The Cambridge Art Association’s (CAA) upcoming exhibition Vernacular Glamour, curated by Juan Omar Rodriguez, will be held in January 2022 at its Kathryn Schultz Gallery. This exhibit is part of their Platform Curatorial Opportunity series, an annual opportunity for emerging or established curators to explore a new curatorial idea in the CAA’s Kathryn Schultz Gallery. Curators receive financial and institutional support from the CAA to realize their vision. Exhibiting artists include: Juan Arango Palacios, Cielo Felix-Hernandez, Maria Yolanda Liebana, Perla Mabel, Chloé Luisa Piñero, Ginger Q, Rixy, Moises Salazar, and Jhona Xaviera.
About Vernacular Glamour
What is possible when glamour, grounded in quotidian experiences, is embraced, celebrated, and engaged critically? This exhibition brings together a cross-section of contemporary Latinx artists working with the visual vocabularies of camp, popular culture, high fashion, and baroque painting and architecture through vernacular idioms. Engaging the materials and forms of ball culture, advertising media, spiritual practices, and street art, the ten artists in Vernacular Glamour mobilize the artifice and exuberance of glamour to address the complexities of everyday life.
The artworks brought into conversation here reflect and reimagine what is familiar to queer, working class, and racialize peoples and often undervalued by majoritarian arbiters of taste. Vernacular Glamour focuses on figurative work to signal the ways in which the representation of certain bodies and experiences remains novel, controversial even. Through photography, painting, textiles, drawing, and video, the works in this exhibition unapologetically engage the experiences and desires of people who are Black and brown, curvy, fat, feminine, non-binary, and queer.
About the curator: Juan Omar Rodriguez (he/him) is a Latinx curator of contemporary art. Juan Omar is committed to making the art world more expansive by supporting emerging artists of color and queer artists. He is a Curatorial Fellow at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA and a member of the Boston LGBTQIA+ Artist Alliance. He has worked at the Boston Arts Academy, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Tufts University Art Galleries. Juan Omar’s recent projects include an online exhibition and archive of student work at the Boston Arts Academy, Capsule, and SMFA at Tufts: Juried Student Exhibition 2019–2020 at the MFA Boston. He received an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from Tufts University in 2019 and a B.A. in Neuroscience from Oberlin College in 2017.
January 6 – February 5, 2022
The Kathryn Schultz Gallery, 25R Lowell Street, Cambridge, MA
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm. Free and open to the public.
Image credits: from top to bottom: Chloé Luisa Piñero, Constellation, oil, acrylic, watercolor, spray paint, chalk pastel, graphite, found objects, and hot glue on canvas, 36 inches x 48 inches; Juan Arango Palacios, Queers with Tears, colored pencil and rhinestones on paper, 21 inches x 17 inches; photograph of Juan Omar Rodriguez courtesy of the Cambridge Art Association.