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About the Project

Renzo Ortega will be in residence at the Rubenstein Arts Center from June 17–June 18, 2019.
Click here to learn more about his residency at the Ruby.

Ortega’s research plan looks to trace a continuation line between his artistic practice and the work made by immigrant artists in The Federal Art Project during the Work Progress Administration (WPA). Many of these artists were not born in the United States, but they have been influential and played an important role in American art history. Ortega notes that immigrants do not solely represent a labor force; they also contribute to the continued cultural development of the nation. Culture is a phenomenon in motion, of continuous innovation, for which there are no borders. When people emigrate, they carry with them cultural and intangible heritage, such a customs, traditions and art expressions. When they settle in new territories, the immigrants’ heritage mixes with the culture of the place where they arrived. This cultural displacement feeds the diversity of the communities.

Taking the artwork made by artists during the WPA as a historical reference, Ortega plans to make a group of paintings that represents our contemporary situation from his point of view as a Peruvian artist living in the United States. With these paintings, Ortega aims to show the voices of the community, their work, contributions, and what he considers to be a crucial element: the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country where we live.