from delicate ceramic sculptures to large-scale paintings to film and video, the 22 artists in Connected Diaspora cohere around explorations of displacement, war, and trauma; contemplations on everyday life, nature, and architecture; and insights into invisibility and empowerment.

Though Central Americans make up the third largest U.S. Latinx group, this statistic is not equally reflected in references to Latinx art. Surpassing the limited information presented by mainstream news outlets, Central Americans in the diaspora are a creative force leading the way to a more expansive discourse.

In collaboration with exhibition curator and artist Veronica Meléndez, Usdan Gallery is delighted to stage an expanded version of previous iterations of Connected Diaspora, with additional artists and a special reissue of the full catalog of the zine La Horchata. Created by Meléndez and Kimberly Benavides, La Horchata has featured the work of many Connected Diaspora artists, and it operates at the heart of the exhibition and the community it celebrates. 

In her essay commissioned for the Usdan Gallery exhibition catalog, scholar Wanda Hernández reflects on the national significance of La Horchata—and the Connected Diaspora exhibition—in creating a national stage for U.S. Central American artists. “La Horchata has forged a community of Central American artists,” Hernández writes. “Together, we are changing the landscape of arts and culture. The exhibition Connected Diaspora is a physical manifestation of our community and the change we are making [and] a visual reflection of our everyday lives and the histories that have informed them.”

Connected Diaspora includes works by Eddy Leonel Aldana, Francis Almendárez, Kimberly Benavides, Divine Bradley, Jonathan Christensen Caballero, Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown, Jessy DeSantis, Galileo Gonzalez, Celea Guevara, Jenica Heintzelman, La Horchata Zine, Kimberly LaVonne, Kiara Machado, Juan Madrid, Julia Mata, Paulino Mejia, Motyko Morales, Dennise Nieto Zelaya, Carolina Porras Monroy, Sayre Quevedo, Isidra Sabio, and Johanna Toruño. The opening reception features a performance by DJ HyperR34l.

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Bennington College
September 5, 2023

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