Global Cornell and Mellon Foundation Just Futures Initiative
FROM INVASIVE OTHERS TOWARD EMBRACING EACH OTHER:
Migration, Dispossession, and Place-Based Knowledge in the Arts of the Americas
“We have come together, proposing to co-think and co-create with our students, community partners, and invited artists in an immersive learning environment that addresses intersecting histories of Chicanx, Indigenous, and Latinx place-based knowledges and ontologies through the lens of the visual, textual, and performative arts.”
Ananda Cohen-Aponte is Associate Professor of History of Art at Cornell University who works on the visual culture of colonial Latin America, with special interests in issues of cross-cultural exchange, historicity, identity, and anti-colonial movements. Her book, Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes (University of Texas Press, 2016) explores the intersections between art, politics, religion, and society in mural paintings located in colonial churches across the southern Andes. She also served as editor and primary author of the book Pintura colonial cusqueña: el esplendor del arte en los Andes/Paintings of Colonial Cusco: Artistic Splendor in the Andes, published as separate Spanish and English-language editions (Haynanka Ediciones, 2015). Her essays appear in a range of journals and edited volumes, including Colonial Latin American Review, The Americas, Allpanchis, and RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, among others. She is currently writing a new book entitled Insurgent Imaginaries: the Art of Rebellion in the Late Colonial Andes that explores the role of the visual arts in fomenting an insurgent imaginary in late 18th-century Peru and Bolivia within a context of inter-ethnic conflict and rebellion.
Ella Maria Diaz
Ella Maria Diaz is an associate professor in the Department of Literatures in English and the Latina/o Studies Program at Cornell University. Her book Flying Under the Radar with the Royal Chicano Air Force: Mapping a Chicano/a Art History (2017) explores the art, poetry, performance, and political activism of a vanguard Chicano/a art collective founded in Sacramento, California, during the U.S. civil rights era. For this work, Diaz won the 2019 Book Award for the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Association (NACCS). Diaz’s second book, published in 2020, is a primer on Chicano artist José Montoya and volume 12 of the UCLA and Chicano Studies Research Center’s A Ver series. It received a Gold Medal for Best Arts Book and a Gold Medal for Best Biography in 2020 from the International Latino Book Awards. Diaz has also published in several anthologies as well as articles in English Language Notes (ELN), ASAP/Journal, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and Chicana-Latina Studies Journal.
Jolene Rickard is an Associate Professor in the departments of History of Art and Art, and the former Director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program 2008-2020 (AIISP) at Cornell University. She is a visual historian, artist and curator interested in the intersection of Indigenous knowledge and contemporary art, materiality, and ecocriticism with an emphasis on Hodinöhsö:ni aesthetics. A selection of publications includes: Diversifying Sovereignty and the Reception of Indigenous Art, Art Journal 76, no. 2 (2017), Aesthetics, Violence and Indigeneity, Public 27, no. 54 (Winter 2016), Arts of Dispossession, in From Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic: Landscape Painting in the Americas, Art Gallery of Ontario (2015), The Emergence of Global Indigenous Art, Sakahán, National Gallery of Canada (2013), and Visualizing Sovereignty in the Time of Biometric Sensors, The South Atlantic Quarterly: Sovereignty, Indigeneity, and the Law, 110:2 (2011). Recent exhibitions include the Minneapolis Institute of Arts national exhibition, Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, 2019-2021, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Art For a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950’s to Now, 2018-2020. She co-curated two of the four inaugural exhibitions of the National Museum of the American Indian (2004-2014). Jolene is on the editorial board of American Art, a founding Boardmember for the Otsego Institute for Native American Art and an advisor to GRASAC-The Great Lakes Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Culture. Jolene is from the Skarù·ręʔ / Tuscarora Nation, Hodinöhsö:ni Confederacy.
Sandy Rodriguez is a Los Angeles-based artist and researcher. Her work investigates the methods and materials of painting across cultures and histories. Her Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón is made up of a collection of maps and paintings about the intersections of history, social memory, contemporary politics, and cultural production. Rodriguez's work is featured in five concurrent museum exhibitions in 2022 at The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden, The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Denver Art Museum. Recently she was awarded the Caltech-Huntington Art + Research Residency, Creative Capital Award, and a grant with the Migrations initiative from Mellon Foundation Just Futures Initiative and Global Cornell. Rodriguez’s work is represented in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX among others. Rodriguez has been featured in BBC News, Hyperallergic, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Spectrum News 1, Latinos Who Lunch, and Modern Art Notes.
Rafael Aponte was born and raised in the South Bronx, NY, and holds over fifteen years of experience working as a community activist, advocate, and educator. After graduating from Farm School NYC’s certificate program in urban agriculture in 2011, he relocated to Tompkins County and established Rocky Acres Community Farm in Freeville, NY in 2013. Rocky Acres is a 10-acre farm that focuses on education and the sustainable production of local vegetables, eggs, and meat for low-resourced communities. It combines the knowledge and spirit of social justice with the transformative healing aspects of nature and agriculture to promote equity in both urban and rural food systems. In 2014, Rafael began working with the Youth Farm Project, bringing his experience in day-to-day farm operations and after-school education. He served as director of the Youth Farm Project from 2016-2018, where he worked alongside youth, staff, and farmers to bring his experience to programing dedicated to equity, food justice, and livestock production. He also spearheaded the Harvest Box program, an affordable farmshare to serve the needs of underserved residents of Tompkins County. Rafael works in various leadership roles in the Ithaca community; he currently serves on the Tompkins County Food Policy Council and is a working group member for Black Lives Matter Ithaca (BLMI).
Kathryn Foster is a Ph.D. student in Development Sociology at Cornell University. Their research focuses on primarily population changes due to migration. Their works are published in journals ranging from Rural Sociology, International Journal of Educational Development, and Criminal Justice and Behavior.
Sabrina Haertig Gonzalez
Sabrina Haertig Gonzalez is a New York-based artist and BFA of Cornell University. Her practice of augmenting and collapsing objects, products, and bodies through their form and materiality looks to challenge exploitative phenomena and histories. She is currently generating a series of public sculptures, installations, and performances investigating female corporeal resistance to extractive economies through the hybridization of shelter, sustenance, and defense. As a Presidential Rawlings scholar at Cornell, her research focus is decolonial artistic confrontation and resistance to which she has produced two solo exhibitions of the past year- “Es Lo Que Tenemos” at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and “Sabor a Carne.” Her practice heavily relies on a synthesis of community engagement and scholarship as she believes it to be the foundation for restorative work. Sabrina serves as the undergraduate arts representative for AAP’s Diversity and Inclusion Council where she continues to advocate, develop policy, and drive implementation. She is the recipient of the Edith Adams and Walter King Stone Memorial Prize, the Cornell Migrations and the Mellon Just Futures Creative Writing Award, and the Frank and Rosa Rhodes Scholarship.
Rayna Klugherz is an undergraduate student at Cornell University, graduating in 2023. She is double majoring in History of Art and American Studies with minors in American Indian & Indigenous Studies and Law & Society. As a Milstein Scholar, Rayna is thinking about how technology can be used to advance the study of art history and the appreciation of art in digital spaces. Her research focuses on contemporary Haudenosaunee art and the relationship between Indigenous peoples and digital space, as well as topics of cultural heritage and art law. Rayna is the current Premodern Collections/Print Room Intern at the Johnson Museum of Art.