Museum of Anthropology at University of British Columbia 2022–2023

Museum of Anthropology at University of British Columbia 2022–2023

Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers / Xicanx: Soñadores + Creadores del Cambio
Museum of Anthropology at University of British Columbia
Curated by Greta de Léon, Executive Director of the Americas Research Network and Jill Baird, MOA Curator
With bilingual English / Spanish Exhibition Catalog
May 14–January 1, 2023



In collaboration with Xicanx Digital—a bilingual English and Spanish online platform that amplifies the scope of the exhibition. It offers artists’ biographies, statements, and favourite music, films and foods. This digital catalogue includes essays on Xicanx music, literature, film, cuisine and educational resources and teaching guides.

MOA is committed to promoting awareness and understanding of culturally diverse ways of knowing the world through challenging and innovative programs and partnerships with Indigenous, local and global communities.



Xicanx Speaks! with Celia Álvarez Muñozs, Linda Vallejo + Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez
Museum of Anthropology at UBC
Vancouver, Canada
October 15, 2022



Join MOA for our new series, Xicanx Speaks! featuring artists from our feature exhibition, Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers.

This new artist talk series features artists from Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers / Soñadores + creadores del cambio speaking about their works. The roundtable dialogues will be moderated by exhibition co-curators Jill Baird and Greta de León. Xicanx Speaks! is an opportunity to learn more from these artists who are confronting the critical issues of our time such as racism, diversity, and identity.



Diálogo: A conversation about Latin American Art in North America
Vancouver Latin American Cultural Center
Museum of North Vancouver
Vancouver, BC
October 16, 2022
12:00 -2:00 pm



For this conversation, Latin Expressions brings together artists and curators from two distinct and exciting exhibitions featuring the work of Latin American artists in North America:

Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers / Soñadores + creadores del cambio (at the UBC Museum of Anthropology) brings forward the work of 33 self-identified Xicanx artists (Mexican-Americans in the US).

Volver (to return, to become) on view at CityScape Community ArtsSpace through November 12th, shares immigration-related viewpoints of Latin American artists in Vancouver.

This event will be a conversation between visiting Xicanx artists Linda Vallejo, Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez, Vancouver-based curator Miret Rodriguez, and artist from the Volver exhibition Ximena Velázquez. The speakers will exchange viewpoints and opinions on their personal experiences as Latin Americans and art professionals in North America to explore the differences and perhaps common points between being a Latin American artist in Vancouver and a Mexican-American artist in the US.



Curatorial Statement
Jill Baird, MOA Curator

Exhibition Premise: The artists in this exhibition are dreamers and changemakers. They all self-identify as Xicana, Xicano, or Xicanx (Mexican Americans). Many are part of a rich tradition of visual artists and activists who began their work as part of the El Movimiento (the Chicano/a civil rights movement) of the 1960s and 70s, some are part of the next generation who continue the work of addressing personal, social and political issues in their art. By adapting, refining, refocusing, and revisioning, each artist in their own way is an activist. Xicanx visual histories involves more than reaching back or re-claiming Indigenous and Mexican visual traditions. Through combining and remixing their traditions, adding contemporary experiences and realities, their works are critique, protests and public action.

Understanding El Movimiento as a civil rights movement is incomplete without understanding Xicanx art. As well, El Movimiento is often overlooked as part of the U.S. civil rights movement. Both movements resulted in reshaping the visual, political and social landscape in the U.S. – a reshaping which is still in progress. The art in the exhibition is embodies these changes.

By bringing this exhibition to Vancouver, we seek to learn more about the cultural landscapes and realities of Xicanx, to build a more nuanced understanding of the issues of race, migration and identity which informs and impacts these communities. Although the work can be seen as collective in spirit these artists continue to engage in vigorous debates on aesthetics, ideology, and the pedagogical, social, and community function of their art.

This diversity will be represented in the exhibition.

1. Transits and borders – The U.S. / Mexico border factors largely in the works in the exhibition physically and conceptually, as do the borders of barrios (neighborhoods). The notion of a border is also a metaphor for inclusion/exclusion.

2. Embodiment – a remapping of an often highly gendered representation of what it means to be Xicanx. Here we look at the diversity of representation of the mestizo
body, gender, and race.

3. Roots – many artists self-identify as Indigenous, many draw upon their cultural and geographic roots from the utopic Aztlán, ¨the ancestral homeland¨ to Náhuatl to

It has been decades since Xicanx art pushed for social, political and economic equality. The artists in the exhibition clearly announce – the work is not done! Sometimes the artist push against their own history as seen through feminist Xicana critiques and others against on-going social and political oppression and discrimination. The works in the exhibition range from 1971 to 2019 by artists representing a range of perspectives and who continue to create, remix and expand the idea of what Xicanx art is.

A note: We choose to use the word Xicanx because the ‘X’ is taken from the Spanish transcription of the Nahuatl sound ‘ch’. Nahuatl is one of the Indigenous languages still spoken by millions in Mexico and Central America. The ‘x’ at the end is to signal inclusivity.



Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers / Soñadores + creadores del cambio | Entrevista Greta de León



The Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers at the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver Guardian, by Nataliya Radke, May 18, 2022

Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers / Soñadores + creadores del cambio, Preview Art Magazine, by Michael Turner, June–August, 2022

CURATING XICANX: DREAMERS + CHANGEMAKERS, Creators Vancouver, May 25, 2022



Artists included: Celia Álvarez Muñoz, Richard “Ricky” Armendariz, Judith F. Baca, Rolando Briseño, Sarah Castillo, Celeste De Luna, Alejandro Diaz, Jose Esquivel, Ana Fernandez, Carlos Frésquez, Roberto Jose Gonzalez, Ana Laura Hernández, Ester Hernandez, Luis Jiménez, César A. Martínez, Dennis Martinez, Delilah Montoya, Julio César Morales, Oree Originol, Alfred J. Quiroz, Chuck Ramirez, Juan Miguel Ramos, Al Rendon, Moises Salazar, Ana Lilia Salinas, Raul Servin, Rudy Treviño, John Valadez, Luis Valderas, Linda Vallejo, Kathy Vargas, Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez, David Zamora Casas



University of British Columbia website Xicanx Digital website Exhibition preview  About the Artists