Elsa María Meléndez — ART NOW! lecture

by Art and Art History

Lecture Art & Art History Design

Wed, Sep 27, 2023

6 PM – 7:30 PM CDT (GMT-5)

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Unseal the lips, tighten the threads

The iconography in the work of Puerto Rican artist Elsa María Meléndez draws on characteristics that define the social and cultural specificities of her environment. Her work focuses on cultural satire to expose the inconsistencies of public policies under the colonial relationship between Puerto Rico and the U.S. The artist’s presentation will discuss her embroidery installations and engraving constructions which, by way of self-portraits, locate her work in the social collective as an antithesis to status-quo notions of women's bodies and their sexuality.

Elsa María Meléndez is a visual artist and curator born and living in Caguas, Puerto Rico (1974), working with textiles, printmaking, embroidery, and synthetic materials. Meléndez is a recipient of the 2023 Studios at MASS MoCA Puerto Rico Artist Fellows; a Commended Artist and People’s Choice Awardee in the 2022 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition in the National Portrait Gallery at Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. In 2019 she received the Flamboyán Artist Fellowship in partnership with NALAC was nominated for the 2019 United States Artists Fellowship and received the Lexus Fellowship (2009). Vengo de una isla de confusion (Rollins Museum of Art, Florida 2023) was Meléndez’s first solo museum exhibition outside of Puerto Rico. In 2022 a version of this exhibition traveled to the Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Mobile, Alabama. She has exhibited in more than 95 group exhibitions in the United States, Uruguay, Cuba, Ireland, Romania, Portugal, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. She is the curator at Museo de Arte de Caguas, PR.

The artist will present in Spanish. Carmelo Esterrich, Columbia College Chicago faculty, will provide English translation.

All images courtsey of the artist. View of the exhibition by Elsa María Melendez: I come from an Island of Confusion, Rollins Museum of Art, Rollins College , Winter Park, FL. 2023


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